Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Lee Hoiby's Last Letter Home from Pfc. Jesse Givens

While on duty in Iraq, Pfc. Jesse Givens wrote a letter to his wife and two children that he wished to be only opened in the event of his death. Unfortunately, Givens died in battle and his wife consented to American composer Lee Hoiby setting his letter to music. Here is the transcription for voice and piano, as performed by baritone Andrew Garland and Lee Hoiby on piano.

Note on getting hold of the music: The score of Last Letter Home for male choir is published by Schott. I inquired about the availability of the score for voice and piano and the word was that this version hasn't been published yet. Stay tuned for more updates on where to find the score of this lovely and heartbreaking song.

(Via Sequenza21/)

Update 4/10:

Lee Hoiby has very kindly informed me that the voice and piano version is currently in the process of publication, but he can send you a score for $8 if you email him at Aquarius [at] pronetisp dot net.


  1. Hoiby must have given a manuscript copy to somebody here at Eastman because I heard it here a few weeks ago. The score is out there...

  2. Anonymous1:49 PM

    The Cornell Glee Club also performed the piece at the Eastern Division ACDA Conference in Hartford, CT back in February. Perhaps contacting their director, Scott Tucker, would yield more information.

  3. Thanks, Helen and anonymous commenter. The search continues...

  4. ...and has concluded successfully--see update.