Sara Kirkland Snider ~ Composer of Music

Chamber Ensemble


(2006) Duration: 6:30     

for trombone, harp, viola, and marimba.  LIVE recording by Jason Robins, Margaret Carey, Ashley Jackson, and Eric Beach at New Music New Haven, Yale University, New Haven, CT, April 11, 2006.

Commissioned by: Jason Robins.
World Premiere: April 11, 2006, by Jason Robins, Margaret Carey, Ashley Jackson, and Eric Beach at New Music New Haven, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Program Note:
was written for an unlikely cast of characters: trombone, harp, viola, and marimba.  It is about finding beauty in unexpected places.


“For blending four ostensibly mismatched instruments, harp, trombone, viola, and marimba, into a sumptuous quartet filled with luminous clouds of sustained chords and lyrical themes bubbling up to the surface, Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “Shiner” deserves a trophy. Or two.

Eric Starr provided burnished, cantabile trombone melodies, while harpist Julie Smith Phillips and marimba virtuoso James Beauton collaborated to create undulating, hypnotic sonic allure. Violist Hanah Stuart’s assertive pizzicato playing added spice to this shining etude from 2006.”

–Ken Herman, The San Diego Story, March 14, 2019

“Intimacy, in fact, was the hallmark of the concert…to the luminous Romanticism of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Shiner, in which [Colin] Currie’s delectable marimba playing was garlanded by the soft colours of harp, viola and trombone, with John Kenny’s tenor trombone playing showing the instrument at its most tender, lyrical and avuncular.”

The Herald Scotland, April 2008

“[Shiner] was my first encounter with Ms. Snider’s music, and this piece is a little gem – effectively a one movement trombone concerto for marimba, viola, harp and trombone…a continually shifting, shimmering texture that weaves through modal relationships, sometimes quite surprising in their juxtaposition, always full of light and shade, whilst the trombone carries the principal melodic lines, evading any notion of Romantic virtuosity, but singing the line and then commenting upon the material…Very sympathetically written for the instrument, this is a most rewarding addition to the solo & chamber repertoire…The depth of texture is astonishing given the tiny forces involved – [the] viola seemed to encapsulate an entire string section, whilst the harp and marimba interlocked to create all necessary rhythmic & harmonic colours to render the piece completely satisfying.”

–John Kenny, Carnyx & Co., May 2, 2008

One Response to “Shiner”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Oh, this so made my day today. Beautiful, smart, evocative music — thanks for sharing it!

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