Velvet Shoes


This gentle setting of Elinor Wylie’s poem takes a serene walk in newly fallen snow. Perfect for young voices or older treble choirs. Unison or SA (or unison with flute), piano.



Kallman Creates Publications, Composer Daniel Kallman Kallman Creates Publications

Unison or SA (or unison with flute), piano. Duration: 3’00”

In the second recording below, some vocal parts have been adapted for flute.


(SA: Boston Children’s Chorus Training Choirs)


(Unison with flute: Virginia Children’s Chorus Training Choir; Louisa Priore, Director)



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Composer’s Notes

This setting of Elinor Wylie’s beautiful poem should be performed with the utmost gentle tenderness and at a very relaxed and “tranquil” pace, as the poetry indicates. The constant eighth notes and descending motif in the piano part portray the gently falling snow. The tempo should not be faster than marked, in order that the eighth note rhythm remains unhurried.

I was fortunate to assemble a consortium of 34 youth choirs, mostly American and ranging from large city programs to elementary schools, who supported the creation of this new musical setting. They are listed below. Most of the choirs presented it on their winter concerts in 2014.

Here is the text:

Let us walk in the white snow
In a soundless space;
With footsteps quiet and slow,
At a tranquil pace,
Under veils of white lace.

I shall go shod in silk,
And you in wool,
White as white cow’s milk,
More beautiful
Than the breast of a gull.

We shall walk through the still town
In a windless peace;
We shall step upon white down,
Upon silver fleece,
Upon softer than these.

We shall walk in velvet shoes:
Wherever we go
Silence will fall like dews
On white silence below.
We shall walk in the snow.

— Elinor Wylie

I would like to gratefully acknowledge the participating children’s choirs and their conductors and artistic directors here :

Angelica Cantanti Cantabile, Bloomington, MN (Ann Schrooten)
Aquila Elementary School, St. Louis Park, MN (Patricia Rice)
Arizona Girlchoir, Phoenix, AZ (Sue Kenly Marshall)
Blake School Blake Campus Fifth Grade Choir, Hopkins, MN (Sara Lukkasson)
Blake School Highcroft Campus Fifth Grade Choir, Wayzata, MN (Woody Woodward)
Boston Children’s Chorus Training Choirs, Boston, MA (Anthony Trecek-King)
Brownell Talbot School, Omaha, NE (Nancy Engdahl Robson)
Cache Children’s Choir, Logan, UT (Jill DeVilbiss/Sylvia Munsen)
Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania Cantilena (Alissa Swarts/Susan Kelly)
Conspirare Youth Choirs, Austin, TX (Nina Revering)
Crescendo Community Chorus, Spokane, WA (Sharon Rodkey Smith)
Decorah Youth Choirs, Decorah, IA (Andrew Ellingsen/Jennaya & Brett Robison)
Delaware Children’s Chorus, Wilmington, DE (Marybeth Miller)
Dunfermline Junior Chorus, Fife, Scotland (Mandy Miller)
Girl Choir of South Florida, Fort Lauderdale, FL (Robert Todd/Wallis Peterson)
Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota Children’s Chorus, Rochester, MN (Amy Nelson)
Indian Creek Elementary School Encore!, Marion, IA (Tanya Rosenkranz)
Johnson Park School, Princeton, NJ (Cordelia Mann)
Jordan Middle School Sixth Grade Choir, Jordan, MN (Elizabeth Egger)
Landon School, Bethesda, MD (Michael Wu)
Lawrence Children’s Choir Choristers, Lawrence, KS (Carolyn Welch)
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Preparatory Choir, Los Angeles, CA (Mandy Brigham/Anne Tomlinson)
Milwaukee Children’s Choir Resident Choir East, Milwaukee, WI (Steve Joyal/Marco Antonio Melendez)
Minneapolis Youth Chorus Prelude Choir, Minneapolis, MN (Elizabeth Egger)
Mounds Park Academy Fifth Grade Choir, St. Paul, MN (Mari Espeland)
Northfield Youth Choirs, Northfield, MN (Liz Shepley)
Olympia Youth Chorus Dolce/Bel Canto (Beth Tobin/Cynthia Dinsmore)
Pennsylvania Youth Chorale, Elkins Park, PA (Eileen Finley)
Raa Middle School, Tallahassee, FL (Judy Bowers)
Siouxland Youth Chorus, Sioux City, IA (Shirley Luebke)
Unity Children’s Choir of Unity Unitarian Church, St. Paul, MN (Kathleen Radspinner)
Virginia Children’s Chorus, Norfolk, VA (Louisa Priore/Carol Thomas Downing)
Whyte Ridge School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (Liz Kristjanson)
Young Voices of Colorado, Englewood, CO (Jena Dickey)