Poetry by Kendra Preston Leonard
unaccompanied voice (high, medium, and low keys available)
with simple body percussion (stomps & claps)
2 minutes 15 seconds
Kendra Preston Leonard's poem Strawberry Man is a vignette about a man she used to see walking through the streets of Baltimore with a pony and cart, selling strawberries.
I love the simple joy of the poem: the warmth of the summer sun, the burst of flavor of fresh fruit, and the community of buying our food from street vendors. The piece features playful melismas with syncopated text, a vocal line that rolls up and down freely, and claps and stomps that activate the entire body.
This is the first piece I wrote during the coronavirus crisis. I wanted to express the joy of simple pleasures and the hope we all have of returning to those simple pleasures in the future. It was written for the warm-hearted and incredibly skilled soprano Arwen Myers.