Ulysses Kay

American composer Ulysses Kay was born in January 1917. In celebration of his centennial, The Esoterics performed Kay’s complete a cappella choral repertoire in a series of concerts January 6–8, 2017 in Seattle and Tacoma. Visit our website for more information about the program.

The opening number of our program was Dedication, a parody on mid-20th-century modern music programming. Click Play, and the lyrics below will highlight as they are being sung.


by Ulysses Kay, 1946

The League of Composers presents
a group of concerts this season, its 24th season, since 1923!
Yes, since 1923,
modern music. Ah! music, that modern music…
Since 1923, the League presents
a group of chamber music concerts:
Sonatas, Toccatas, Quartettos, Sonettos,
and also “Statements!” Experiments,
eine Kammersinfonie!
Since 1923, the League presents
art songs and folk songs, work songs on odd tones
and music from Concord, and every other whistle stop!
Pastorales and portraits, partitas and such,
what have you for harpsichord, flute, pianos prepared,
“off-beat” percussion rushin’, some stuff for the air.
The finest of artists and now they do play
allegros di molto marcato e lyrico, presto e scherzando!
Doo ah dee oh! Dee ah doh ah dee ah dah!
Yes, choral etudes and choral gray tunes! Cavalcades!
First American performance, with the composer at the piano,
conducted by the composer, and fie on the critics!
Now in its 24th season,
the League of Composers presents…
more of the same!