chamber works


Serenade (2015)

for Soprano, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet, Trombone, Percussion, Celesta and Piano; text by Edgar Allan Poe


This modern setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s text from 1850 gives life to one of his rarer works. The poet’s romantic words are about an untouched lover and voiced by the Soprano. She in turn is supported by an effective and unusual small ensemble. The piece can be performed by as many as eight or as few as five musicians, depending on doubling. Premiered by students of California State University, Sacramento in 2015.


​Performance time: 8 minutes.

Serenade - Zachary M. Watkins
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Sojourns (2014)

for Oboe, Trumpet, and Cello


A lively trio with an adventurous spirit. The three performers are like wandering voyagers who take the audience on an informal Hero’s Journey in miniature. Decidedly unassuming, this piece is light-hearted and humorous. Premiered by students of California State University, Sacramento in 2014.

Performance time: 7 minutes.

Sojourns - Zachary M. Watkins
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Eternity’s Edge (2014)

for Pierrot ensemble and percussion (Flute, Clarinet, Percussion, Piano, Violin, and Cello)

This moving piece evokes a dual meaning—a journey to the edge of the cosmos, and the journey of a life in its final days. A continuous, single-movement work, this piece was written by the composer during his mother’s battle with terminal cancer. Premiered by Sacramento new music ensemble CITYWATER for the 39th annual Festival of New American Music in 2016.

Performance time: 11 minutes.

Eternity's Edge
Eternity’s Edge - Zachary M. Watkins
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Fleeting Thoughts (2013)

for Woodwind Quintet

I. Ephemeral

II. Transient

III. Volatile

A challenging modern work for woodwind quintet, this sparse and subtle work explores a coming together. The players begin in a pointillistic style, gradually forming a cohesive whole over the three movements. With a haunting, beautiful character, this piece is delicate throughout.

Performance time: 10 minutes.

Fleeting Thoughts - Zachary M. Watkins
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