THE BIRTHDAY for soprano, oboe, cello and harp was written in 1981 for Carolann Page and members of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The text by Philip Dacey is a poignant portrayal of a woman reaching her thirtieth birthday and examining where her life has been and where she sees it taking her. She senses a deep change growing within her. But, instead of fear, she longs to experience what the “dark stranger” or the future has prepared for her. It is so new that words often elude her and as she struggles, wishes that she could at least express to her husband what she is going through. It is all a wonderfully mysterious sensual metamorphosis.