Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (Mrs. H.H.A. Beach) (1867-1944) was born in New Hampshire. Musically precocious, she sang improvised harmony parts at age two, composed at age four, and began piano studies with her mother, Clara Imogene Marcy Cheney, at age six, giving her first public recitals at seven.

In 1875 the Cheney family moved to Boston, where Amy studied piano, harmony, counterpoint, an composition. In 1885 she made her piano debut with the Boston Symphony. That smae year she married Dr. Henry beach, a socially prominent doctor, Harvard professor, and musical amateur. In accordance with his wishes, she limited her public appearances and concentrated on composition until after his death in 1910.

In 1911 she traveled to Germany, where she toured as a virtuoso pianist, playing and accompanying her own works to critical acclaim. In 1914 she returned to the United States, where she maintained an active schedule of winter touring and summer composing for many years.

Mrs. Beach compsed works in many genres, including a Mass, a symphony, a piano concerto, and works for chamber ensembles, piano, mixed chorus, and solo voice. Her thirty works for women's chorus, including several cantatas, are well-crafted in a romantic idiom, always with intelligent text setting.

The Year's at the Spring was sung by the Bennett College Glee Club in 1934 and 1935, under the direction of Marylou Jackson.

Mrs. Beach's Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.44, all use verses in which fairies' beguiling and alarming magic makes nonsense of the human lovers' nuptial arrangements and the artisans' clumsy plans to put on a play, moving the action to the enchanted wood outside Athens and introducing Puck. "Come unto these yellow sands" (The Tempest 1.2) is the song the invisible Ariel sings to the shipwrecked, bewildered (and presumably still dripping) Ferdinand: an invitation to the dance that tells him he's not in Naples any more. "Through the house give glimmering light" (A Midsummer Night's Dream 5.1) is Oberon and Titiania's epilogue to the closing marriage banquet, proof that the fairies' happy influence now extends to the city, the banquet hall, and even to the marriage bed.