The Silver Thaw was written thinking about the Great Ice Storm of January 1998. I was teaching at Hebron Academy (Hebron, Maine) at the time and vividly remember standing in the Fine Arts Center watching the great elm trees losing huge limbs as the storm progressed. The woods were eerily silent and beautiful after the storm itself was over. Then the winds came up...the woods started to cry....The academy lost several trees over 100 years old, I was without power for eleven days, and I know many people were without heat or power for much longer. The forests here still have not recovered from the devestation. It was some time after that I heard that kind of ice storm referred to as a "silver thaw". You can read the sheet music here