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Song of Miriam

for SSA Chorus and Piano

Text by Rabbi Ruth Sohn

Published with Elaine Hagenberg Music

Song of Miriam Hagenberg

Inspired by the empowering poem by Rabbi Ruth Sohn, this piece describes the journey of a young woman who finds bravery amid uncertainty and fear. Middle Eastern harmonies paint an expansive desert landscape, while the voices search for faith and risk taking the first step, ultimately conquering fear to find the "song in my heart." Soaring melodies  and choral rhythms that create a delicious tension against the piano accompaniment make this a wonderful choice for mature treble choirs.

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I stand at the sea and turn
to face the desert stretching

endless and still.
My eyes are dazzled
The sky brilliant blue
Sunburnt sands unyielding white.
My hands turn to dove wings.
My arms reach for the sky
and I want to sing
the song rising inside me.
My mouth open
I stop.
Where are the words?

Where the melody?

In a moment of panic

My eyes go blind.

Can I take a step

Without knowing a Destination?

Will I falter

Will I fall

Will the ground sink away

from under me?

The song still unformed—

How can I sing?

To take the first step—

To sing a new song—

Is to close one’s eyes

and dive into unknown waters,

For a moment knowing nothing

risking all—

But then to discover

The waters are friendly

The ground is firm.

And the song—

the song rises again.

Out of my mouth

come words lifting the wind.

And I hear for the first time

the song that has been in my heart

silent unknown

even to me.

"Song of Miriam" by Elaine Hagenberg
Play Video

Dorian Music Festival January 2020

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