Skip Navigation Website Accessibility

Song of Miriam | Elaine Hagenberg

Performed at the 2019 National ACDA Conference

Performed at the 2018 Southwestern American Choral Directors Association Conference

Performed at the 2018 Texas Music Educator Association Conference

4th Place 2019 American Choral Directors Association Professional Composers Competition


"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." 


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
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
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
the song
that has been in my heart silent

unknown even to me.


      p. 479.890.6149
      f. 479.890.6150
    • 408 South Glenwood Avenue
      Russellville, AR 72801
  • MON-FRI | 9 AM - 4 PM 
    SAT-SUN | Closed