This piece was selected by Wicker Park Singers of Chicago in their call for scores, and will be premiered in Chicago on 12th and 13th April 2019 – and it has also won the Murua International Music Festival Call for Works, and will be performed in Murau, Austria, on 26th and 27th April 2019 (European premiere)! The UK premiere is still available; please get in touch if your choir might want to perform this. The score is free with the understanding that it should be used to raise funds or political awareness for refugees and immigrants. For example, you could take a collection in aid of a refugee charity at the concert. Here is a list of causes you could support.
For moderate to advanced SATB choir with some divisi (could be done with 2 people per part, would work better with 4 or more). The piece includes several key changes. If you’d like to make a donation to charity for the use of this piece, please click here.
The words are by Mohamed Assaf, a 12-year-old Syrian refugee who now lives in England. They are also published in England: Poems from a School (published by Picador; edited by Kate Clanchy, Mohamed’s teacher). Thank you to Kate and Mohamed for giving me permission to use this heartbreaking text.
Once, I lived in a beautiful town;
Once, I owned a beautiful house,
with a grand garden full of flowers,
and I was prince of it all. Once,
I lived in a house with a name;
And now, I am just a number.
Nations talked to nations
and robbed me of myself.
They made me
a number among millions.
But my rights have no number.
My home had no number.
I could not count the petals of the flowers.
My childhood in the garden
had no limits on it.
Take me back to my country
and I can show you the numbers.
The numbers who suffer.
The quantities of beauty.
The fallen flowers.
Mohamed Assaf (12)