Empty

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
TB, piano, opt. djembe

An exciting piece for young male singers, "Empty" has an optional third part and optional djembe. The ranges stay in a comfortable place for high school singers, and allow them to explore dynamics through emotion and breath support.

"To me, the poem and the song are about missing the mark. You have your sights set high, and somewhere along the way you take a misstep. There's anger, regret and ownership in the text and in the piece. You've messed up, but you own it. It's a part of you, good or bad." - Timothy C. Takach

Perusal Score: 
Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
TCT-Empty
Duration: 
3:00
Total Pages: 
12
Commissioned By: 
Written for the 2012-2013 Young Men's Commissioning Consortium
See video
Performances: 

Apollo High School Men’s Choir, Jason Parker, director (MN)
Armstrong High School Varsity Men’s Choir, Stephanie Trump, director (MN)
Australian Boys Choral Institute, Kelly Gang, Noel Ancell, director (Australia)
Cherry Creek High School Troubadors, Sarah Harrison, director (CO)
Chor Leoni MYVoice, Kevin Zakresky, director (BC, Canada)
Eastview High School, Greg Douma, director (MN)
Flower Mound High School Men’s Chamber Choir, Mark Rohwer, director (TX)
Free State High School Men’s Choir, Hilary Morton, director (KS)
Frontier Trail Middle School, Gretchen Harrison, director (KS)
Haslett High School Varsity Choir, Erich Wangeman, director (MI)
Hopkins High School Men’s Chorus, Philip Brown, director (MN)
Mahtomedi High School Men’s Choir, Robert Pontious, director (MN)
Metea Valley High School Bass Chorus, Nathan Bramstedt and Andrew Collins, directors (IL)
Omaha Central High School, Colin Brown and Lyn Bouma, directors (NE)
Prior Lake High School Men’s Choir, Rob Hahn, director (MN)
The Roxbury Latin School Glee Club, Kerry P. Brennan, director (MA)
St. Paul Central High School Central Men, Martha Graber, director (MN)
St. Peter High School Concert Choir Men, Scott Hermanson, director (MN)
Stoney Creek High School, Brandon Ulrich, director (MI)
Three Rivers High School Men of Aristocrats, Joel Moore, director (MI)
Trinity-Pawling Singers, Matt Travis director (NY)
University of Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, Olga Artemova, director (OH)
University of Minnesota Men’s Chorus, Matthew Mehaffey, director (MN)
University School Glee Club, Daniel Singer, director (OH)

Text
Text Author or Source: 
Joyce Sutphen
Language: 
English
Text: 

I wanted so badly to be good.
I wanted everything to turn out right
in the end. I wanted to go to heaven.

Whatever I thought I should lose,
I lost; whatever the cost,
I paid it. Nothing was too much.

I worked hard at letting go; I
learned the art of denial. Wine
turned into water, bread to stone.

I was the bone singing in the desert,
the gate swinging on its hinge;
I was the bell ringing and ringing.

Joyce Sutphen, “Empty” from Naming the Stars. Copyright © 2004 by Joyce Sutphen. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, Inc,. on behalf of Holy Cow! Press, www.holycowpress.org. All rights reserved worldwide.