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Sing to Me


An unaccompanied anthem for mixed chorus, calling for hope and truth, sunlight and bloom, in the face of adversity or despair.

Premiere by Kantorei:

October 27, 2019 @ 3 PM
Church of Christ the King
5029 Zenith Ave S Minneapolis, Minn.
Free admission
Call 612-21-SINGS (612-217-4647)
Event website


Sing to Me

Mixed chorus, unaccompanied (divisi)
Text:  Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Duration: 3′
Premiere: 2019 by Kantorei, Axel Theimer, Director

Program Note

For the 30th anniversary of the Twin Cities chamber choir Kantorei the choir commissioned a work in honor of its founder and conductor, Axel Theimer. Out of a number of possible texts suggested by Axel, I chose a poem by American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox that aptly captures the enthusiasm of this conductor, the ensemble and its audience.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) grew up on a farm east of Janesville, Wisconsin, the youngest of four children. The family appreciated literature, and Ella began writing poetry at age eight. Her most famous poem, “Solitude,” which opens with the lines “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; / Weep, and you weep alone,” was published in the The New York Sun in 1883. After marrying Robert Wilcox that year, Wheeler Wilcox became interested in theosophy. “Sing to Me” appeared in Poems of Reflection, published in 1905 by M.A. Donohue & Co., Chicago. Ella Wheeler Wilcox died of cancer on October 30, 1919 in Short Beach, Connecticut.


Sing to me

Sing to me! Something of sunlight and bloom,
I am so compassed with sorrow and gloom,
I am so sick with the world’s noise and strife,
Sing of the beauty and brightness of life—
Sing to me, sing to me!

Sing to me! Something that’s jubilant, glad!
I am so weary, my soul so sad.
All my earth riches are covered with rust,
All my bright dreams are but ashes and dust.
Sing to me, sing to me!

Sing me a song full of hope and of truth,
Brimming with all the sweet fancies of youth!
Say, though my sorrow I may not forget,
I have not quite done with happiness yet.
Sing to me, sing to me!

Lay your soft fingers just here, on my cheek;
Turn the light lower—there—no, do not speak,
But sing! My heart thrills at your beautiful voice;
Sing till I turn from my grief and rejoice.
Sing to me, sing to me!

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Additional information

Weight .1875 lbs


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