I Never Had a Rose

"The Rose" by Sarah May (b. 1987)

SATB (div.) choir, a cappella

Available through manuscript and at Project: Encore 

In 2005, a high school senior of mine at Boylan Central Catholic High School (Rockford, IL) Sarah May won her high school's fine arts poetry contest with her entry, "The Rose." Written in a traditional English sonnet form, the poem speaks of beauty through the timeless symbol of a rose.  I was so moved by the poem that I asked her if I could set it for choir, and she agreed.  I Never Had a Rose premiered in the spring of 2018 to a standing ovation. 


Through-composed but with recurring familiar content, the piece winds its way through Ms. May's poem, exploring surprising key areas and various vocal textures.

Recording - Coming Soon!
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Copyright M. Erpelding, 2020