I Never Had a Rose
"The Rose" by Sarah May (b. 1987)
SATB (div.) choir, a cappella
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.
for Mixed Voices
for Treble Voices
for Bass Voices