WE'LL RISE UP (2018)

for SAB choir

Text by Erika Alexander (edited by Patrick Holcomb)

Duration: ca. 4'

Composed for Laura White and the Groton Senior High School Choir

PROGRAM NOTES:

 
On February 14, 2018, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida shot and killed seventeen of his classmates and injured seventeen more. At the time, I had already begun working on a piece for Laura White and the Groton Senior High School Choir, but the Groton High School students were so deeply affected by the incident that I abandoned what I had been working on and started what would soon become We’ll Rise Up (2018). Erika Alexander, a student in the choir, wrote the text, which expresses her and her classmates’ desire for change and their frustration with the lack of action by their elders. Even though young people are at risk of falling victim to the school shootings that are all too frequent in this country, they are so often not taken seriously when they try to enact change. I hope that We’ll Rise Up will empower the voices of these young people and give them an outlet to express their need for change in the world around them.

TEXT:

 

Our minds haven't left you, our souls have been shaken

We still feel the same as we did that day

 

We'll rise up and fight for you

We can't bring you back,

But we'll make our voices heard

We know what we can do

We're not too young to understand

They can't knock us down,

Because we are strong

And we'll get back up again

-Erika Alexander, edited by Patrick Holcomb (used with permission)

In less than an hour you were taken from us

Even though it’s later, we still feel the same

As we did that day

 

Our minds haven't left you, our souls have been shaken

We still feel the same as we did that day

 

We'll rise up and fight for you

We can't bring you back,

But we'll make our voices heard

We know what we can do

We're not too young to understand

They can't knock us down,

Because we are strong

And we'll get back up again

 

They want to shut us down, they want us hidden away,

But we have a hope that things will be better someday

You have shown us what grief is, but also what love is

SCORE SAMPLE: