A Nameless Grave by Alec Schumacker

July 22, 2021  |   Posted In

Schumacker - Nameless Grave_p1Schumacker - Nameless Grave_p1


A Nameless Grave By Alec Schumacker

Ensemble Type: Chamber Choir
Duration: 3 minutes 15 seconds
Grade Level: 4

I’ve always been drawn to the words of American transcendentalist writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This particular text grapples with the feeling of indebtedness one feels to those who have lived, fought, and died in service. In the poem, the narrator encounters an unmarked and undated grave of a Civil War soldier – “a soldier of the Union mustered out” is all it reads. The narrator contemplates the meaning of a heroic sacrifice so complete that even the name and literal lifetime of the soldier are obliterated by death.

The music seeks to represent this weight via a recurring piano motive and polyphonic exchanges. The final, “and I can give thee nothing” is meant to be a dramatic outburst of grief-bound indebtedness.

This work was composed for the Hawai‘i Pacific University International Vocal Ensemble’s Summon the Heroes concert in the fall of 2018.

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Additional information

Weight 0.1 lbs
Dimensions 0.004 × 11 × 17 in

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