Performed, Premiered, and Recorded
March 23, 2013
Voertman Hall at UNT
Conductor: Kara Kasberg
Soprano: Christina Mucker, Kim Newcomb, Michelle Perez, Eleni Feitosa Kotzabassis
Alto: Sienna Riehle, Claire Choquette, Susey Woodruff, Natalie Manning
Tenor: Santiago Gutierrez, Martin Clark Jr., Ronald Harris, Tucker Bilodeau
Bass: Matthew Dinh, M.J. Payne, Kevin Jacob Porras, Ben Barrera
I wrote the first draft of "My Friend" in a single day. It was in response to learning that a friend of mine is gay. I didn't hear it from him, so I instantly assumed he was very in the closet and I had not dealt with that before. Of course, he ended up not being in the closet what so ever. But before I knew that, I wrote this piece as a way to tell him "I'm here for you."
Looking at the piece aside from that story, it's a sort of ode to the undying loyalty, support, and love of a friend. It's a comforting "You're not alone; I'm here to help you through anything" which I feel for all of my friends.
My Friend, I am here with open hands
With which to hold and support you,
To lift you out from the depths of despair,
And guide you out of the darkest lair.
My Friend, I am here with open arms
With which to hide and shelter you,
To shield you from the spears of doubt
And embrace the truth within you.
My Friend, I am here with open ears
And I have heard your cries of sorrow.
The sound of struggle whispers from you
And I have uttered those wails before.
I will not let this pain swallow you
Nor let it become a capsule you swallow
To end it all.
Instead let us end your strife
My Friend, I am here with an open heart
With which to love and accept you,
To comfort you with kindness.
My Friend, I love you so.
Sam Melnick (2011)
Artwork: "Friendship" by Trina Alexander