Walt Whitman is one of America’s greatest poets. Although he was homosexual at a time when it was difficult, even dangerous to be so, his verse is nevertheless known for its boundless optimism and inclusiveness. The text of “Each of Us” is an excerpt from his large work Salut au Monde! (Hello World!). It speaks to our shared humanity and rights, the responsibility we have to the earth and its blessings, and our limitless human possibility. The piece starts with the energy of individual and diverse voices, each perfect and worthy to be celebrated. As they multiply and come together, the gathering, relentless, rhythmic intensity makes clear the power of the collective voice that is the very heart of choral music.
American Choral Director's Association of Minnesota (ACDA-MN) for the 2017 State 9-10 Mixed Honor Choir, Lee Nelson, guest conductor
Each Of Us
Each of us inevitable. Each of us limitless– each of us with his or her right upon the earth, Each of us allowed the eternal purport of the earth, Each us us here as divinely as any is here.
– All notes notated with an “x” are to be spoken with intensity and inflection. If marked soft, they can be somewhat whispered, but still emphatic. – If spoken solos are incorporated in the first four measures and at the very end, adjust the dynamics so that they can be easily heard in the acoustic. If it is still an issue, add more voices. – Purport (noun) pronounced pur-pohrt, is defined as “the meaning or purpose of something.” --All sung sections should be sung with a warm tone. --Pay attention to the difference between the sixteenth note and the triplet patterns throughout the piece. --Note that m. 44 for Soprano and Bass is a slide into m. 45 using all of beat 4. – Many thanks to ACDA-MN and Dr. Lee Nelson for their support of new choral music!