The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Chosen People

An affirmation of the blessedness of all people

Music: Elizabeth Alexander

Words: Elizabeth Alexander

Chosen People traces a path from the Bible’s iconic stories – the apple, the ark, the whale – to its more challenging questions of forgiveness and compassion. Widely arching melody lines wind though the accompaniment, moving through shadow and light, and ultimately leading to the song’s prophetic conclusion: “The next chapters are ours to imagine.”

The third movement of Kindling: Small Reflections on a Limitless Faith, Chosen People may also be performed as a stand-alone piece.

Instrumentation: SATB, piano OR SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet

Note: The Choral Score is designed to be used with chamber ensemble performances as well as those accompanied only by piano. For chamber ensemble performances, the conductor uses the Conductor’s Score of the complete work Kindling: Small Reflections on a Limitless Faith (SEA-123-00).

Details and Ordering Information

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Composer Notes

Composer Notes

My parents were deeply engaged with the vivid stories and heart-rending questions of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and my childhood was better for it. The tenderness and passion in Chosen People reflect my gratitude and affection for this rich tradition.


Chosen People

As children we are enchanted by the apple, the ark, the whale,
The boy with the slingshot, the baby in the barn.
Later we grapple with forgiveness, resurrection and compassion.
Chosen people are everywhere now – in the market, under the bridge.
The next chapters are ours to imagine.

Elizabeth Alexander
© 2015 by Elizabeth Alexander



SATB, flute, horn, string quartet
Premiere: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston / Jason Oby (Houston, TX)
Choir of Arlington Street Church / Mark Buckles (Boston, MA)
Choir of Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church / Mark Tuning (Walnut Creek, CA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Atlanta / Donald Milton III (Atlanta, GA)
St Luke Presbyterian Church / David Lohman (St. Louis Park, MN)

SATB, piano
First Unitarian Univeralist Church of Rochester / Joe Mish (Rochester, MN)