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The Journey

"The Roaring Fork River Near Carbondale" by Jonanthan Machen.
Used by permission of the artist.

A reminder of the power of faith to shine through difficult times
Commissioned by Cincinnati Men's Chorus / Patrick O. Coyle [TTBB version]
Commissioned by Saint Paul UMC of Cincinnati / Patrick O. Coyle [SATB version]
Winner of the Athena Festival Almquist Award
Evelyn K. Dudley

A powerful reflection on contemplation and individual resolve, this song blends poet Evelyn Dudley’s Southern tenacity and hardy faith with composer Elizabeth Alexander’s Appalachian roots and musical vision. The lyric's determined refrain, "I'll go alone if I have to," speaks to the loneliness and challenge of the less traveled road.

Prominent solos are featured in all voice parts; ensembles may either choose to feature 3-4 singers, or to distribute the solos among a dozen or more soloists.

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Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Delivery Method Price Quantity TTBB a cappella, soloists - Choral Score
5' MA SEA-075-00 Sheet Music
$3.75 TTBB a cappella, soloists - Choral Score
5' MA SEA-075-00D Licensed PDF
$2.25 SATB div. a cappella, soloists - Choral Score
5' MA SEA-075-01 Sheet Music
$3.75 SATB div. a cappella, soloists - Choral Score
5' MA SEA-075-01D Licensed PDF

The Journey

Poem by Evelyn K. Dudley
Adapted by Elizabeth Alexander

I’ll go alone if I have to.

If you’re behind me when I begin this journey, stay there, for you will only hinder me –
I’ll go alone if I have to.

My footprints will vanish from this trail someday,
    but the seeds that I sow will remain and grow.
The fragrance from the fruit that is borne will draw those who hunger and thirst,
    those who seek God in Spirit and Truth –
I’ll go alone if I have to.

For at the end of this journey waits a festive table filled
    with blessings and prayers that I prayed and had forgotten.
    Have your fill of these blessings!

Oh, I am tired from the journey, and Jesus bids me rest,
    and I will sit on the porch of the kingdom,
    and realize the destination was no more important than the journey.

I’ll go alone if I have to. On this journey, I’ll go alone.

(To read Evelyn K. Dudley's complete writing, see Program Notes below.)

Composer's Note: 

Commissioned as a tribute to the life and work of Coretta Scott King, this song gives musical voice to the words of Evelyn K. Dudley, one of Mrs. King's caregivers during her last months. Rather than placing the accomplishments of a single individual on a pedestal, Dudley's writing speaks to the challenges of any life lived with integrity — by the powerful as well as the disinherited.
While composing "The Journey," I found myself using a style I hadn't ever brought into my choral writing: the Appalachian idiom I knew from my childhood on the Ohio River.  What a surprise, to return to those roots in my 40s.  What an interesting journey life truly is.


Cincinnati Men's Chorus / Patrick O Coyle - Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH)   * Premiere

Cincinnati Men's Chorus / Patrick O Coyle ~ GALA Choruses Festival 2008 (Miami, FL)

Murray State University Concert Choir - Bradley Almquist  ~
     Athena Festival of Women's Music (Murray, KY)   * Premiere



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