Order MusicReport a PerformanceLicensing & Permissions

Journey Home

Voicing: SATB chorus, soprano descant, Piano

Text: Erik Halvorson, adapted by the composer

Language: English & Spanish

Duration: 4 min.

Commissioned by the Minnesota Chorale, Kathy Saltzman Romey, Artistic Director, and premiered as part of the Bridges 2007: Sing Me a Home concert, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Target Foundation.

Premiere: May 19, 2007; Choir of Como Park High School; Carole Whitney, cond.

Published: Santa Barbara Music Pub. Jo-Michael Scheibe Choral Series #865

See the score: PREVIEW THE FULL SCORE (download PDF)

Performed by 900 California students at the 26th Annual High School Choir Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall - Grant Gershon, conductor.

Audio of "Journey Home": mp3, 4:11, 4 MB
Performed live by the Chamber Choir at the Missota Music Festival - Kathy Romey, conductor.

immigration, refugee experience, home, international relations, global community, multi-culturalism, travel, Mexican-American experience, building dedication, housing, Habitat for Humanity, love, family

This commissioned piece, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, explores the emotional feelings of immigrants who find a new home and life in the United States. Composer Betinis artistically, and dramatically brings the text to life. -Santa Barbara Music Publishing

PRACTICE TRACKS (click to play, right-click to download):
Piano only (quarter = 108): journey_home--piano--at_108.mp3
Full score (quarter = 108): journey_home--full--at_108.mp3

This piece was commissioned by the Minnesota Chorale as part of an amazing and innovative series called "Bridges." In 2007, they partnered with Habitat for Humanity to create a concert called "Sing Me a Home." They commissioned five composers to work directly with high school lyricists on a new piece celebrating specific Habitat for Humanity families in their school. I worked with poet Erik Halverson (then a student at Como Park High School) to develop this text about a family who emigrated from Mexico to Erik's school in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

One of the greatest joys for me about this piece's premiere was meeting the family who inspired it. Sitting next to me in the church pews, the Mexican family's 3-year-old son clutched a small photo album documenting the building of his house, and though he didn't say a word, grinned at me and silently pointed to himself in every picture... as if saying "I was there!" Such joy, such pride.

Another unique aspect of this commission was the opportunity to create a lead sheet of the piece for free community use. The lead sheet has a Creative Commons copyright, which means you may print and disperse this file as you like, as long as you don't sell it.

To view or download the free lead sheet, click here.

TEXT for "Journey Home":
by Erik Halvorson (edited and adapted by Abbie Betinis, Chad Zdroik and Gabrielle Diharce)

Spoken (in Spanish):
Un lugar... un hogar... nuestro hogar.
Un lugar que podemos llamar el nuestro, hacer el nuestro.
Un lugar para vivir, crecer, y ser.
Un pedazo de lo nuestro que compartimos con el mundo.
Un trozo de nuestros corazónes que traemos a la comunidad.
Un mundo de consuelo, y un mundo de calma.
Un mundo... de amor.
English Translation:
A place... a home... our home.
A place we can call our own, make our own.
A place to live, grow, and be.
A piece of us we share with the world.
A piece of our hearts we bring to the community.
A world of comfort, and a world of calm.
A world... of love.

A place, a place to live,
a place to grow,
and be.

A place, a place to hope,
a place to dream,
and love...

An end, an end to a journey,
but still we're just beginning:
a place with you,
a place to start anew.

A home, (Un hogar)
a home is our own, (nuestro propia hogar)
yet so much more, (y mucho más)
a world... (un mundo)

A world, (Un mundo)
a world we'll learn, (aprenderemos)
a world we'll bring, (lo traeremos)
and share... (para compartir)

A world of comfort, of calm,
the hope of our family,
a place of love,
of wonder from above...

A place, a place we'll grow,
a place we'll learn,
and share.

A place to call our own,
to make our own...

Our home.

Used by permission of Erik Halvorson and Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc. Spanish translation by Chad Zdroik and Gabrielle Diharce. This poem may be reprinted from this website ONLY for use in concert programs and for promotional use as related to this musical work.

All-Southwest Tennessee High School Honor Choir -- Cordova, Tennessee
Big 9 Festival Select High School Choir (Abbie Betinis, guest conductor/clinician) -- Mankato, Minnesota
Calliope Women's Chorus (Richard Carrick, conductor) -- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Calvin College Capella (Pearl Shangkuan, conductor) -- Grand Rapids, Michigan
Choir of Community Church of Chapel Hill - UU -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Choir of First Unitarian Universalist Church (Jason Shelton, conductor) -- Nashville, Tennessee
Choir of Westminster Presbyterian Church -- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Choir of White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church -- Mahtomedi, Minnesota
College of DuPage Concert Choir (Lee Kesselman, conductor) -- Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Como Park High School (Carole Whitney, conductor) -- Minnesota
Connecticut College Chorale (Wendy Moy, conductor) -- New London, Connecticut
Germantown High School Chamber Choir -- Germantown, Tennessee
Global Harmony Chorus (Jennifer Anderson, conductor) -- Roseville, Minnesota
Good Shepherd Singers (Linda Gilmour, conductor) -- Albuquerque, New Mexico
L.A. Master Chorale High School Choir Festival (Grant Gershon, conductor) -- Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California
Maple Mountain High School Chamber Singers (Cory J. Mendenhall, conductor) -- Provo, Utah
Marietta College Choir (Daniel Monek, conductor) -- Marietta, Ohio
Meeting House Chorus -- Madison, Wisconsin
Minnesota Chorale (Kathy Romey, conductor) -- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Missota Music Festival Chamber Chorus (Kathy Romey, conductor) -- Minnesota
Nova Singers (Laura Lane, conductor) -- Galesburg, Illinois
Randolph County Schools’ All-County Choral Festival -- Asheboro, North Carolina
Rock Valley College Choirs (Paul Laprade, conductor) -- Rockford, Illinois
Rock Valley College Chamber Singers (Paul Laprade, cond.) -- Kenosha, Wisconsin (part of Fine Arts at First artist series)
Tacoma Symphony Chorus (Geoffrey Boers, conductor) -- Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma Symphony Chorus (Geoffrey Boers, conductor) -- Tour to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tacoma Symphony Chorus (Geoffrey Boers, conductor) -- Venice, Italy
Temple University Choirs (Rollo Dilworth, conductor) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Colorado Chorale (Kevin T. Padworski, conductor) -- Lakewood, Colorado
Unitarian Universalist General Assembly Choir (Dan Broner, conductor) -- Charlotte, North Carolina
Unity Choir of Unity Church-Unitarian (Ruth Palmer, conductor) -- Saint Paul, Minnesota

(Have you performed this piece? Add your performance!)