Order MusicReport a PerformanceLicensing & Permissions

Journey Home

Voicing: SATB chorus with soprano descant, piano
Text: Erik Halvorson, adapted by the composer
Language: English and Spanish
Duration: 4:30 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 SCORE (scorch)

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


This high-school level choral piece was commissioned by the Minnesota Chorale as part of an amazing and innovative series called "Bridges." Each year, the Minnesota Chorale partners with another organization to present themed concerts and activities related to social change. In 2007, they partnered with Habitat for Humanity to create "Bridges 2007: Sing Me a Home." They commissioned five composers to work directly with high school lyricists on a new piece celebrating the Habitat for Humanity families of their school. I worked with high school student Erik Halverson (Como Park High School) to develop this text about a family who emigrated from Mexico to his school in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

One of the great joys for me about working on this piece was being able to meet the family who inspired it. At the premiere, the 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!" What joy.

Another unique aspect of this commission was the opportunity to create a lead sheet of the piece for use in a Habitat for Humanity -- or any -- celebration of a new home. 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.

Journey Home
Erik Halvorson (edited and adapted by Abbie Betinis)

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.

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.

Performed by:

Adult Choir of First Unitarian Universalist Church (Jason Shelton, conductor), Nashville, TN
All-Southwest Tennessee Honor Choir, Cordova, TN
Como Park High School (Carole Whitney, conductor)
Global Harmony Chorus (Jennifer Anderson, conductor), Roseville, MN
Minnesota Chorale (Kathy Romey, conductor), Minneapolis, MN
Missota Music Festival Chamber Chorus (Kathy Romey, conductor), MN
Unitarian Universalist GA Choir (Dan Broner, conductor), Charlotte, NC
Westminster Presbyterian Church Choir, Minneapolis, MN
White Bear UU Choir, Mahtomedi, MN

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