About the piece
Few connections are as lasting as those made in the community of a choir. I had the opportunity to sing with Amanda Quist during the summer of 2009, and I found in her kindred musical spirit. As a composer, I have always sought to foster these relationships and got an opportunity to work with Amanda when she accepted a position at Westminster Choir College.
I wrote “Be for me the earth,” to celebrate Amanda’s first year at Westminster. Sara Teasdale’s beautiful and lyrical poetry often speaks of emotions in all-consuming metaphors. This poem is no exception, and I set it in a melodic and lush texture highlighting the best parts of every vocal section. The conductor should take note of punctuation when making decisions regarding breathing and pacing and perform the piece with flexibility and expression.