TTBB and Piano
The title for this piece is a reference to the fact that the text is the result of two aspects of its creation. First, it's about how young men navigate the various pressures society throws their way. These are things like interactions with their peers, siblings, parents, and teachers, but also things like society's notions of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, etc. How did these young men overcome the bad stuff, maneuver through the tricky stuff, and incorporate the good stuff?
In order to find a text that would express such a specific idea I decided to go straight to the source: the high school students in the choir itself. So I had them respond to a prompt and finish the sentence “I know that I am greater than...” as many times as they wanted in order to find out, and they couldn't have done a more beautiful job. So the text is actually made up of edited versions of their words. This is the reason for the parenthetical in the title.
"me(n)" was commissioned by the Flower Mound High School Men's Chamber Choir (Dr. Mark Rohwer, conductor) and received its premiere on March 8, 2017 at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Minneapolis. It is dedicated with gratitude to the men of the ensemble and their conductor.