For unaccompanied mixed choir
Duration: 3 minutes
Greg Bartholomew weaves meaning into the poetry with every word he sets.
— Jack Senzig: Greg Bartholomew ChoralNet CCMC Composer of the Month, April 2012
Lovely. Sensitive to text and the potentials it provides in terms of color, textural weight and subtle rhythmic variety. Harmonically gracious, without being obvious. Technically embraceable, without being ordinary. Elegantly crafted.
— American Prize Adjudicator David Katz
Dedicated to Richard Hutter, The Tree is a setting for unaccompanied SATB mixed choir of the poem by American transcendental poet Jones Very (1813 - 1880). The full text is below. Composed at the 2003 Oxford Summer Institutes at Lehigh, where it received a reading by the Princeton Singers under the direction of Steven Sametz. Premiered April 2, 2004, by the American University Chamber Singers under the direction of Daniel E. Abraham.
Since its 2004 premiere The Tree has had more than 36 performances in Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, California, Oregon, Washington State, Canada and Australia.
In July 2010, an international panel of judges named The Tree as a finalist for the Seghizzi International Choral Festival held in Gorizia, Italy. In March 2012, The Tree was named a Silver Platter Repertoire Award Winner by the editor of the ChoralNet Composition Showcase.
I love thee when thy swelling buds appear,
And when with darker growth thy leaves are seen
And when the autumn winds have stript thee bare,