When I Am Silent

Composed by Joan C. Varner
Voicing: SA
Instrumentation: keyboard
Catalog number: AMP 0210
Price: $1.80

In the fall of 1994, while on a tour of Eastern Europe, I spent a day at the site of the Nazi concentration camp in Auchwitz, Poland. Even though I had studied the history and knew the facts, I was unprepared for the strong feelings I experienced there. I was especially moved by the pictures lining the walls of one of the former “dormitories,” pictures of young women and teenage boys and girls who died there. The pictures looked like my students, young people with their lives still in front of them. But these young people had no chance to see their future. I was haunted by the picture of one especially beautiful young girl, and in the days which followed, as I thought about the things she might have enjoyed and the life which was cruelly taken from her, the words and music for “When I Am Silent” evolved. The song is dedicated to this girl and all young people everywhere whose lives are taken unjustly. Sing it for them!

Joan C. Varner

recording performed by The University of Kentucky Women's Choir
Lexington, Kentucky
Lori Hetzel, Conductor

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).

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