Border – Unterseher

SATB, organ

Written for the 2013 United Church of Christ Musician’s Association, this anthem is suitable for both sacred and secular situations. It explores that moment when a sudden life-changing event has taken place, the outcome is not yet clear, but nothing will ever be the same. Score below, recording coming soon.

Purchase on Reg’s web site


In every sudden disaster, accident, or terrorist act, there is that moment “between,” the border of one state of being to the new state. The knife cut has not yet begun to bleed, the pain has not yet registered, the buildings have not yet fallen. When the Boston Marathon bombs went off on April 15, 2013, the character of the people who found themselves at the center of the attack was clearly shown. So many people’s first impulse was to help wherever they could, give aid and comfort in any way they could, despite whatever peril it might put them in. This piece is a call to honor those people, to be those people.


In the moment at the border of what was and what will be—
Stillness in the observation, not yet knowing what we see;
In the dawning recognition, light transfigures all below,
and the world bends in new patterns; seas raised up, the hills made low.

We are called inside the moment; mind and heart and strength arise
We will know beyond all knowing as we start to realize
How the change has wounded each one, how the wounds will change our lives;
In the face of stunning terror, human dignity survives.

Understanding guides our action— we begin to steer our fate
Running into flames and carnage, showering reason onto hate;
Building justice, teaching mercy, giving all to do our part
Bind the broken, mend the injured, heal the wounded human heart.

—Sheila Dunlop


This entry was posted in Choral, High school, Moderate, Sacred, SATB accompanied, Secular and tagged by Reginald Unterseher. Bookmark the permalink.

About Reginald Unterseher

Reginald Unterseher is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ, Richland, Washington. His works are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and through NW Choral Publishing at He is the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association’s “Composer of the Year” for 2013. Mr. Unterseher’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the world and have been featured at ACDA and MENC conventions in the US as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He currently serves as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Men’s Choirs for the Northwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association, and is in demand as a choral and vocal adjudicator and clinician. Mr. Untereseher is a past Artistic Director of Consort Columbia (now Mid-Columbia Mastersingers), founder and past Chorus Master of Washington East Opera, and an active member of Male Ensemble Northwest.