Glass – Unterseher

SATB div.

“You have to hold her like she’s made of glass– fragile, as if she would shatter at your very touch.” Close harmonies, rhythms driven by the slam poetry tradition.

Premiere by the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Justin Raffa, conducting

Purchase on Reg’s web site


“Glass” was composed as part of a collaborative process between the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers and the Urban Poets Society. Urban Poets Society gives voice to writers through youth programs, open mic poetry readings, and other activities designed to empower through the written and spoken word. This poem was written when the poet was just 17 years old, and comes from a sensibility formed by slam poetry and hip hop culture, which you can hear in the internal rhythms and rhyme scheme. The music combines that structure with harmonies more associated with vocal jazz, as well as an approach to repetition reminiscent of minimalism.


You have to hold her like
she’s made of glass.
As if she would shatter
at your very touch.

Seeing as she is
see through
light bounces through
her crystalline being
at the warm touch of sunlight.

It is apparent that her heart is transparent
and as delicate as fine china.
And I’ve seen the scar
the cracks and breaks

I wonder if you’re like me and
people took chunks out of you
when they walked right
out of your life
and while I filled up all
my empty spaces
with so much spite I take

one look at her and think
my demons
could be gone
for quite some time

And when I think that happiness can only
be obtained in my sleep
I look at her
and think
man she is the most beautiful thing I
have ever seen.

And I know some people have come
and scarred your heart but believe me
when I say they only cut out
the rough edges,
and now I can see you
for what you truly are.

A gem, a precious stone worth more
than you know

Because sometimes
if you try
to break something,
it becomes more


—-by DJ Willard

This entry was posted in Advanced, Choral, College/University Choir, Community Choir, Community College Choir, High school, Professional Choir, SATB a capella, 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.