Success
2005, for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass & Piano
Length: 4 minutes
Revision: 1
Difficulty: Difficult
Cost per Copy: $2.50

Success was commissioned by Yavapai Community College to celebrate the success of their graduates.  It is a lyrical work that can be performed immediately after the work Keep A Pluggin' Away. The text is based upon a poem entitled What Constitutes Success by Bessie Stanley.

When I embarked upon writing this work, I initially started with the text entitled Success and attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

After a little research, I discovered that scholars generally agree that this text is not by Ralph Waldo Emerson, but instead adapted from a poem by Bessie Stanley (see http://www.transcendentalists.com/success.htm).  

The original text to Bessie Stanley's poem What Constitutes Success can be found here. The text as used in this piece is as follows:

He who has lived well, laughed often and loved much,
He who has earned the love of children;
She who has enjoyed the trust of pure hearts,
respect of intelligent people.

Who has always looked for the best in others,
and given them the best she had;
who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty
or failed to express this wonder!

Who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy
or has left a perfect poem or a rescued soul; 

She who has, has achieved success;
Her life has inspired,
Her memory is a benediction.
He who has, has achieved success!

You who will fill your niche and accomplish your task,
who will earn the love of children;

You who will enjoy the trust of pure hearts,
whose life will inspire; whose memory a blessing.

He who has, has achieved success;
His life has inspired
His memory is a benediction.
You who will, will achieve success!  

Success was written in the spring of 2005 and premiered by Yavapai College's Chamber Singers at the college's 2005 awards ceremony.



Have you performed this work? Please let us know when and where! Do you have any other comments, criticisms, or suggestions for the work? Let us know those too! Click here to send us an email.