Perhaps They Are Not Stars


Treble choir and piano



The Lower Macungie Middle School Chorus, May 2003
Rita Cortez, director

the Lower Macungie Middle School Chorus
Rita Cortez, director

Dolce– The Lehigh University Women's Ensemble

Walton Music HL08501603

Program Notes

In 2003, my friend Rita Cortez approached me to write a commission for her middle school chorus. The school community had just suffered the sudden death of one of its students, Mukul Gupta, age 12. Rita’s response was that “we shouldn’t plant a tree or put a plaque; we should commission a song.”  The students had written letters in response to Mukul’s death. I suggested we use something from the letters. One of the students had included the Inuit proverb, “Perhaps they are not stars” in a letter to Mukul’s parents. Both Rita and I thought this text would be a wonderful tribute to an outstanding student.

Perhaps They Are Not Stars was premiered by the Lower Macungie Middle School Chorus in May of 2003 under the direction of Rita Cortez. Over 200 singers performed from memory with Mukul’s parents in attendance.

-Steven Sametz


Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.

-Innuit text


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