I Sing to Use the Waiting (2014) was commissioned by the San Antonio Chamber Choir for the occasion of director Scott MacPherson’s final concert with the ensemble as its longtime conductor and music director. After nearly 10 years of frequent collaboration with this ensemble, I sought out a text that would be meaningful in some way to the occasion. Emily Dickinson’s poignant poem seemed the perfect fit- a bittersweet poem using the metaphor of singing to illuminate the beauty and sadness of endings. The first stanza begins only with women’s voices, while the second begins only with the men’s. Each is followed by a dark and rich setting of the text, frequently in six-part writing, before the single voice part of the soprano remains alone at the work’s conclusion.