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Not Invisible

20 members needed
SATB, SAB, SSAA, 2-Part Treble and possibly TTB
A new work to be composed by Michael Bussewitz-Quarm
Difficulty: 2 · Medium Easy
Length: 4.5 minutes
Releases on Sep. 15th 2023
Must be funded by Sep. 5th 2023
$180 / ensemble

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This project will include…

PDF score
9-month premiere window
Score guarantee


What You Get: Full score Panel discussion about healthy solutions when under emotional distress. A live Zoom session with Michael is included for first 20 members


Not Invisible
(lyrics drawn from the poem below)

Shadows of those obscure along the way
Darkened by the nearby shade of moving shadows
That glance, but never stay.
Shadows cast upon shadows lost,
Shadows of a colorless world,
where caring simply moves away,
Where compassion
Never brightens someone’s day
Or lifts those who struggle,
Imprisoned in their shadows.

Like brittle leaves, tossed and trapped
In the migration of their despair
Confined in their isolation at the foot of walls,
Or in depths of rivers,
That attempt to keep the crush of humanity
At the borders of their hope,
The human voice cries
Goes unnoticed,
By those who never notice,
Who just don’t care.

A chant, like drumbeats from the shadows
A rhythm of despair,
To those who do not really care,
“We are here!”
“We’re not invisible!”

Life is harsh on stone cold sidewalks,
Cardboard boxes give little comfort,
Little warmth
To the homeless who search for hands
To feed their hunger, fill their stomachs,
To fill their hearts with love,
A ray of hope, sometimes is heard,
When a coin drops in a metal cup.
But the shadows of silent words hover over those in the dark,
As we walk by and they go unnoticed.
From a deeper darkness the words echo louder,
“We’re not invisible.”
“We’re not invisible!”

The colors of the rainbow, upon proud flags that wave,
like hope shouting from the darkness say
“We’re not invisible!”
“We’re not invisible!”
The colors of our skin,
The voice of diversity, in unity resounds,
“We’re not invisible!”
The refugees who flee from tyranny,
Who are tired, weary, poor and worn
Hear the voices of some uncaring shadows shouting
“Send them back” from our treasured shores
confining them to shadows in the darkness of their fears.
The troubled mind, the wounded life, the pain they hold,
Their desperate plea, “Is life worth living?”
A healing touch, a loving heart, a strong embrace
We cannot walk by them, unnoticed in the shadows,
As from the dark we hear the cry
“We’re not invisible.”

The Shadow of uncaring
The darkness of not loving
The coldness of reluctant charity.
The silence of insensitivity
The indifference of intolerance
The blindness of the eye
The narrow hardness of the mind
The rejection of those who are different,
As they find the courage to reveal who they are,
Change who they are,
As they struggle not to be invisible.

Hear the voice! And listen.
Turn toward the darkness
With the light you have to share.
Don’t let love be invisible.
Be a visible me!
A Love for all to see.
So even in the darkest day
We can hear them say,
“We’re Not Invisible.
And in the darkness they will find
Our love is Not Invisible.

-Ronald W. Cadmus © 2023

About Michael Bussewitz-Quarm

The choral music of Michael Bussewitz-Quarm (pronouns: she/her) engages singers and audiences with the leading social and environmental issues of our time. Michael is passionate about effecting change through choral music on topics ranging from the health of the world’s coral reefs to the epidemic of gun violence in the United States to the global refugee crisis. Michael is an active advocate for the transgender community. It is her fervent wish to spread knowledge and understanding of the transgender community through guest speaking and by simply being present in the lives of the talented musicians and artists surrounding her. A finalist for the 2019 and 2020 American Prize, Ms. Bussewitz-Quarm’s works are performed by leading professional and educational choral ensembles across North America. Recent collaborations include the west coast premiere of The Unarmed Child by Eugene Concert Choir and Orchestra, I’ll Fly Away at the International Society of Contemporary Music’s New Music Days in Vancouver, BC, and Nigra Sum, performed by The Duke University Chorale on their California tour. Michael’s works have been rebroadcasts on Public Radio East, KMUZ, and WCPE, with performances by Singers of New and Ancient Music, musica intima, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Duke University Chorale, the Esoterics, among other exceptional choral ensembles. Michael is published by Peermusic Classical. Current projects include Peacebomb, inspired by Laotian families who make jewelry from metal taken from unexploded ordnance, Where We Find Ourselves, a pandemic-proof choral project inspired by the portraits of Hugh Mangum, and The Death and Life of AIda Hernandez: A Border Story, based on the book of the same name that tells the story of an undocumented teen’s harrowing experiences with the U.S.’s militarized immigration system. Ms. Bussewitz-Quarm attended Ithaca College (BM ’94), for piano performance and music education, and received her MM from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queen’s College in New York. For more information, visit her website, Bookings: To Book, contact Michael through email at or through Michael’s contact page:

Other projects by Michael