News & Views Thursday, February 22, 2018

Suggestions for Choral Adjudications 2018 Friday, January 12, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists

The beginning of 2018 is a perfect opportunity to look back at what your students have learned so far this school year, and to look forward to the new and exciting musical challenges you will present to them in the coming months. As you prepare for your upcoming concerts, festivals, or adjudicated events, we recommend these repertoire choices, carefully chosen from many new and recent publications as the “best of the best!”

for SATB Ensembles
gia-ww1623-fHaec Est Dies by Jacob Handl/arr. Philip Brown
A nice edition of a lesser-known work of the 16th century. “Haec Est Dies” is written for two SATB choirs, but the vocal writing is simple enough to work for younger high school choirs who are ready for the challenge.

Let All the World in Every Corner Sing by Ryan Murphy
A dynamic and bombastic setting of this well-loved text. The piano accompaniment is exciting and supportive, and the vocal writing is straightforward, making this a great selection for honor choirs and festivals.

As the Rain Hides the Stars by Elaine Hagenberg
Scored for SATB divisi chorus with piano, this exquisite setting of the traditional Gaelic Prayer, vividly presents the initial image of longing and unrest to the ultimate resolution of assurance that “Though I may stumble in my going, You do not fall.”

alfred-513845I Can See the River Jordan by Jay Althouse
This sturdy original is composed in the style of a traditional spiritual. A symbolic text leads to crossing metaphoric River Jordan as the music recalls songs from early America. Opens with brief solos, builds to a hand clapping almost a cappella bridge, and concludes only after full choral harmonies fade and voices unite on a single pitch.

for Women’s Ensembles
Veni Sancte Spiritus by W.A. Mozart/arr. Victor C. Johnson
This time-honored choral classic from the pen of a very young Mozart is now available in a fresh, new, authentic, and complete arrangement for women’s choir. Carefully crafted vocal lines combine with a vibrant, yet highly playable piano part and much rejoicing to brighten the spirit and gladden the heart!

Jubilate Deo by Johan Helmich Roman/arr. John Leavitt
This selection by Baroque composer Johan Helmich Roman, adapted in this edition for treble voices, is recommended for festival and contest programming for choirs in middle school and high school, as well as community children’s choirs. An excellent choice for developing important performance techniques in music of the era.

lorenz-sbmp1435-fCantate Domino by Charlotte Botha
Through a juxtaposition of texture, dynamics and tempo, the composer has created a dramatic song of praise which serves well as an opener or closer. The vocal parts are woven together with percussion, claps and stomps to illuminate the message of the “new song” as dictated by the Latin text.

Goin’ Home on a Cloud arr. Cristi Cary Miller
Opening expressively with a solo, this spiritual favorite moves then forward into a brisk tempo that will showcase developing SSA choirs with style! Well-written vocal parts and a supportive accompaniment make this appealing for middle through high school treble choirs.

for Men’s Ensembles
Three Polish War Songs arr. Derek Myler
A set of Polish military songs collected by the composer while he lived in Poland for two years among families affected still by the tragedies of war. Expertly arranged for men’s chorus, these songs offer a look into a less-familiar world and bring a sentiment of hope.

cfn-cm9488-fMairi’s Wedding arr. Drew Collins
This delightful reel, traditionally sung and played at Scottish weddings, is toe-tappin’ fun! From the opening unison statement until the final chord, men’s ensembles can explore drama and healthy singing.

Rain Music by Victor C. Johnson
“On the dusty earthdrum beats the falling rain. Now a whispered murmer, now a louder strain.” This forward-moving, rhythmically-driven music enhances the dramatic, image-laden text of Kentucky-born poet and playwright Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. Effective unison, two-, three-, and four-part writing throughout and optional parts for rain stick and djembes heighten the musical effect.

Across the Western Ocean arr. Jerry Estes
This sea chanty, from the mid-1800s, is inspired by the Irish immigrants escaping the great potato famine of their home country. Driven by a half note pulse, this piece has many ballad-like qualities with an accompaniment that propels the piece forward. It makes a wonderful selection for developing male voices teaching energetic 3-part singing.

Click here for all of our suggestions for select pieces for adjudicated events – while we have specifically geared these selections to be appropriate for Ohio Music Education Association events, this quality repertoire is sure to be successful on any spring concert or other event as well! For even more recommendations, please contact us – and remember, shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


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