News & Views Saturday, May 26, 2018

World Music for Choir Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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

FOR HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR
AhrirangAhrirang arr. Ruth Elaine Schram
An absolutely stunning setting of the beloved Korean folk song which refers to the mountain pass of Ahrirang Hill, often believed to be a symbol of peace, contentment, and personal triumph. Schram’s arrangement is meant to be uplifting and comforting, and the simplicity, repetition, and use of canon allow the beauty of the gorgeous melody to predominate.
Ash Grove
Ash Grove
 arr. Mark Patterson
Patterson offers this endearing setting of the beloved Welsh folk tune featuring a lilting piano accompaniment and the unique aspect of an oboe or clarinet obbligato (both parts are included) to complement this gentle text with the appropriate musical color and warmth. Beautifully conceived and infused with Mark’s typically rich choral textures, this will come to be a consistent concert feature and essential contest repertoire in all voicings.

Capelinha de MelaoCapelinha de Melao arr. Will Lopes
Invigorating vocal percussion and layered harmonies bring life and energy to this Brazilian children’s song that will be an excellent world music addition to concerts in middle school and up. In Portuguese with background information, translation and pronunciation.

Nda WanaNda Wana
 arr. Michael J. Barrett
This piece can be seen as a game. It starts off with a single voice part and as the “game” or song progresses, it becomes more complex. It is accompanied by traditional hand clapping and African drums. The piece has a natural build in dynamic and texture as the music is layered with each new entry. It promises to be an exciting addition to a program.

Shalom AlocheimShalom Aleichem arr. Audrey Snyder
Opening with a sustained and heartfelt solo and violin obbligato, this popular greeting is then presented in Hebrew in a vibrant manner with joyful handclaps and a dance-like rhythm.

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIR
Tue Tue.jpgTue Tue arr. Ruth Morris Gray
Sung ostinatos join one by one in the opening of this rhythmic arrangement of the authentic Ghanaian folk song. Unison lines, block triads, and a reset of the dynamics in the choral bridge are a blast. Repeated sections make for quick learning and easy memorization.

YundahYundah by Audrey Snyder
Young singers can discover the sights and sounds of the Scottish Hebrides and an ancient chant sung by the people of that remote location. This setting includes original music that frames the chant and creates an atmosphere of imagination and adventure.

FOR TREBLE VOICES
Alle Meine KleiderAlle Meine Kleider arr. Christi Jones
This German folk song is both novel and accessible for the developing treble choir. German or English, any way they sing it, treble ensembles are sure to sound superb! (Don’t forget to take advantage of the recording of the spoken German).

Shut De Do - WomenShut De Do arr. Greg Gilpin
Randy Stonehill’s familiar and well-known song sounds and feels as if it has always been a part of the folk song or spiritual genre. This a cappella setting uses optional percussion and is designed for easy learning to create an atmosphere of musical accomplishment, especially for smaller and younger choruses. Repetition is a key component but the addition of solo opportunities, key changes and a creative B section lifts this to a level that will appeal to choirs of all sizes and experience. A wonderful programming choice that will become a favorite year after year.

Weevily WheatWeevily Wheat arr. Shawn Kirchner
This is an exciting two-part arrangement of a traditional American country dancing song. It is meant to be sung a cappella with optional hand and body percussion parts. This is a hoot to sing and a hoot for the listeners.

FOR MEN’S VOICES
BabethandazaBabathandaza arr. Victor C. Johnson
Exuding sizzling, rhythmic energy, this traditional South African folk song arrangement is a multicultural programming winner! The only accompanying instruments are Shakers, Djembe, and Hand Drum which add authentic texture and flavor. It is easily learned in any voicing due to the independence of parts and repetitive style.

Mairi's WeddingMairi’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.

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 across the country, and she spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

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