Here at Stanton’s, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty. Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear! In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!
SATB is the standard voicing for high school mixed choirs and SAB/3-Part Mixed arrangements have the same designation at the middle school level. However, a teacher’s world is rarely perfect. There are many reasons why you might have a need to use SAB pieces in a high school or SATB pieces in a middle school.
If one or more of the following apply to your high school singers….
-You have less than half as many men as women; putting the men on the same part will balance the group
-Your male singers are inexperienced enough that they need the strength in numbers
-You are working on a new concept (language, choreography, etc.) and want to simplify the number of parts
…you may want to try one of these excellent SAB pieces:
Canon of Praise – Pachelbel, arr. Hal Hopson – MW1226
Der Tanz – Schubert, arr. Patrick Liebergen – BL382
Die Nachtigall – Schubert, arr. Russell Robinson – 08501705
Elijah – Dan Davison – 00126742
Praise the Lord – Handel, arr. Hal Hopson – 35017273
Sicut Cervus – Palestrina, arr. Russell Robinson – 31089
If one or more of the following apply to your middle school group…
-The young men in your choir are overpowering the light, healthy sound of your middle school women
-You have enough men that they are able to sing 2 different parts and still balance your women
-You have boys whose voices are changing in different ways; some still comfortable in a cambiata range and some who have temporarily lost their mid-range (from about A below middle C to E above)
-You teach in a junior high instead of middle school and have 7th, 8th and 9th graders in the same group
…you may want to try one of these beginner SATB pieces:
Adoramus Te – Emily Crocker – 08740061
Beachcombers – Amy Bernon – 15/2538H
Bound for Jubilee – Joyce Eilers – SV7903
Come to Me, O My Love – Allan Petker – HMC997
Going Over Home – Sonja Poorman – BL334
Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name – Dennard Brazeal – 35009892
Song of the Sea – Raymond Hannisian – SV7802
Three Madrigals – Emma Lou Diemer – 48003439
Hope Is Like the Wind – Ruth Elaine Schram – 15/2677H
Remember, voicing does not always indicate difficulty level. With some sleuthing you can find appropriate pieces for all ages in a variety of voicings.
Still not sure what to choose? Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world. As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations, or give advice. Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds; Sight-Singing; SAB or 3 Part Mixed; Help! I’m Not a Pianist!; Solo and Ensemble Pt. 1; Solo and Ensemble Pt. 2