STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: World Music for Choir 18 November, 2015
Each year the knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s chooses select titles to promote to you, our valued customers. We listen to thousands of new issues from scores of publishers and composers to present you with the very best in new music for your ensembles. In our Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece or concept that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your group.
by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist
Programming music from around the world has so many benefits for your ensemble – new rhythmic concepts, unfamiliar languages and dialects to explore, and a picture of the people and traditions in cultures across the globe. Here are a few of my favorite new publications, for choirs of all voicings and difficulty levels:
FOR HIGH SCHOOL CHOIRS
Carnavalito arr. Will Lopes
This Bolivian folksong is alive with rhythm and movement! Body and vocal percussion give this a cappella setting intensity and drive – a wonderful showcase for mixed choruses in school and community!
FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIRS
Singabahambayo arr. Victor C. Johnson
Fun to sing and surprisingly rehearsal friendly, this South African musical celebration of freedom and hope is sure to have instant appeal. Lending itself to simple stage choreography and with an exciting, driving beat throughout, choirs and audiences alike will find themselves enthralled by this Victor Johnson original.
FOR TREBLE CHOIRS
Doraji arr. Yoojin Muhn
Doraji is one of the most popular Korean folksongs. It is about a wild mountain flower with spiritual essence and this arrangement includes both the gentle beauty of the flower as well as the excitement from those who found it. For treble choirs, this is an excellent multicultural concert selection.
FOR MEN’S CHOIRS
El Chuchumbe arr. Jorge Cozatl
Selected for the new Music of the Americas Multicultural Series from North Dakota State University, this zesty piece hails from Mexico. The encouraging message is that “chuchumbe” will reach you whether things go good or bad. It is similar to saying the rhythm or dance of life will positively infect you no matter what. And what a great dance it is, with hand percussion bringing additional rhythm to the piece. The verses are so playful it is appropriate for performers to alter the words based on the region in which they are singing.
FOR ELEMENTARY CHOIRS
Iro Ye arr. Jill Gallina
This lullaby is from the Republic of Benin, a country in Western Africa. The Mina language of the traditional melody is paired with an original melody in English creating a loving partner-style song with optional flute. A simple choral that creates many multicultural learning opportunities and a lovely performance piece.
About the Author:
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.