News & Views Friday, February 28, 2020

Creative Programming: For Treble Choirs Monday, February 11, 2019

mornin-1-3451-frecommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Spend All You Have On Loveliness by Michael John Trotta, SSAA with piano & optional oboe or string quartet
The text for this song is taken from “Barter” by Sara Teasdale. Despite the poet’s history of poor emotional and physical health, the text captures a hopeful attitude that foreshadows the spirit of optimism that was the precursor to the Roaring Twenties. A rhythmic piano part is the foundation for a captivatingly lyric melody that gently unfolds throughout the piece. The setting begins with the simplicity of a unison vocal line that gradually expands as the piece explores the complexities of the wonder of everyday life. Subtle text painting captures the poet’s desire to seek refuge in the beauty that surrounded her.

lorenz-sbmp1454-fInvitation to Love by Marques L.A. Garrett, SSA with piano
A great showpiece for the ladies, they will love singing this. Some aleatoric adventure highlights the dramatic ending of this extraordinary composition.

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls by Sally Lamb McCune, SSAA with piano
A classic poem of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the traditional “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” intertwine in this free-flowing ballad that centers on the fragility of life and the persistence of time. An undulating eighth note accompaniment throughout supports the simple choral lines. For a creative programming option, pair with “The Wide Missouri (Shenandoah/The Water Is Wide)” arr. Ruth Elaine Schram for a river- or water-themed program.

Floating Moon on the Water by Wei-Pin Chen/arr. Eric Liu, SSAA with piano
“Floating Moon on the Water” uses a beautiful text in Taiwanese by Wei-Pin Chen. Using western tonality blended with Taiwanese elements, the melody begins with a touch of sadness and is followed by flowing sounds of pictures on the water. A gorgeous work in a unique language.

Gifts by Glenda E. Franklin, SSA with piano
Sara Teasdale’s poem about the gift of love throughout our lives is set for SSA voices and perfect for any women’s ensemble or choir. The melodic line weaves up and down throughout the piece, gathering harmonies and supported by a delicate piano accompaniment.

I’ll Tell My Ma arr. Erik Jones, SSAA with body percussion & optional piano
A guaranteed showstopper! This playful Irish children’s song has been set with rousing clapping and stomping to reflect how it might have been sung by children during their playtime. The vocals are set in a simple homophonic style, which makes the body percussion achievable. Can be performed with or without piano. Don’t miss this fantastic concert closer!

leon-522791Laudamus! by Ken Berg, 3-part treble a cappella with djembe & egg shaker
Detailed performance notes and teaching concepts included on the inside front cover make this the perfect vehicle for introducing Latin texts. The easily identifiable sections lend themselves to discovering song form and thematic importance. Rhythmic motives contrast with legato themes and the overall effect is one of praise and joy.

Sing to Bring Us Together by Jim Papoulis, SSA with piano, djembe & shaker
Acceptance and unity, even through our differences, are an essential part of our evolving world. Here is a powerful and uplifting song commissioned by Plymouth, Massachusetts and Plymouth, England as these two schools came together to celebrate and model unity in the world.

Now Spring In All Her Glory by Emily Crocker, 3-part treble with piano
The beauty and freshness of spring bursts into being with this exuberant original for treble voices. A vibrant theme lends itself to call and response, imitation and variation over a buoyant piano accompaniment contrasting with a more subdued middle section. An ideal concert and festival selection for developing choirs in middle and high school.

Contact us for more creative ideas, and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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.

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