News & Views Friday, February 28, 2020

Suggestions for Choral Adjudications 2020 Friday, January 10, 2020

recommended by Jen Sper and Lora Moore, School Choral Music Specialists

canticum novum ivo antogninifor SATB Ensembles
Canticum Novum by Ivo Antognini, SSATB divisi a cappella
Here is an exciting rendition of the Cantate Domino Latin text by Ivo Antognini. This setting explores rhythm and texture as it weaves through various time signatures. A fantastic concert opener!

Your Beauty Is the Song by Molly Ijames, SATB divisi with piano
A hushed, exposed choral introduction blossoms into a sublime concert work for choirs who seek artistic literature. The men introduce the main melody in stunning four-part harmony, before the women join at the first chorus. With artful divisi writing and many moments of unbridled emotion, this work is sure to become a choral classic.

welcome sweet pleasure thomas weelkes christy elsnerWelcome Sweet Pleasure by Thomas Weelkes/arr. Christy Elsner, SATB a cappella
Lilting and dance-like, this popular Weelkes madrigal will be a delight to learn and perform with SATB choirs, especially developing choirs being introduced to the genre. With its brisk tempo, dynamic contrasts and flirtatious text, this is a wonderful teaching and performance piece for any program.

Let the Song Begin by Donald Moore, SATB a cappella
The ultimate original madrigal for any choir. Independent vocal lines, terraced dynamics, and a joyful “music” text create an ideal teaching piece that works well as a concert opener or an a cappella feature.

ave regina caelorum joni jensenfor Treble Ensembles
Ave Regina Caelorum by Joni Jensen, SSAA a cappella
Series editor Joni Jensen here becomes the composer as well. Written to be premiered at the 2019 National ACDA conference, this piece draws on a traditional Latin text but explores a contemporary harmonic language.

Dayung Sampan arr. Darius Lim, SSAA a cappella
“Dayung Sampan” is a Singaporean folk song brought to the country in the nineteenth century from Indonesia. Written for an advanced women’s chorus, this exciting uptempo work will be a fun challenge for your singers.

shenandoah victor c. johnsonShenandoah arr. Victor C. Johnson, SSA with piano & optional oboe
A plaintive oboe solo floats above an expressive piano accompaniment in this inspired arrangement of the much-loved American folk song. Featuring unique harmonic twists and turns, and a gradual broadening of the original melody that mimics the movement of the river itself. A refreshing reimagining of a treasured classic.

Exsultate Deo! by Greg Gilpin, SSA with piano
This exhilarating concert/festival original works equally well as an opening or closing number. Featuring a celebratory Latin text, it begins with a declamatory vocal introduction which then moves into high gear showcasing driving rhythms and multi-meters in both voices and piano. The more legato middle section provides an interesting contrast before returning to the main theme, transitioning to an uplifting key change, restating the declamatory section and pulling out all the stops for a dynamic conclusion. Teaching moments abound in this exciting work for developing choirs.

ave generosa ola gjeilofor Tenor/Bass Ensembles
Ave Generosa by Ola Gjeilo, TTBB a cappella
This setting of Hildegard von Bingen’s “Ave Generosa” text uses a hauntingly joyful tonality, paying homage to the mysterious story of Mary. A beautiful middle section is surrounded by contrasting, modal beginning and ending sections. The juxtaposition of sustained and moving moments holds true to the composer’s style, while the harmonic structure and vocal construction offer something very fresh.

Vanitati Enim Creatura by Richard Burchard, TTBB a cappella
Written for the University of Kentucky Men’s Chorus, Jefferson Johnson, Director for the 2018 ACDA Southern Division Conference, this is a striking piece for men’s choir. The text, in Latin, from Romans, is a vibrant description of creation’s struggle. The music is rich and expressive.

there is sweet music here greg gilpinThere Is Sweet Music Here by Greg Gilpin, TBB with piano
Lush and lovely with text by Lord, Alfred Tennyson, Greg Gilpin has penned a very expressive work that delivers a wonderful example of word painting by the poet. Gilpin achieves a high level of musicality without demanding extreme ranges in any voice part.

Gloria Patri et Filio by Antonio Vivaldi/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen, TBB with piano & optional cello
From master composer Antonio Vivaldi’s “Laetatus Sum” (a setting of Psalm 121), this edition brings the brief work to today’s choirs. Featuring an accessible Latin text and a lively optional cello part, this well-crafted arrangement is an ideal introduction to many of the conventions of Baroque style, including terraced dynamics and the alternation between a small group (or soloist) and the full ensemble.

“Program with the pros” by contacting us to brainstorm more ideas for your ensemble, 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.

Lora Moore joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2018. A former middle school and high school director of 32 years, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Choral Music from Capital University and a Master’s of Arts in Choral Music from The Ohio State University. Currently she is a church choir director, operates a private voice/piano studio and is active as a clinician and accompanist. During the off hours, Lora enjoys scouting out new day trips in Ohio to balance what her budget allows for her frequent trips to New York City to visit family and take in a Broadway show or two!

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