Composer — Traditional Shaker Tune Arranger — Arranged and Adapted with additional lyrics by Rollo Dilworth Voicing + performing forces — SATB (with minimal divisi), accompanied Call Number — 4896 Level — Easy/Medium
Rollo Dilworth's The Gift to be Free is a great piece to start the year with a mixed choir. The melody is familiar to most and provides an opportunity to teach phrasing and restraint. In his arrangement, Dilworth has added gospel-style harmonies the gives choristers the opportunity to learn about stylistic colour. While the piece is rhythmically simple, there are great teaching opportunities related to precision and moments of silence. My choir has a lot of beginner singers in it and this piece has been incredibly unifying. This is a great piece for teaching choristers how to listen and feel in harmony and time simply.
This is a lovely setting of a folk song, including 4-part canon in one section; set In Hebrew and English; very lyrical piano writing and a wonderful (optional) flute part. We (Excentrica and Excentrica Women's Workshop Chorus) used it for Christmas and it could fit many situations. Easy for an accomplished chorus; a reasonable challenge and very satisfying in effect for singers with less experience; text and music overall very moving. [e – e’] range, aeolian mode (natural minor).
Composer — Daniel E. Gawthrop Voicing + performing forces — SATB/a cappella Call Number — 4151 Level — Easy/Medium
“Sing Me to Heaven” is one of my all-time favourite mixed choir selections. Not really for beginning choir, it is definitely accessible by more mature, experienced high school choral groups. The text speaks to the power of music and the composer reflects on how we seek solace in music during the various chapters of our lives (“If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby…. if you would win my heart, sing me a love song…. if you would mourn me, sing me a requiem…”). The melodies are accompanied by delicious harmonies and there are many opportunities to work on phrasing and rubato. High school conductors are encouraged to seek out this piece, dig deep, and enjoy!
Composer — Eric Whitacre Voicing + performance forces — SATB and piano Call number — 5133 Level — Difficult
Eric Whitacre's "little man in a hurry," with text by E.E. Cummings, is a fast-paced, driving piece for SATB + piano that depicts the hustle and bustle by big city living. Have you been looking for a part-reading and rhythmic challenge for your choir? Look no further. Whitacre perfectly balances "oven-mit" cluster harmonies and numerous metres (4/4, 9/8, 7/8, 11/8!) with a gorgeous "teneramente" middle section.
Borrow Whitacre's "little man in a hurry" from the Choir Alberta library today!