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Creative Programming: For Building Community

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

As we move forward into 2021, we recommend these titles to build a sense of community within your Choral ensembles – whether in-person or remote!

I Will Sing by Michael Engelhardt, SATB with piano and optional rhythm
“What will I do with the portion given to me? I will sing.” This fantastic work, written in a gospel style with an ecumenical text that challenges each of us to make the most of the lives we’ve been given, is a perfect piece for any setting, and makes a great closer!

There’s Gonna Be a Homecomin’ by Kyle Pederson, SSATB with piano
An original work with a real spiritual feel, this piece is full of joy, with a text that celebrates the unconditional love of family and home.

This Is Who We Are by Mark Burrows, SATB with piano and djembe
“When we reach out to shine and share our light, we show the world that, together, we can do beautiful things. This is who we are!” This positive text would make a great theme song for choirs of all ages. The powerful setting features soloists, compelling harmonies that build in drama, and a djembe part to give it the modern world Music feel. Effective and important!

Crowded Table arr. Andrea Ramsey, SSA with piano and optional fiddle
In an easy swing feel, this country pop song from new supergroup The Highwomen delivers a powerful message for women and girls to band together and hold one another up. The optional fiddle adds a nice touch to the pretty choral harmonies in this poignant selection.

In Meeting We Are Blessed by Troy Robertson, TTBB a cappella with djembe
The use of a djembe imparts a traditional African feeling to this easy original a cappella work. The Gatsnahos text, inspired by John Donne, has a theme of friendship and unity that all can relate to. “We are met together and in meeting we are blessed. Peace in coming and in going, peace in labor and in rest…” This is accessible to choirs at many levels, and it makes a wonderful processional!

How Can I Keep from Singing arr. Matt & Adam Podd, SATB with piano and optional violin, cello, rhythm and percussion
This thrilling new arrangement by twin brothers Matt and Adam Podd was an internet sensation shortly after we were all quarantined due to the coronavirus. Drawing on friendships in the New York City Broadway, church and opera worlds, more than 120 world class singers and players came together to create the virtual choir and orchestra. In the final chorus, the arrangers very cleverly turn the iconic phrase “How can I keep from singing?” into “Keep Singing.” A message we all need to hear and remember during these times of isolation and at all times.

We Shall Overcome arr. Shelton Ridge Love, SATB a cappella
A strong, resolute setting of the familiar civil rights “marching song” vividly calls to mind the images which add depth of meaning and emotion to the notes sung. From the distant beginning to the powerful final statement, this arrangement calls us to stand with, and for, all those in the long fight for justice. This a cappella setting can be sung in any location.

Be Brave, Be Proud by Douglas Beam, 2-part treble with piano
“Be brave, be proud. Whatever you have to say, you say it loud.” This is a creative, heartwarming piece that uses text written by elementary School students. The words of these students will ring true for students everywhere, being an important message of courage and hope.

Music Is… by Andy Beck, 2-part with piano
Celebrating the many ways that music touches our lives, the lyrics of this piece were inspired by words from young singers. A spoken section in the middle offers an opportunity for your students to add their own thoughts, or use the provided script. The memorable piano accompaniment provides its own voice while supporting the tuneful lines, and an optional descant brings the final chorus to new heights. Program for Music in Our Schools month, for combined “pyramid” performances, as an advocacy anthem, or as a concert theme.

No matter what your in-person or remote teaching requires, 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!

This post first appeared on Stanton's Sheet Music – For All Your Sheet Music Needs. 1-800-42-MUSIC, please read the originial post: here

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Creative Programming: For Building Community


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