truly brave

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

If you haven’t read our post about how we pick choral promotions, you might not know that Jen and I spend hours and hours listening to new choral music each year. The publisher with the largest number of new issues is Hal Leonard, with 230 new pieces this year. As you can imagine, it’s quite daunting to start on this bin full of music, which is often still in manuscript form. The pieces are sent in alphabetical order, so by the time we got to “Truly Brave,” we were feeling more than a little jaded.

Even so, about 2 pages into this song, both of us were crying. Yes, it really is that good. Inspired by patients fighting childhood cancer, Hoda Kotb of “The Today Show” brought together Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to create this mashup of “Brave” and “True Colors.” I’m not generally a fan of mash-ups, but these two songs fit together so effortlessly that it never feels forced or jerky. It doesn’t hurt that both songs are also great in their own right. If you only find room for one pop selection in your program this year, it should be “Truly Brave“!

Looking for an even more meaningful experience for your students?  You could try…

  • Doing this with combined choirs. It’s available in SATB, 3-Part Mixed and 2 Part, so you could teach it to your groups of all levels and put them together. No room for all those kids on the stage? No problem – spread them out around the auditorium for a surround sound experience!
  • Dedicating this piece to a particular student (or students) in your program or school that is/are fighting their own battle, be it with cancer or anything else. Allow your students to make the personal connection and you’ll create a moment they won’t forget.
  • Asking your students for input about what they think it means to be “Truly Brave.” They could give you letters, essays, pictures or anything that you can use to create a slide show. Project this during the concert, and you won’t have a dry eye in the house!

About the Authors:

Rachel Steele has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013. She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University. Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


Categories: Music Education, School Choral, Staff Picks, Stanton's Spotlight, Teacher Materials

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