recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist
The beginning of 2016 is a perfect opportunity to look back at what your students have learned so far this school year, and to look forward to the new and exciting musical challenges you will present to them in the coming months. As you prepare for your upcoming concerts, festivals, or adjudicated events, we recommend these repertoire choices, carefully chosen from many new and recent publications as the “best of the best!”
for SATB Ensembles
Jenny by Nick Myers
Fluid vocal lines and a sensitive text shine in this powerful, yet heartfelt, recollection of a loved one no longer here with us. Perfectly capturing the essence of love that lives forever, it is both touching and haunting at the same time.
Juravit Dominus by J.M. Haydn/ed. Martin Banner
“Juravit Dominus” was completed by Johann Michael Haydn in 1784 in Salzburg. This edition adheres closely to the autograph score, and is an excellent example of Haydn’s work and of the Classical period.
Carnavalito arr. Will Lopes
This Bolivian folksong is alive with rhythm and movement! Body and vocal percussion give this a cappella setting intensity and drive – a wonderful showcase for mixed choruses in school and community!
Evening Star by Victor C. Johnson
Soaring melodic lines, lush harmonies and an artfully crafted accompaniment grace this gorgeous piece, based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The Cello obbligato adds a special touch to this inspiring and reflective concert work. “O evening star, gently glowing star, fill our souls with peace tonight. Play for us the gentle strains of your symphony of light.”
for Women’s Ensembles
Rosas Pandan arr. George G. Hernandez
This Filipino or Visayan folk song is about joy and love. George Hernandez, conductor of the Saringhimig Singers from San Francisco has captured the native flavor in this rousing arrangement. Selected for the Ron Kean Multicultural series, high school and college choirs will love it.
Ride the Chariot arr. Stacey V. Gibbs
The spiritual comes alive with a plethora of upbeat rhythms and drama in this lively setting. As can be expected from Stacey Gibbs’s spiritual arrangements, a thrilling performance is sure to be given!
Drying Their Wings by Greg Gilpin
Greg’s stunning setting of the Vachel Lindsay poem features an expressive accompaniment that flows and weaves underneath the soaring melodic lines which seem to rise and fall, as if flying. This exquisite text allows for interpretation on many levels and sparks imaginative imagery. Also a wonderful teaching piece, it is a superb choice for concert or festival. A Learning Resource Page is included.
Holla Hi, Holla Ho! arr. Dave & Jean Perry
Arranger Jean Perry first heard this clever German folk song as a young girl singing around a fire at Girl Scout camp. It was so enchanting, she never forgot it. Now set for SSA voices, opportunities abound for teaching rhythmic precision, tonic, sub-dominant and tonic chord relationships, and independent part singing. A wonderful piece that will delight audiences and treble choirs of all levels.
for Men’s Ensembles
The Lone Wild Bird by Richard Burchard
Selected for the Georgia Music Educator’s Association High School All State Men’s Chorus in 2016, Richard Burchard has composed a sensitive and touching melody to this famous 19th century text. The harmonies match not only the text but Richard’s style of warmth. There is no divisi in this piece, it is consistently 4 part men – great for high school.
Hard Times Come Again No More arr. Alice Parker
One of the sweetest of Stephen Foster’s songs, balancing nostalgia with heartfelt lament. Seems made for male chorus, with the kind of piano or guitar accompaniment that would’ve been found in 19th century homes. Very accessible vocal writing with a simple accompaniment, making this a fantastic option for every men’s chorus.
Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi/arr. John Leavitt
From Vivaldi’s ever-popular Gloria, this is the joyous opening movement arranged for male voices. An excellent selection for concert or festival!
Goin’ Down to Cairo arr. Jeanne Julseth
Specifically designed for young men’s voices, Jeanne’s rousing, spirited arrangement features a vocal hoedown section which terraces the vocal parts one by one until there is a sense of vocal energy which demands a sudden ending to the frenzy. Several surprises occur along the way utilizing rhythmic repetition which is indicative of folk music. The tenor line resides within a cambiata register, staying true to the beginning stages of unchanged voices.
Click here for all of our suggestions for select pieces for adjudicated events – while we have specifically geared these selections to be appropriate for Ohio Music Education Association events, this quality repertoire is sure to be successful on any spring concert or other event as well! For even more recommendations, please contact us.
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.