Berkshire Choral Festival
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SAB: SAB favorites




Thank you to all who responded on my request for a favorite SAB
number - your responses were great! The compilation is as
follows:


Shenandoah arranged by Linda Spevacek. Great piano part, too.

For fun, try Pete Schmutte's arrangment of "Manhattan Melodies"
It's a medley of Forty-Second Street, New York New York and
Lullabye of Broadway.


Veni Sancte Spiritus, by Jerry Estes is excellent, as long as latin
isn't a problem. My experience with the piece was with an eighth
grade choir. It is minor key, fairly slow tempo with opportunities for
nuances.


One happens to be a song I wrote based on a Georgia Sea Islands
spiritual (Yonder Come Day)...quite easy for three parts.
On the other end of the difficulty spectrum is Carlos Abril's
arrangement of the old Cuban criolla, El Mambi. Not tremendously
difficult, but not easy (appropriate for honor choir or select or
chamber choir)...in Spanish, fabulous, very typical Cuban setting.

Around the Campfire: Three Israeli folksongs is very lively and
flexible in terms of parts, not too challenging but enjoyable.

Dowidzenia is a round in easy Polish (farewell my friend until we
meet again) to be sung acappella or with piano/recorder
accompaniment. Very modal sound.

Coast Salish Medley is six traditional bone game songs from the
NW Coast Indians...3-part treble or mixed choir, percussion. Lively,
can become raucous in a fun way if you use the bone game with it
in performance.

Somagwaza is a South African coming of age song. Take it as
written and create a longer arrangement with the students' ideas.
Judith Cook Tucker


"Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John (SAB & piano) 4:30 by John Biggs


Allen Pote The Lord Is My Shepherd

Come and Be Joyful Vivaldi (arrangement for SAB of Gloria)

Come My Way, My Truth My Life (to the tune Scarborough Fair)
arr. by Richard Delong

Alleluia by Edward Harris


Rise And Shine by Todd Jolly
SAB Mixed Voices and Piano
Pavane Publishing (Intrada) P1025


If you are looking for a "winner" that is not too difficult, or if you
know there are not many in the baritone section, a recent gospel
arrangement of the Spiritual "Shine On Me" by Rollo Dilworth is
great. It is published by Hal Leonard # 08551557 My kids love it!


I use a lot of SAB music with my freshman choir. I have found the
following editions to work well Sansa Kroma--Felicia Sandler Blue
Moon-- (Not sure of the arranger, I think it's Roger Emerson) Poor
Wayfarin' Stranger Mairi's Wedding--Bob Chilcott Non Nobis
Domine--William Byrd (this piece is standard repertoire for my
Freshmen/women) Canon(fuga a tré) Praetorius Follow the Drinking
Gourd-- (again not sure of the arranger)


Alexander's Ragtime Band SAB--Berlin/Wagner, pub. Coronet or
Play for Me A Simple Melody SAB--Berlin/Shaw, pub Hal Leonard
Both are easily put together, yet have a nice choral sound and the
kids, (7th/8th graders) like them.


I'm having great success with an sab arrangement of the Vecchi
"Fa una Canzone" (there's a very little bit of divisi into tenor and
bass, but very easy--open fifths, repeated). Also, Stephen
Hatfield's "When It Was Yet Dark" is absolutely beautiful (B&H).


"This Little Light of Mine" published by Hal Leonard and arranged
by Neil Johnson has been a proven winner for 24 years. It has
never failed (that I know of) at any festival. The 3pt Mixed version
has sold over 200,000 copies so there must be something to it. (I
am not just saying this because I arranged it.) Good luck.


Kyrie Eleison
by Eric Unruh
Augsburg Pub.
very lyrical, easy to learn


If you have questions on any of the suggestions, feel free to email
me...

Sheryl Snow
Dixie High School
ssnow(a)dhs.wash.k12.ut.us

on September 8, 2003 10:00pm
I am conducting a songfest for a district in PA.
SAB students about 30 minutes in length. 127 singers. I am looking for any suggestions that you might be able to offer. Help?
on August 17, 2004 10:00pm
I am new to teaching chorus in school and especially new to middle school voices ! I just don't know what is appropriate for the types of music. The music in the library is mostly SSA even though there are many boys voices who have changed. Am I wrong that SAB would be the best? And what does SA (c) B mean? I also have some young womens voices with low, very limited ranges.....seems to be all chest. Is this unusual?
on May 7, 2013 4:35am
-”Simple Gifts” 
    -SAB and Piano
    -American Shaker song, arr. Jay Althouse
    -Alfred Music Publishing, 2012
    -2:50
    -G Major, 2/2
    -Tempo: 60, Lightly
 
    This piece is a fairly common tune among American Folk tunes.  It has a light and     fresh feel to it, and this certain arrangement has a great upbeat tempo that keeps     the song interesting.  It is not an incredibly long piece so it will be great to draw     the audience in and grab their attention.
 
    For the Choir, this is a great song to re-enforce techniques of breathing and     breath management.  Since there are passages in this piece that are both short     and require breath pulsing, and also long sustained notes, it is important for the     singers to know how much breath they will need to use or save for a certain     phrase.
 
-”How Can I Keep From Singing?”
    -SAB and Piano
    -American Folk Hymn, Arr. Andy Beck
    -Alfred Music Publishing, 2008
    -2:57
    -G Major, 3/4
    -Tempo: 70, Hymn-like
 
    This is a great piece to sing as a second piece.  First of all, it contrasts greatly     from the first song.  It is a lot slower and mellower, and it also boasts of a lot of     sustained phrases.  Second of all, it sticks with the smaller theme of it being an     American folk song.  It depicts another aspect of American culture at some point     of its history.
 
    While the melody in this song is fairly easy and does not have very many big     leaps, the arrangement takes advantage of the word “flows” and depicts this     through the music.  Therefore, it is important that the choir works on developing a     good breathing technique and is able to sustain breath through longer sustained     passages.
 
-”Ah! Si Mon Moine Voulait Danser”
    -SAB and Piano
    -Folk song from Quebec, arr. Donald Patriquin (b. 1938)
    -Earthsongs 1970
    -2:46
    -G Major, 4/4
    -Tempo: 100, lively
 
    Waking the audience back up, this light and bubbly piece will once again keep     the audience engaged and entertained.  This song is also a folksong from     Quebec.  So, in keeping with our theme, we are leaving American folk songs     briefly, and traveling just over the border to Canada.
 
    The obvious challenge with this song is that it is in French.  The choir will have to     make sure that the diction is clear and uniform so that it sounds like the choir is     singing French and not some weird made up language. The choir will have to     take extra care to be uniform in their formation of vowels especially ones that are     not necessarily found in the English language.
 
-”Carrickfergus”
    -SAB and Piano
    -Irish Folk Song, arr. Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory
    -Caldwell and Ivory, 2009
    -4:48
    -C Major, 4/4
    -Tempo: 80, legato style
 
    We now take our audience on a trip overseas to Ireland.  Not only does this keep     the audience’s attention because this is an english song, but also we introduce a     soloist to come play with the choir.  It says in the music that the solo is written for     an oboe, but a violin could also play this part as well.
 
    As it says right in the beginning of the score, this piece relies heavily on a legato     style from the singers.  The teacher could work quite a bit with developing a     legato style and phrasing in this piece as parts overlap each other and are     sustained quite a bit.  Also, there are a lot of written in dynamic markings so the     choir can work a lot with adding dynamics to their phrasing.
 
-”Shenandoah”
    -SAB and Piano
    -American folk song, arr. Jeff Funk
    -Alfred Music Publishing, 1999
    -3:28
    -Eb Major, 4/4
    -Tempo: 69, Tranquillo
 
    This is a great piece to put in this part of the program because it is a very familiar     melody to a lot of people that many people love to listen to.  It also keeps in the     theme of the previous piece by keeping the mood of the program slow and     mellow.  
    
    The melody of this song for the most part is fairly scalar and not hard to reach.     However there are certain passages in the melody that have leaps of a 4th and     5th which could prove to be challenging to some students at this level.
 
-”All The Pretty Little Horses”
    -SAB and Piano
    -American folk song, arr. Andy Beck
    -Alfred Music Publishing, 2013
    -3:11
    -F Major, 4/4
    Tempo: 76, lullaby 
 
    This really switches things up for the audience as the arrangement for this piece     is very different than all the other folk melodies that the audience has heard so     far in this concert.  This arrangement is heavily jazz influenced not only in the     chord structure of the piece, but also with the swung rhythms throughout the     piece.  This could be a great opportunity to have a small jazz combo come out     and accompany the choir.
 
    The challenge of this piece is definitely the jazzy aspect.  There are some really     close harmonies in this piece, and the singers will need to have great intonation     within their section in order for the piece to sound good. This could also be a     great opportunity to introduce the concept of swung eighth notes.
 
-”Danny Boy”
    -SAB, Piano, oboe
    -Irish folk song, Arr. Brad Printz (1955-2005)
  • Heritage Music Press, 2004
    -4:15
    -Db Major, 4/4
    -Tempo: 60
    Despite the fact that this is a very sad song, this is a very familiar melody to the     audience and will be a great way to end out our program.  This is another     opportunity to bring back out another soloist on either oboe or also another     concert pitch instrument such as violin or even flute.
 
    Often with familiar songs, people learn the diction for singing the melody by     themselves and not in a choir.  Therefore, it would be really important to make     sure that the singers are using proper diction so that they can be understood as a     choir and not as a bunch of individual singers.  It would also be a great     opportunity to work on modifying the vowel.