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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Composition Spotlight: Do Not Stand at My Grave

Composition Spotlight ~ by Jack Senzig
(Each week we look at a piece of useful repertoire from the ChoralNet Community Composition Showcase.    A variety of voicings and levels of difficulty will be presented.  Enjoy!)
Level: High school sophomore Men’s choir and higher
Uses: Winter concert or Veterans Day
This piece would program well with:  Andrea Ramsey’s  Cover Me With the Night available from JWPepper or at Sheet Music Plus.
The Amarillo High School Bel Canto Men’s Chorus commissioned Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep  in memory of a graduate that gave his life fighting for his country.   Commemorating important events in the lives of our ensemble members is a first-class reason to commission a new work.  Janet Lanier tailored this week’s Composition Spotlight piece to needs of the commissioning choir.  Read the partial score (Note: Many composers choose to show only a partial score to prevent theft) and listen to the choir recording.  Right-click or control-click to open each in a new window.  (There is a delay before the recording will start)
A haunting piano accompaniment sets the tone of honor and compassion.   The writing is simple but not simplistic.   The well anticipated entrances for the singers add confidence in the singers and ease in execution.   The vocal writing belies the words borrowed from a poem by Mary Frye telling us not to cry.  Phrases like “I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints of snow” remind us of our loved one’s presence.  
(Original publication: September 30, 2012)
on September 30, 2012 10:36am
Thank you Jack for this review. I very much appreciate you taking a great deal of your time to go through the Composition Showcase offerings and writing reviews on them. I would like to clarify something in the review where you said "Many composers choose to show only a partial score to prevent theft".  I went through my correspondence with you about only offering a partial score and I said that I only wanted a partial score on the showcase because I don't even offer a full score on my own website but I do have recordings of both high school male performers and of adult male performers of the entire piece.  Perhaps I should have stated my main reason instead of you assuming that I was afraid of theft.  I have had Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep on my website for a few years now and have had many people purchase a perusal score from me. I just didn't feel it fair to those people that have paid for a score already to see the full score now available for free so I hope that the ChoralNet Community doesn't think I do not trust them. I just wanted to be fair to my customers. 
Janet Lanier
on October 1, 2012 7:03am
Thank-you for the correction. Copyright issues are such a part of the business of creating and distributing music that I doubt there is a ChoralNet user that is unaware of them. As I look through the plethora of quality repertoire in the showcase, I have found many pieces that have full PDFs and many that don't. In these first few reviews I am hoping that oir readers will take a deeper look at the Composition Showcase. I want them to know what to expect. Theft may be a strong word for illegal use, but it is a huge and real concern for many even if it is not the only one. The copyright issue is a difficult issue. I appologize for my error Janet. Thanks for the beautiful music you create!
on October 1, 2012 8:33am
Thank you Jack!
on October 1, 2012 7:16am
Janet:  Very Lovely!!
Tom Council
on October 1, 2012 8:33am
Thank you Tom!