I’ve been teaching a new course, an honors seminar combining a yoga mat practice with the study and application of core yoga principles and readings to develop a “toolbox” for students to navigate their college life and beyond, as they build careers and develop as leaders and humans. Though we are just beginning this journey […]
#74: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
“Controlled Burn” by Dessa and Jocelyn Hagen
SSA, string quartet, piano
This work is part of a Graphite Publishing Collaboration project – involving cooperative artistic endeavors from Dessa and Jocelyn Hagen. Dessa is a singer, rapper, and hip-hop artist; Jocelyn is a composer, theorist, and performer. Together, they created this piece for accompanied choir titled “Controlled Burn.”
#73, “Ave Maria” by B. E. Boykin
SSAA, a cappella
I wrote about a different work by composer Brittney Boykin in December 2020, and have been interested in her work ever since. I have recently been perusing her catalog for multi-part a cappella rep, and her Ave Maria caught my attention.
“Where the Light Begins” by Susan LaBarr
Text by Jan Richardson
Everyone’s choir plans are different and in flux right now (#coviddelta). No matter what your fall looks like though, I’m hopeful this selection will be universally helpful. It is a hauntingly beautiful piece, with relatable text (especially now!), fluid vocal lines, supportive piano accompaniment, (pleasantly) repetitive structure, and multiple avenues for music literacy tie-ins. I look forward to putting this on whatever concert I get to program first — whenever and wherever that happens to be.
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They Can’t Put it Back: A Choral Trilogy of Appalachian Poems about Environmental Degradation
Mary E. Simmons
SSAA, a cappella
Today, May 19, is Commencement Day at Hollins University for the Class of 2021. In honor of that, I’d like to present a new work by a graduating senior music major – a set we would have sung on our spring concert and at her senior recital, had either of those two events been able to occur as usual. This work is a choral trilogy for treble voices, focusing on the environmental devastation and effects of mining in the Appalachian region. The poetry is from three Appalachian poets, and come from the anthology “Coal: A Poetry Anthology,” edited by Chris Green (2006).