Randi Driscoll: Love Is Love

Publisher | choral music,gay & lesbian,love,men's,mixed,uu,women's | Friday, June 27th, 2014

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The year was 2008, a decade after Randi Driscoll had composed what matters, a beautiful and moving tribute to Matthew Shepard. The songwriter was troubled to see her home state of California embroiled in the controversial battle over Proposition 8 and was inspired to pen Love Is Love as a response.

“[The song was] written as I contemplated where we stood as a country ten years after Matthew Shepard’s death, but more importantly, where I envisioned we, as a society could grow and evolve to. It is my hope for a better tomorrow.”

She collaborated with Kevin Robison (with whom she also worked on what matters) to have the piece arranged for a performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. Tim McKnight then adapted Robison’s arrangement for mixed and women’s chorus.

As LGBT Pride Month draws to a close, and in celebration of the momentous progress that has been achieved regarding LGBT rights since the fateful passage of Prop 8 nearly six years ago, Yelton Rhodes Music is excited to announce this new addition to our catalog! Please note that the writers have graciously agreed to donate all royalties from sales of this choral arrangement to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

[excerpt from lyrics]
There’s a million voices singing by the river,
There’s a hundred lovers dancing in the sand.
There’s a bridge that brings the two sides together,
And a peace that paints the skyline of the land.

Oh, the candles on the water,
The colors of the rainbow light the sky.
Oh, bless all your sons and daughters
So they may never have to know
How hard we had to fight for Love.
Love is love is love is love.

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Download partial score PDFs of Love Is Love for men’s chorus, mixed chorus, and women’s chorus.

Here’s a recording of the solo version of Randi’s song (we hope to have a recording of the choral arrangement soon!):

[audio:http://yrmusic.com/html/audio/driscoll.randi/love.is.love.solo.mp3]

Karlan Judd: This Time Next Year

Publisher | choral music,composers,new year,uu,winter season | Friday, October 15th, 2010

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Yup… 2011. It will be here before you know it! Will your chorus be singing in acknowledgment and celebration of the new year?

Choral repertoire available for the topic of “new year” is unfortunately not that big at all. So, Yelton Rhodes was delighted to publish Karlan Judd‘s arrangement of the traditional tune “Auld Lang Syne” which features original lyrics by Glenn Geller. The piece is titled This Time Next Year, for solo, SATB and piano.

Karlan gives the following insight:

I don’t remember exactly what it was that inspired Glenn and I to write this song, but as I listen to it now I’m glad we did and it brings up some new feelings. With everything that is going on in the gay rights movement along with all of the recent horrible news about teenage suicides and gay-related attacks, it is easy to be angry about everything. It is easy to be angry at my family for their strong-held religious beliefs that call my lifestyle perverted, angry at politicians for not being brave enough to stand up for equality for all, angry at groups that seem to make it their mission to destroy us.

But, it is much much MUCH more important to remember the love that we share with friends and family, and to remember our desire to reach out to our fellow women and men and create relationships that bring us joy. I will not rid my heart of OUTRAGE at the mistreatment of myself or others. However, there is still love between me and my family, me and my friends on the right wing of politics, and hopefully between me and the people I meet every day. This song reminded me of the importance of cultivating this love within myself. I hope it can do the same thing for you and your chorus and maybe even your audience!

Currently the piece is only available for SATB voicing, but if you’re genuinely interested in having a men’s or women’s chorus perform it… leave a comment and we’ll try to convince Karlan to prepare an arrangement for TTBB or SSAA. Click on the links to view the first few pages and the last couple of pages of score.

This Time Next Year was premiered by the West Coast Singers. Here’s their performance (complete with a baby in the audience who decided to join the soloist) 🙂 :

[audio:http://yrmusic.com/audio/judd.karlan/this.time.next.year.mp3]

Michael Davis: Peace In Your Heart

Publisher | choral music,christmas (secular),men's,mixed,uu,winter solstice | Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

peace
It’s the first full week of October! Most choruses have already started their fall rehearsal season, many in anticipation of an upcoming holiday concert this December. Some of those choruses may still be figuring out their program… and that’s where this blog tends to come in handy! 🙂

YRM put out holiday samplers earlier this summer featuring all of our newest publications. This blog can go even further, however, in giving you a little additional insight to some of those pieces.

To start… I’d like to introduce you to a new YRM writer, Michael Davis, and his recently published Peace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol). This vibrant, up-tempo work has a touch of jazz attitude, and offers a positive message for the holiday season.

Michael shared the following thoughts about composing this piece:

I wrote Peace In Your Heart for the 2008 holiday carol competition sponsored by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. The theme was “peace” and I didn’t want to write the slow, pretty song with a flute solo that I imagined people would expect from me (I’m a flutist, LOL). I thought that there would already plenty of those kinds of songs on the program and that something with a little more attitude and bite would have a better chance of being selected.

My plan worked. It won, and they sang it more beautifully than I could ever imagine. Some people even told me it was their favorite song on the program (no small compliment with some of the master works the chorus sang on that concert).

I wanted to convey the message that embracing diversity could be a path to inner peace, but I didn’t want to preach. I think I achieved that by asking questions instead of issuing statements. Hopefully, I wasn’t too subtle. Above all I wanted to write a fun song. If it doesn’t make people move and smile, then I’d be very disappointed.

By the way, it looks a lot harder than it actually is because of the jazz/blues influence. One guy in the chorus told me it “scared” him when he first saw it, but the words flow with the music very well and when he figured it out it was a piece of cake.

I hope to see a video one day with lots of diversity and hilarious costumes.

Peace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol) is available in both SATB and TTBB voicings (click on the links to check out the first and last few pages of each score as PDFs).

Listen to Michael DavisPeace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol) as performed by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus:
[audio:http://yrmusic.com/audio/davis.michael/peace.in.your.heart.mp3]

John Shea: New YRM composer!

Publisher | choral music,composers,family,mixed,sacred,uu | Thursday, June 7th, 2007

John Shea

We’d like to officially welcome John Shea into the YRM “home” of composers!

John’s day job is as an associate professor of economics at the University of Maryland at College Park. He has a great passion for music as well, and has an active life as a composer and musician. He sings in his local UU choir and is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network. He has studied composition with Tom Benjamin, whom he considers a mentor in the world of choral music.

John writes appealing, tonal choral music featuring strong melodies and a variety of styles, including Latin jazz, gospel and pop. YRM is proud to publish two of John’s choral compositions:

A Mother’s Carol, for SATB chorus, bass (optional) and piano, is a jazz waltz setting of a text written by his wife, April Lee. The lyrics express a mother’s concerns and hopes for her newborn child. Click here to view the first six pages of the score.

When There is Light in the Soul, for solo voice, SATB chorus and piano, is a gospel-style waltz setting of a well-known Chinese proverb. Click here to view the first six pages of the score.

Georgeann Weaver: The Covenant

Publisher | choral music,composers,mixed,sacred,uu | Friday, May 25th, 2007

Georgeann Weaver
Georgeann Weaver took directly to heart the seven principles of the Unitarian Universalists when she composed “The Covenant.” This work for SATB and piano expresses the following sentiments which are applicable to many spiritual belief systems, not only to those of the UU:

• The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
• Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
• Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
• A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
• The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
• The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
• Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Peruse the first four pages of Georgeann Weaver’s “The Covenant.”

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