Richard Wilbur, a Poet Laureate of the United States, evokes an image of the Statue of Liberty at the beginning of his poem “Immigrants Still“. His words were set musically by Kenneth Fuchs in a work for SSAATB that was commissioned by the Oklahoma Choral Director’s Association. It’s a piece full of lush harmonies and interweaving, lyrical lines. There’s a slightly minimalist feel to some of the textures Fuch’s composed, allowing for subtle harmonic nuances to be beautifully expressed as only the human voice can do. The last lines of Wilbur’s poem states…
“We are immigrants still, who travel in time,
Bound where the thought of America beckons;
But we hold our course, and the wind is with us.”
You can browse through the first seven pages of the score here.
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.”
Does your chorus yawn when they sing about “the rockets’ red glare” and the “bombs bursting in air”? If so, then perhaps your ol’ stand-by arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” just isn’t cutting it anymore. Might be time to update your library with Brian Throckmorton’s clever re-imagining of this patriotic song. It has very subtle “twists” that will put more fireworks into your performance and engage your audience’s ears!
Throckmorton’s “Star-Spangled Banner” is available for men’s, women’s/children’s and mixed choruses (all a cappella). Click on previous links to view a PDF of the first two pages of each score.
Star-Spangled Banner (men’s)
Star-Spangled Banner (children’s)
Rachmaninov’s devastatingly beautiful VESPERS continues to be one of the most famous and popular early 20th century a cappella choral works. A difficult work to sing in toto, but one of the set, “Bogoroditse Devo” has been one of the ones most commonly sung alone. Now, Yelton Rhodes has a men’s setting by the brilliant composer/arranger Steve Milloy that will move your chorus and audience alike. You’ve got to have a bass that can sing a low D for the final chord.
Bogoroditse Devo (men’s chorus). View the first two pages of the score by clicking on the link.