Massachusetts ACDA Summer Conference 2013 SATB Reading Session

Mallorie Chernin, Amherst College;
Sheila Heffernon, Northfield Mount Hermon School;

IN FLANDERS FIELDS, Christine Donkin (award winning Canadian composer and music educator as well as a creator of Tonic Tutor, a great web site for teaching ear training and theory).
Text: poem by Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872-1918)
Performing forces: SATB, a cappella
Publisher: graphite publishing, GP-DO19,; print on demand, $1.00
Summary: Strophic, homophonic, lovely setting.

CANTATE DOMINO, Vytautas Miškinis (b. 1954, Lithuanian composer who has been the Choir Director of theLithuanian Academy of Music and Theater Conservatory since 1985 and has also served as Artistic Director of the Ažuoliukas youth choir.
Text: Psalms 95 & 97
Performing forces: SATB a cappella
Publisher: Carus-Verlag
Summary: Piece is playful, syncopated, energetic and lighthearted at beginning and end with a slower, more lyrical middle section.

EREV SHEL SHOSHANIM (A Song of the Israeli Desert). Music by Josef Hadar (Israeli composer), arrangement by Jack Klebanow (music educator and arranger).
Text: Hebrew poem by Moshe Dor, one of Israel premier poets, (translation in score)
Performing Forces: SATB, piano accompaniment
Publisher: World Music Press
Summary: Lyrical, beautiful folk-like setting of the text. Lies well in all four voices.Makes the singers sound wonderful!

EVEN SUCH IS TIME, Bob Chilcott (b. 1955, British composer, former King Singer
Text: From “Nature, That Washed Her Hands in Milk,” a poem by Sir Walter Raleigh (1554–1618). This piece is a paraphrase of the final stanza. “That poem describes the relation between nature and time as the creator and the destroyer. The final couplet, which did not appear in the original version, lends the poem a much more optimistic (and religious) conclusion. It is believed that Raleigh made these revisions the night before he was executed for treason, crafting the poem as his own epitaph.” – Beccie Magnus AC ’13
Performing forces: SATB a cappella
Publisher: Oxford University Press

HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING, Arr. Daniel Graves, Professor at Earlham College (retired?)
Text: Traditional Hymn (authorship unknown/in dispute)
Performing forces: SATB
Publisher: Earlham College Choral Series/Quaker music repertoire
Summary: Aleatoric section mm. 59-74 using the melody. Hymn is often called a Quaker Hymn, but the music for it was written by Robert Wadsworth Lowry, a Baptist Minister.

love is as strong as death, Craig Sandford (b.1981, from New Hampshire, degree in composition from Hartt School of Music, teacher at Northfield Mount Hermon)
Text: Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (although order of verses changed)
Performing forces: SATB (minimal divisi)
Publisher: self published. Contact composer for permission to copy and perform;
Summary: Mixed meters, contrasting 6/8 and ¾, ABA structure with slow, legato middle section. Dissonance but not extreme.

I AM THE GREAT SUN, Jussi Chydenius (b. 1972, Finnish composer, arranger/composer, Member of the Finnish a cappella group Rajaton).
Text: Poem (written in 1957) by Charles Causley (1917-2003), English poet.
Performing forces:SATB a cappella
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Summary: Uses overtones (starts in alto and tenor), whispering, pointillism, mixed meter.

NORTHERN LIGHTS, Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978, Norwegian composer)
Text: Text is taken from Songs of Solomon but no real connection between text and Northern Lights.
Performing forces: SATB a cappella
Publisher: Walton
Summary: Northern Lights was inspired by the natural beauty of the Aurora Borealis. Lyrical, serene, mysterioso. Noting that “pulchra es” means “you are beautiful,” Gjeilo says he uses the text as an acoustic tool in order to serve the music.

GOING FOR WATER, Ron Perera (b. 1941, Professor Emeritus, Smith College, award winning composer)
Text: poem by Robert Frost; this is a piece from a collection “North Country,” settings of Five Robert Frost poems
Performing forces: SATB (divisi), piano accompaniment
Publisher: Pear Tree Press (Mr. Perera’s own company).
Summary: Ron Perera sets poetry with exquisite sensitivity to the text, the sounds of the words and the evolution of the poem. Good use of contrasting female/male voices. Some challenging harmonies. Wonderful piano accompaniment.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN, Rene Clausen (b. 1953, American composer, conductor of the Concordia Choir and professor of music at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
Text: poem by Robert Frost
Performing forces: SATB, piano accompaniment
Publisher: Shawnee Press
Summary: Sweet 12/8 alternative or accompaniment to the Thompson.

SONGS ETERNITY, David Brunner (b. 1953, prolific choral composer for all ages, types of choirs, Professor of Choral Studies at University of Central Florida),
Text: poem by John Clare
Performing forces: SATB (some divisi), piano accompaniment
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Summary: Sensitive setting of an interesting poem about songs and their place in history. Brunner knows the voice well and writes beautifully for it. Wonderful middle section to show off the males.

TSHOTSHOLOZA (Go Forward), arranged by Jeffery Ames
Text: South African song, Zulu and Ndebele dialects (translation in score)
Performing forces: SATB (divisi) with solo
Publisher: Walton
Summary: Call and response (soloist), syncopation, section with counterpoint not as difficult as it first appears. Originally a protest song sung by the miners in the northern part of South Africa, it became associated with the Freedom Fighters during apartheid. It is now sung as a joyous song throughout South Africa, taking the “Going Forward like a train” part to reflect the country’s ability to regroup through reconciliation. This song was made famous in America through the movie Invictus. Tshotsholoza was the theme song of the 1995 World Cup Rugby Championship games, which South Africa won, with their first fully integrated team.