Pick Six By:
Repertoire and Resources Chair for Ethnic Music
St. Paul Como Park High School
A Dreamer’s Creed
Music by Rollo Dilworth
Words by Harold Childress and Virginia Warren
This piece is written in the gospel tradition and includes an accurate piano part. The text, taken from the motto of a Chicago school, provides inspiring thoughts on life and living: “We believe in the creation of inspired lives produced by the miracle of hard work.” A solo men’s section and a solo women’s section are followed by Dilworth’s signature style of building up by voice part.
African Processional Jambo rafiki yangu (Welcome, my friend)
Music by D.V. Montoya
Words by Carah Reed and D.V. Montoya
Pavane Publishing – P1197
Unison choir, SATB choir, tenor solo and percussion (a cappella) Sung in Swahili
VIDEO – Air Force Singing Sergeants
VIDEO — Middle and High School singers
This piece allows you to feature all your singers with both a unison and SATB choir singing together. Words of friendship, “always remember me and I will remember you,” are traded between the 2 choirs and the soloist. There is a great feature solo for tenor or soprano and choreography options make this an easy to learn, yet complex and interesting to hear piece.
KCumbia del sol, Traditional Colombian Dance
arr. Audrey Snyder
Hal Leonard, 00141688 – 2 part; 00141687 – 3 part mixed
VoiceTrax CD Also available
2-part and 3-part mixed available, Sung in Spanish and English
VIDEO — Choreography by John Jacobson
Of all the dances south of the border, the cumbia is probably one of the easiest to learn. Have a small group dance while the choir sings, or give them all some steps to do. Not much Spanish to learn here makes this a very do-able piece.
Okuyama Ni (In the Mountains Deep)
Music by Ruth Morris Gray
Words by Sarumaru Dayu (12th Century), poetic translation by Ruth Morris Gray
Shawnee Press, 35028170 – 2 part; 35028169 – 3 part mixed; Studio Trax CD also available
2-part and 3-part mixed available, Optional Flute and Percussion
Sung in Japanese and English
A lovely poem about autumn with a sensitive setting, Okuyama Ni, has an easy to interpret transliteration for the Japanese and the English translation is also sung. You could even make your task easier with these rehearsal tracks https://youtu.be/u19Y64YTPqY
Thanks HKMS Choir Resources.
Music by Paul John Rudoi
Text from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, 1.iii.28
Graphite Publishing, GP-R013
SATB choir with optional djembe, a cappella
Sung in Sanskrit
If you sang in the 2016 Director’s Chorus at Summer Dialogue, this piece needs no introduction. This song was commissioned by Philip Brown and Hopkins High School from our Minnesota neighbors at Graphite Publishing. My concert choir is currently working on it and love the sound – they say it sounds like the earth breathing. Rudoi has provided good guidance on pronouncing the Sanskrit.
A Navaho Prayer
Music by Cary John Franklin
Text from an anonymous Navajo prayer
Boosey & Hawkes, special order
SATB choir, a cappella
Another locally commissioned and composed piece, A Navaho Prayer is a lovely setting with gentle dissonance in the music and consonance in the text. While three churches commissioned this piece, it is suitable for any setting. My singers enjoyed this piece as an introduction to cluster chord and ostinato singing.