Pick Six By:

randy-schafer-144x180Randy Schafer


Repertoire and Resources Chair to High School Choral
Eagan High School



Loosin Yelav (The Moon Has Risen)

arr. Paul Carey

Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc. SBMP 698

SATB, piano, violin.

This Armenian folksong is published with the transliteration for the singers below the vocal line and the Armenian italicized above. The piece opens with a very expressive violin line. Your player should possess the ability to play very soloistically. The range is accessible for all four vocal parts. Once the students get used to the tonality they really start to dig into the expressiveness of the text.


Beati quorum via

C.V. Stanford

Boosey & Co. Ltd. M-060- 02504-4

SSATBB a cappella

A beautiful piece for teaching fluidity of line. Homorhythmic throughout until the last page where the staggered entrances highlight each of the sections leading to a very subdued final cadence. Beati is a great piece for working on the alignment of vowel spaces and unifying syllabic stress.


Gloria et honore

Johann Michael Haydn

Hinshaw HMC1556

SATB, keyboard

Being able to address the “architecture” of a piece of music has the potential to hook students who often feel overwhelmed by “what they’re supposed to feel” in the music. This a good piece for teaching classic period phrasing and how the melodic line dances from one note to the next. Conversations about the meaning of a dotted note in the classic period lend themselves to transfer of knowledge throughout the piece.


Earth Song

Frank Ticheli

Hinshaw HPC7098

SATB, a cappella

Students will enjoy digging into the harmonies of this piece. Though not out of reach for a high school choir, it’s a great piece for discussions about the choices composers make to paint their vision of the text. Encouraging students to try to get “inside the head” of the composer gives them the depth of learning we wish they had all the time.


Ce beau printemps

Mark Sirett

Boosey & Hawkes 48019886

SATB a cappella

This beautiful French text by Pierre de Ronsard is accessible for conductors who are less comfortable with French. Helping students to  understand why the mixed meter is necessary for capturing the text will enrich the learning of this piece and is well worth the time. Sirett has given very concise direction with dynamics and certainly helps the conductor with interpretation of the vivid text.


Yedid Nefesh (Beloved of My Soul)

Andrew Bleckner

Hal Leonard 48019682

SSATB a cappella

Set to a kabbalistic poem from the 16 th century, students will be drawn in immediately to the tonality of this Hebraic melody. The transliteration guide is reliable and the poem is not too wordy. The program notes in the front provide interest for learners who enjoy the “crafting” of poetry. Dissonances in the piece are easily approached and resolved. The audience will be struck by the colors created by the voices.