Pick Six By:
Repertoire and Resources Chair for SSAA Choirs
The College of St. Scholastica
Arr. Tracy Wong
Cypress Choral Music CP1537
SA (divisi), percussion
Venturing into Malaysian folk music is made accessible through this primarily two-part SA piece. Take care to plan for time in perfecting the movements before adding an additional layer of singing. The opening sustained drone is an excellent way to explore vocal placement, as well as singing confidently into dissonances. Movement and introductive material may present a challenge for singers (one which they’ll be proud of achieving), but beyond this is quite accessible in its canonic nature.
Santa Barbara Music Publishing SBMP 1053
Spring is in full focus with this catchy melody and underlying unexpected harmonic shifts. Singers will enjoy the beauty of this text and while continually taking care to constantly adjust in balancing to the melody. The continual pulse of the accompaniment propels the voices forward. Careful attention to the line is absolutely essential, as the nature of the melodic line can be lost due to unintended emphasis of lesser important words.
Gentry Publication JG2436
SSA, with soloist and piano
Fun and playful, Grases captures the story of a boy who doesn’t want to come inside from playing (and who ends up hiding at the end of the piece!). Relatively simple harmonies and diatonic throughout, Tottoyo has the perfect blend of accessibility and spirit for a younger ensemble ready to explore intermediate harmonies. Singers can readily be involved in the process of deciding how to tell the story by engaging the audience through movement.
Always Keep This Close
Zacharay J. Moore
Santa Barbara Music Publishing SBMP 1342
SSAA, piano, opt. strings
An excellent concert closer or graduation piece, the text reminds us of our interconnectedness to each other and our dependence on each other in finding ourselves. Careful attention to the subtle nuances of phrasing and chord balance is essential in allowing this piece to shine. Strong leaders in each section are necessary to execute multiple divisi, but it is a piece worth taking on, as challenging moments are weighted against unison melodic material in every voice throughout the piece.
Jim Papoulis, ed. Franciso Núñez
SSAA, djembe, agogo, shaker
SA (divisi), piano, percussion
An exciting celebration built on African, American, and Latin rhythmic roots. Primarily in Swahili, with a few Spanish phrases, this piece promotes the concepts of strength through listening to all and seeking change through the desire to be heard. The rhythms may appear intimidating at first, but are accomplishable if started slow. The opening placement of the [i] vowel encourages immediate and natural focus of tone that can be carried throughout the piece. This piece inherently demands utilizing the full range of the treble voice to create a successful performance.
Gardenia Bruce’s text provides a powerful opportunity for dialogue in the choral setting. Unison vocal lines breaking into poignant tertiary and quartal harmonies emphasize the text, allowing for singers to express meaning through weight, syllabic stress, and commitment to intensity. Part writing is accessible for intermediate level, creating a chance to discuss the meaning of beauty as an individual and within societal expectation at many levels. An exceptional piece in building tone.