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Jennifer Burri

IMEA Reading Session : Junior High Reading Session January 15,2016


Clinician Mr. Joshua Hren
The first piece read in the session was Afternoon on a Hill by Mary Lynn Lightfoot.
The piece was read with little error, most likely because of the stepwise motion and repetition in
the piece. The overall piece was optimistic. The accompaniment was relatively simple. The piece
also comes in an SSA version, and I could see myself programming that version in a spring
concert.
The next piece that was read was called Artza Alinu which is an Israeli Dance Song.
This was such a fun song to read through! The accompaniment was upbeat and made me want to
dance. The tralala part was a bit tricky to read through for the group. In a classroom setting this
could be rehearsed and broken down in a way that simplified the song. I would definitely
program this piece, since I had so much fun singing it.
Eatnemen Vuelie was the next song that was read through. This piece is a Silesian Folk
melody. The group that sight-read this piece struggled from the start, with language and rhythms.
Because of the pieces difficulty, I would have a hard time programing this piece. There were
moments of this song that I liked, but the song was much too difficult for Jr High and even adult
music teachers.
I Never Saw a Moor by Victor C Johnson was sung through successfully by the group.
The song was repetitive, and had a simple accompaniment. I personally wouldnt program this
piece because of the words. In this piece the word moor used to mean land. But I have also seen

the word used to mean a Muslim person from Africa. I just wouldnt want the confusion in a
concert. Also, I personally don t love the music.
Keep your Lamps trimmed and Burning by Greg Gilpin was next piece sung through in
this reading session. This piece was memorable and fun to sing! The bass part stayed in a very
safe range for boys with changing voices. The soprano line goes to an F with is a little high for
middle school girls, but doable since you would only need one or two sopranos singing that high
for the note to carry. The piece has repeating melodic ideas that would be easy to teach and learn.
I would definitely program this piece for a concert.
Je Ne Fus Jamais Si Aise by Pierre Certon, fell apart in the reading session at IMEA.
The French is an obvious barrier for music making. If I programmed this piece for a group, there
would need to be a significant amount of time spent working on the French pronunciation. The
flute and drum solo is a nice addition to the piece since the lyrics say, Let the music take away
all sadness with the sound of flute and drum.I would program this piece if I had an advanced
middle school choir who needed a musical challenge.
Prayer of the Children words and music by Kurt Bestor, Arranged by Mark Hayes is an
intense emotional piece of music with a Christian centered message. One of the lines from the
song was, Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate, blood of the innocent on their hands. Cryin
Jesus, help me to feel with the sun again upon my face. Under Jesus, there is in parenthesis the
words who will. By taking away the word Jesus, the song does become less Christian centered,
and allows interpretations for the idea of prayer. This song is an intense emotional rollercoaster,
and Im not sure I would put it into a concert. The message could be construed as political or
religious and ultimately controversial in a school concert setting. I think there are other songs
that inspire the same message of peace.

Steal Your Rock N Roll is a choral arrangement of a song from the Musical,
Memphis. The reading of this piece didnt go so well in the reading in session. The piece is
long, with some difficult harmonies, and a high soprano solo line. I would not program this piece
in a concert.
Teach Me with a Song by Sue McTigue was a piece written in honor of students who
have special needs and want to participate in music. The song is very literal. The words are
simple but the melody was a little difficult. The group was not successful in sight reading this
piece. As a group we stopped a few times and had to hear certain sections played before being
able to read it. I love the sentiment of the piece, but the execution was not so great. I would not
program this piece.
Appalachian Dances arranged by Cristi Cary Miller is a collection of well-known
Appalachian folk songs including Wayfaring Stanger, Sourwood Mountain, Cumberland Gap,
Cotton Eye Joe and Cindy. The arrangement is only 3 minutes long and a very simple 2 part
harmony. The harmonies move mostly stepwise, which would be great for a beginning middle
school choir or a struggling high school choir. I think this is a great arrangement of folk songs to
introduce students to Appalachian folk music. I would definitely use this arrangement in a
concert.