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First-Semester Compositions for K-12 Choir

Titles Level Voices Composers/Arrangers
Vocal skills and
concepts
The Sally Gardens
Children
Elementary
Unison Benjamin Britten
Phrasings
Open vowels
Ending consonants
Yesu Ni Wangu
Children
Elementary
SAB Ruth Morris Gray
Swahili text
Call and response
Listen to My Song Middle school SAB Andy Beck
Call and response
Homophony
Ending consonants
Open vowels
Domine Deus Middle school
Three parts
SAB
Sally K. Albrecht
Latin text
Phrasings
Homophony
Complex meter
Will There Really Be a
Morning?
Middle school
Two parts
SSA
Mary Donnelly
George L. O. Strid
Meaningful text
Homophony
Leaps
Ending consonants
Diphthongs
Phrasings
Drink to Me Only with
Thine Eyes
Middle school
Junior high
Three parts
SAB
TTB
Lon Beery
Ending consonants
Homophony
Open vowels
There Is No Rose of
Such Virtue
Junior high
High school
SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Polyphony
Phrasings
Suspensions
To Everything There Is a
Reason
High school SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Complex meter
Mixed meter
Suspension
People Look East High school SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Ending consonants
Phrasings
Homophony
Diphthongs
Let My Prayer Rise
Before You as Incense
High school SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Hemiolas
Octave leaps
Mixed meter
Some Additional Pieces of Value:
Titles Level Voices Composers/Arrangers
Vocal skills and
concepts
A Mozart Canon
Children
Elementary
Three parts
SAB
Donald Moore
Latin text
Phrasings
Canon
Riversong
Children
Elementary
Two parts Andy Beck
Syncopations
Homophony
Ending consonants
Star Dance
Elementary
Middle school
Three parts
SAB
Janet Gardner
Ending consonants
Homophony
Under Winter Moon Middle school
Three parts
SAB
Andy Beck
Entrances
Homophony
Sans Day Carol
Middle school
Junior high
SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Phrasings
Homophony
Celebrate and Sing!
Junior high
High school
Three parts
SAB
Laura Farnell
Mixed meter
Ending consonants
Call and response
Homophony
Hush! My Dear, Lie Still
and Slumber
High school SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Texture
Phrasings
Ubi Caritas High school SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Homophony
Latin text
Flipped “r”
Phrasings
Christ, Victorious; Christ,
Now Reigning
High school SATB Stephen Carraciolo
Phrasings
Polyphony
Leaps
Vocal Skills and Concepts:
1. The Sally Gardens:
 Phrasings: conducted, taught by demonstration, and by speaking the text with hyper-
inflection
 Open vowels: taught by demonstration, by warm-up descending scale exercise on
pure vowels, and by singing while imagining having hot potatoes
 Ending consonants: conducted, taught warm-up consonant exercise with [sh], [f],
[ts], [k]
2. Yesu Ni Wangu:
 Swahili text: taught by demonstration, by speaking the text with hyper-inflection, by
explaining the meaning of the text
 Call and response: taught by demonstration
3. Listen to My Song:
 Call and response: taught by demonstration
 Homophony: taught by explaining the role of each voice and by emphasizing moving
notes
 Ending consonants: conducted, taught warm-up consonant exercise with [sh], [f],
[ts], [k]
 Open vowels: taught by demonstration, by warm-up descending scale exercise on
pure vowels, and by singing while imagining having hot potatoes
4. Domine Deus:
 Latin text: taught by demonstration, by speaking the text with hyper-inflection, by
explaining the meaning of the text
 Phrasings: conducted, taught by demonstration, and by speaking the text with hyper-
inflection
 Homophony: taught by explaining the role of each voice and by emphasizing moving
notes
 Complex meter: conducted, taught by explaining beat and meter, and by counting
subdivisions
5. Will There Really Be a Morning?
 Meaningful text: taught by demonstration, by speaking the text with hyper-inflection,
by explaining the meaning of the poem
 Homophony: taught by explaining the role of each voice and by emphasizing moving
notes
 Leaps: taught by thinking ahead/audiate, by yawning into the note, by holding a note
and ascend/descend when conducted, and by warm-up octave descending/ascending
exercise on [u] and [a] vowels
 Ending consonants: conducted, taught warm-up consonant exercise with [sh], [f],
[ts], [k]
 Diphthongs: taught by explaining vowels, by demonstration, and by holding a note
and change the text when conducted
 Phrasings: conducted, taught by demonstration, and by speaking the text with hyper-
inflection
6. Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes:
 Ending consonants: conducted, taught warm-up consonant exercise with [sh], [f],
[ts], [k]
 Homophony: taught by explaining the role of each voice and by emphasizing moving
notes
 Open vowels: taught by demonstration, by warm-up descending scale exercise on
pure vowels, and by singing while imagining having hot potatoes
7. There Is No Rose of Such Virtue:
 Polyphony: taught by explaining the role of each voice, by emphasizing moving
notes, entrances of voices, and by listening to other voices (using mixed formation)
 Phrasings: conducted, taught by demonstration, and by speaking the text with hyper-
inflection
 Suspensions: taught by leaning on the dissonance and release on the resolution of
suspensions, and by explaining the concept of suspensions
8. To Everything There Is a Reason
 Complex meter: conducted, taught by explaining beat and meter, and by counting
subdivisions
 Mixed meter: taught by demonstration, and by counting subdivisions
 Suspensions: taught by leaning on the dissonance and release on the resolution of
suspensions, and by explaining the concept of suspensions
9. People Look East
 Ending consonants: conducted, taught warm-up consonant exercise with [sh], [f],
[ts], [k]
 Phrasings: conducted, taught by demonstration, and by speaking the text with hyper-
inflection
 Homophony: taught by explaining the role of each voice and by emphasizing moving
notes
 Diphthongs: taught by explaining vowels, by demonstration, and by holding a note
and change the text when conducted
10. Let My Prayer Rise Before You As Incense
 Hemiolas: taught by explaining beat and meter, by demonstration, and by rhythmic-
warm-up exercises (having a voice on duple meter and another on triple meter)
 Octave leaps: taught by thinking ahead/audiate, by yawning into the note, by holding
a note and ascend/descend when conducted, and by warm-up octave
descending/ascending exercise on [u] and [a] vowels
 Mixed meter: taught by demonstration, and by counting subdivisions

Interview Question
Job Interviewer: Can you name for me two or three pieces that you think are particularly well suited for
middle school/jr. high school choirs, and tell me why they are good for this age group?
Me: These pieces are “Will There Really Be a Morning” (WTRBAM) composed by Mary Donnelly
and George L. O. Strid and “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes” (DTMOWTE) arranged by Lon
Beery. WTRBAM’s and DTMWTE’s range spans roughly more than an octave (suitable for
changing voices), do not have high vocal demands and stays predominantly in the medium
tessitura(suitable for first semester composition). They also allow for switching of parts and can be
applied to multiple types of choirs (SA or TB for WTRBAM, SSA or TTB for DTMOWTE);
DTMOWTE’s low part also has an ossia for singers who can sing the notes. They have meaningful
and beautiful texts; WTRBAM is based on the text of Emily Dickinson which talks about the
yearning for hope and DTMOWTE is based on a poem “Song to Celia” which talks about marriage.
They can also be used to teach different essential vocal skills, including homophonic singing, leaps,
ending consonants, diphthong formations, open vowel formations, and ending consonants.