A settingof the classic folk song, popular during the late 1950’s and 1960’s, recorded in various versions by Joan Baez, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, and Paul McCartney. The origins of the song are unclear, and it contains elements of a lot of different traditions. It is in turn sorrowful and hopeful. This setting features a rolling, syncopated piano part, and is within reach of most choirs. It is appropriate for both secular and sacred settings.
SSATB or SATB with Treble Choir, with piano and (opt. string quartet)
With music and words expressing determination to find a way forward after challenges, this piece reminds us that we “know what hope feels like inside,” and encourages us to move into the future “with purpose, with grace, the sun in my soul, golden light on my face.” It can be done with SSATB choirs, or a combined Treble and SATB choir, with piano and optional string quartet. Commissioned in celebration of Rainier Youth Choirs’ 15th Anniversary Season, Leora Schwitters, Founder and Artistic Director. Click here to learn more about poet Jordan Chaney.
The choral version of this piece from the song cycle for tenor, chorus, and piano. Heart-pounding, intense. “It is a condition of wisdom in the archer to be patient because when the arrow leaves the bow, it returns no more.” Sa’di
Composed for the Washington ACDA Summer Institute Commissioning Project, with a poem by Afrose Fatima Ahmed, this piece uses images of a bear coming out of hibernation and a conversation with a raven to explore societal changes, looking to the future with courage. “This morning the world cries out its song, I hope you opened your ears to hear it, too.” Click here to learn more about the poet.
Upper Voices, Lower Voices, or Mixed Voices with piano
“Glad that I live, am I!” This setting of Lizette Woodworth Reese’s poem is full of joy, hope, and positive energy, to lift up and inspire both your singers and audiences. A particularly effective piece for festivals and festival choirs. It is now available for Upper Voices, Lower Voices, and Mixed voices with Piano.
The energy, hope and positive energy in the poem is reinforced by the layered rhythms and syncopations in both the piano and voice parts. The poem is divided into three parts. The first part is an expression of the feeling of the joy of the natural world. The middle section explores in simple terms the cyclical nature of natural systems. When the musical material returns, it is both recognizable and developed a little more each time. The third section introduces the last lines of the poems as a mantra, repeated back and forth between two parts while a descant group soars above them.
A Little Song of Life
Glad that I live am I; That the sky is blue; Glad for the country lanes, And the fall of dew. After the sun the rain, After the rain the sun; This is the way of life, Till the work be done. All that we need to do, Be we low or high, Is to see that we grow Nearer the sky.