I spent days looking through the JW Pepper site and listening to music. I LOVE that they have clips for many songs! After selecting tons of great pieces, some which I am ordering for next year (too many great songs), I found what I think is a good program. I try to balance sacred, secular, Christmas, major, minor, and tempo (feel) of the songs. I also have to be careful to choose things my choir can handle that are not too hard.
We have a patriotic assembly in the Fall. I have chosen “A Patriotic Salute” published by Heritage Choral Series [JW Pepper #3294554].
I love to find great medleys so my kids can be exposed to many
different good songs. I also love the trumpet part and hope to be able
to snag a friend of mine to play. 🙂
With the patriotic assembly and less time in the Fall, it is difficult
to learn all of our songs, but somehow we do it. I have quite a bit of
minor songs in here, although some are both major and minor, but it
still feels like a good variety.
A Merry Merry Christmas [JW Pepper #10366601] – This is a great opening piece, a nice Major mode greeting, a nice bright and cheerful upbeat piece.
A Winter Carol [JW Pepper #3298587] – This is Huron Carol fro Canada and is in minor mode. It is a partner song, which makes it easy to learn. The website didn’t have much of a clip for this one, so I will get to discover the rest of it when the music comes. I am doing a “music around the world” theme this year, so I am excited to do some songs from other countries.
Festive Fa La La [JW Pepper #10047763] – This is VERY fun, a Christmas song, but with easy words to learn with the only words being fa la la. It is in both major and minor mode and has parts of the melody from “Deck the Halls”.
In Winter [JW Pepper #10028789] – This is a gorgeous song about Winter that is in both major and minor mode. I love that is has a solo in several places. This song has been stuck in my head so much since I first heard it.
Frosty Winter Snow [JW Pepper #100929821] – This is a Russian folksong that will be great for my “music around the world” theme this year. It is in minor mode and has a great Russian feel. I am really interested to see how the accompaniment sounds with piano when I get the music.
A La Nanita Nana [JW Pepper #10067774] – This is my one fully sacred song. It is a traditional Spanish carol and again fits with my “music around the world” theme. I love that this mixes a little Spanish with the English, although it is very little. I also love that it has some instruments with it. It is mixes major and minor mode.
Christmas in About 3 minutes [JW Pepper #3254208] Let me just say that I REALLY dislike the name of this song, but it is a great medley of many traditional Christmas songs, both sacred and secular. I love exposing the kids to many songs that they might not ever learn. It will be a great ending to our concert.
I may change the order or even switch out a song, but for now, I love my program. I am now ready to prepare them for teaching in a few weeks!