I spend a lot of time before every season listening and looking at music to try to make a balanced program that the kids will like, the parents will like and that we can handle. Since last spring, I haven’t had any help with a 65 piece choir, so I have to really be sure we can handle the parts. We also have to sing one piece for Veteran’s day, so we have a short season, given that we will have our concert at the beginning of December. That gives me some sanity to have about a month off before I start the next round of choir.
Here is my program for this semester with links to the pieces (most of them you can hear the whole piece) on the JW Pepper site:
My America by Joyce Eilers- Hal Leonard
I love that the kids can learn the traditional “My Country Tis of Thee” and that it is a partner song, making it very doable for us.
1. Good Cheer arr. By Audrey Snyder- Hal Leonard
This is a wonderful opening song. We will walk into the concert while singing this. Baroque instruments would be great, but I don’t think we can get anyone to do that without a huge effort. It would be really awesome though. We will have a hand drum with this.
2. Christmas Bells are Ringing by Mark Patterson- Brilee Music Publishing
This is a nice arrangement with a descant. Handbells would be nice with this. I’m working to figure out how to find some sort of bells for this.
3. Zumba Zumba arr. by Jill Galina- Shawnee Press
This is a religious song in Spanish and English. It has a nice calypso beat. The kids will love it. We will have fun adding instruments to this. I always have my 6th graders play instruments in the concert. It is a huge privilege for my oldest students.
4. Shining Star by Victor C Johnson- Heritage Music Press
This is a gorgeous song with parts that aren’t too hard.
5. Minka arr. by Greg Gilpin- Alfred Music Publishing
This is a wonderful Russian folk song
6. Walking in the Air by Howard Black, arr. by Snyder- Hal Leonard
This is a gorgeous song from the movie, “The Snowman”. I have always loved the music from that movie and look forward to doing it with the kids. I plan to show them the movie so they are familiar with the story. This is the one piece that doesn’t have a music clip.
7. The Night Before Christmas by Mark Weston- Heritage Music Press
This is a wonderful ending song but will be one of my most challenging pieces. It is the traditional “Night Before Christmas” poem with some “up on the housetop” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” mixed in. I love how it ends with “Merry Christmas”, making it a great ending piece. I am thinking of having an adult be Santa Clause and some kids act it out as well. We could have “Santa” give out a piece of candy to the kids in the audience at the end, but we would only have the acting out part at the night concert. It would be too much at our school concert during the day.
I am very excited for this concert. I start next Tuesday and have a lot of work to get ready to start.