Tag Archive: ensembles


Unfortunately due to job searching, interviews, and some family circumstances over the past few weeks I have been unable to write any posts lately. I am hoping to get back to posting again on a more regular basis. I will continue with writing recaps of sessions from PMEA 2011 and then am hoping to start a series of posts on job searching, applications, and interviews. One of the sessions I attended was a choral reading session. While this session does not offer many tips or suggestions for teaching, we sight-read many choral pieces that work great in many choral ensembles. Below are the pieces and basic information about each piece.

Choral Repertoire

2 Part

  1. Prepare Thyself Zion by Michael Burkhardt– For unison voices and optional C instrument part. Can be performed in either English or German.
  2. Clap Your Hands, Rejoice by Andy Beck-includes hand claps and choreography great for young voices.
  3. Ezekiel and David by Sally Albrecht– A traditional spiritual for young voices. Independent parts make it easy for young students to learn and perform. Also available in 3 part mixed.
  4. Shooting Star by Andy Beck– A lyrical piece for elementary students. Also has easy triangle and mark tree parts included.
  5. Ton The by Susan Brumfield– A very catchy and humorous piece that is easy to teach. For two-part treble and is also available in SATB. Includes optional xylophone and percussion parts.
  6. Ask the Moon by Thomas Ahlburn– A more intricate piece for 2-part treble voices. Includes optional percussion and string bass parts.
  7. Think On Me by James Mulholland– A more complex, beautiful lyrical piece for treble voices.
  8. Hot Chocolate by Andy Beck– A kid favorite piece that is great for the winter and holiday season.

3 Part

  1. The Snow Begins To Fall by Andy Beck– A lyrical winter piece for 3- part mixed voices. Also available in 2-Part, SSA, and SATB. A good piece for upper middle school choirs.
  2. Nutcracker Jingles by Chuck Bridwell– A holiday favorite that even high school students will enjoy. Also available for SATB.
  3. Furaha (Joy!) by Sally Albrecht– An energetic piece in Swahili, also available in 2 part and SATB.
  4. For the Trumpet Shall Sound by Sally Albrecht– A biblical inspired piece also available in SATB and SSA. A great piece to feature one of your outstanding trumpet players.
  5. Festival Sanctus by John Leavitt– A very complex piece with frequent changing meters. Also available in SSA, TTB, and SATB.
  6. Ring the Bells by Libby Larsen– An upbeat holiday piece for women’s voices. Very accessible for younger voices.
  7. The Pink Panther by Jay Althouse– a fun piece also available in SATB and is a great piece for teaching rhythms and scat singing.
  8. The Cuckoo by Robert Hugh– A fun and rhythmic piece that includes optional percussion parts and choreography. A great piece for advanced middle school choirs.


  1. Esto Les Digo by Kinley Lange– Based off of Matthew 18:19-20. A lyrical a cappella piece in Spanish.
  2. Make A Joyful Noise by Raymond Wise– An easy to learn piece that makes a great concert opener or closer.
  3. Steal Away by Howard Helvey– A religious piece with complex harmonies. Includes a Soprano Sax/Clarinet part and Violin or other C instrument part.
  4. I Carry Your Heart With Me by Randall Stroope– A musical setting of a poem by E.E. Cummings. Includes a violin solo part and is for a more advanced high school ensemble.
  5. Al Shlosha D’varim by Allan Naplan– A lyrical setting of the popular Jewish morality laws. Written in the form of a partner song with counter melodies.
  6. The Epitaph by Joseph Martin– Another lyrical piece that is good for working on teaching expression and dynamics. Includes and optional violin part.
  7. Ritmo by Dan Davison– A very challenging and rhythmic piece for SATB choir and 4 hand piano. This piece works best for an advanced/mature large choir.
  8. Vieni Nel Mio Cuore by Jonny Priano– An A Capella piece for very advanced choirs.A very challenging piece harmonically.

As I said, while this session didn’t really cover tips for teaching choral music it was extremely beneficial especially for me as an instrumentalist who is not extremely familiar with the choral literature. While there are hundreds of choral pieces out there to choose from these are just a few that experienced choral directors have found to be successful with their students. I hope you find the above list helpful whether you are a choral specialist, choral director, or undergraduate who isn’t as familiar with good choral repertoire. Happy singing!!


” Every student can learn, just not on the same day or in the same way.” George Evans

This past week was one of the toughest, but best weeks of my undergraduate career so far. I began taking over teaching responsibilities this week and by the end of the week I was teaching most of the classes including; elementary lessons, junior high band, 7th grade general music, and senior high band. It was an exhausting week both physically and mentally, but I enjoyed every minute of it. My co-op lets me be very independent and often stays in her office while I am rehearsing the different groups. At first this made me very nervous, but being independent is the only way to learn and get better. Below are some of the lessons I learned and challenges I faced this week while I was teaching. Continue reading