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"A Life in Song" Concert Theme

I'm planning a setlist for an SATB collegiate chamber group.  The theme the director and I have chosen is journeying through life with song, more specifically, music affecting each stage of life.  We have decided to end the concert with Sametz's setting of "I Have Had Singing," about a man on his deathbed that is content with his life because of the presence of song.  My job is to fill in the stages before death.  I am looking for rep of varied languages and styles to portray this theme.  Any suggestions?
on July 20, 2014 5:43am
I've got a piece called "One Boy Told Me," which is a collection of things the poet's young son said. It's a delightful piece for SATB and piano. Here's a link to a perusal score and recording.


Music lives inside my legs.
It's coming out when I talk.

There's a stopper in my arm
that's not going to let me grow any bigger.
I'll be like this always, small.

I'll invite a bee to live in your shoe.
What if you found your shoe
full of honey?

My tongue is the car wash
for the spoon.

Just think -- no one has ever seen
inside this peanut before!

When I grow up my old names
will live in the house
where we live now.
I'll come and visit them.

What does minus mean?
I never want to minus you.

I do and don't love you --
isn't that happiness?

- Naomi Shihab Nye, used with permission

on July 20, 2014 9:46am
Two suggestions:
AN OPEN WORLD addresses the stage in life where an open world lies ahead with paths to choose.
THE TREE looks at each of the four seasons of life.
You may listen to recordings, read full texts and download free perusal PDF scores on my website:
Here is the Portland Vocal Consort performance of AN OPEN WORLD:
Here is the Claremont Chamber Choir performance of THE TREE:
on July 21, 2014 8:10am
HI Mary,
"If I Can Sing, I Still Am Free" had ia successful premiere on Saturday in San Diego by SACRA/PROFANA (it was the winner of their call for scores). 
on July 21, 2014 12:26pm
Here are a few suggestions from Canasg's catalog:
A lullaby (American or French
A children's song (English - I'll Tell Me Ma (SSAA))
A drinking song (Breton - Son Ar Chistr)
A courting song (Maori - Pokarekare Ana - or Scottish - The Gownas Are Gay - or English - The Bedfordshire May Carol)
A wedding song (English - My True Love Hath My Heart - or Scottish - My Love is Like A Red, Red Rose)
A song of loss or sorrow (Irish - Down by the Salley Gardens - or Scottish - Ae Fond Kiss)
The end of life (English - The Lyke Wake Dirge)
Best wishes for a great program
Sheena Phillips
on July 22, 2014 5:56am
Hi Mary,
I'd like to recommend "The Peace of Wild Things" - an exploration of the times in life during which we struggle with fear but can overcome through the peace of the natural world.
Perusal scores, audio, and more info are available here. Purchase scores through JR Music.
All best,
Jake Runestad, composer
on July 23, 2014 10:25am
I have a piece about very elderly people, inspired from caroling at a nursing home a few years ago.  I've printed out the text below.  If you're interested in looking at the music (for SATB with piano accompaniment) please contact me through my choir website at
Clyde Thompson

Old Souls


Old souls, sitting in chairs and rows,

remembering, as we sing carols for you.

Gazing out, remembering times when you sang too for


Old souls, sitting in chairs and rows, 

living in memories.


Eyes so full of memories, saying

“If only you had known us then; we sang carols too,

and entertained old souls, sitting in chairs and rows.”


So much to say, so much to say, caught inside your time.

You’ve so much to say, so much to say.


If only we could know you now just as you were then,

and read between the lines etched deep, so deep within the brows of


Old souls, sitting chairs and rows,

with memories of time gone by.

on July 24, 2014 6:06am
on July 24, 2014 6:34pm
Mary, I hope you'll consider my composition "Forgetting," setting a text by a beloved friend and colleague who's living with ALS, or "Lou Gehrig's Disease." I think this work might be appropriate for the next-to-last selection in your program. Full information, including a sample score PDF and performance MP3, available here.
All best,
Jonathan Santore
on July 25, 2014 4:29pm
A few other considerations are:
Breathe on me, Day! SATB/Piano (recording and score are here on The text is one of encouragement to those of us who are struggling to step out of the shadows into light, to rise above the surface, to win in a battle. This work was initially inpsired by two dear friends, in the prime of their lives as wives and mothers, enduring the battle of defeating breast cancer. Dr. Smithdas, in his most intuitive way, has indeed written wonderful words of encouragement to take to heart.  (This is an Ithaca College School of Music finalist 2009 and a C7Prize Recommended Work)
To Go Away - SATB/Piano - (recording and score here  and youtube ) This is a reflective text on life in times of struggle and finding peace in them.  (This work is an Ithaca College School of Music Finalist 2012 and also a C7Prize Recommended Work).
Contact me directly for both scores at crickb88(a)
Best of success in your programming.
Rick Bartlett
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