Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Items by Charles Livesay

Results: 185
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: songs celebrating darkness at time of solstice....
Jean -- do you realize that part of the poem "Sure on This Shining Night" says "high summer holds the earth?"  Since the poem suggests a SUMMER night, that would hardly work as a winter solstice piece.
Comment: Re: Hard Times Come Again No More
Jeffrey Ames' In Remembrance speaks well to your theme.  (Part of the text is: "My tears linger at night, but joy comes in the morning light.")  You might also look at any arrangement of I've Been in the Storm So Long.  (This text tends to leave you in the hard times, but still fits the theme.) ...
Comment: Re: Choir chairs
What I like about Wenger chairs is that they are designed to encourage good breathing/singing posture while sitting.  That might not be said of other brands you might try.  I'd suggest you try out whatever chair you're considering to see how well it encourages good posture while just sitting in it...
Comment: Re: Vocal repertoire adapted from symphony orchestra.
The only one that comes to my mind is the adaptation of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.  It was first written as a movement in one of his string quartets, and then he adapted it for full string orchestra.  It was then adapted as an Agnus Dei for a cappella choir.  
Comment: Re: We need songs with names of states in the title
I second the Michigan Morn suggestion.  H. Owen Reed was a composition professor at Michigan State Univ., so the craftmanship is good.  It used to be available in both SATB and TTBB, and it has a nice piano accompaniment as well.  It's a nice choral ballad and not a pop song, so it could provide ...
Comment: Re: Duruflé Requiem choral parts....
Michael touches on a point worth considering, IMO.  Sometimes choosing a work that challenges a group to the extent that the performance has a few flaws is still worth it, because what the group gains in embracing the music more than offsets the minor blemishes that might occur.  To me, the Durufl...
Comment: Re: world mass ideas
If a Latin American style would suit your purposes, you could consider Ariel Ramirez' Missa Criolla.
Comment: Re: Trouble with decrescendos
To these many fine responses I might add this: I think that less experienced singers often tend to unconsciously dampen or darken their tone as they get softer.  After all, to make it softer, don't you want to make it heard less?  I think that's what tends to go through their minds.  (And of cour...
Comment: Re: Help me choose rep for our Vienna/Salzburg/Munich tour!
I think Francesca is on the mark, Kayla.  When I go to a concert performed by a choir from another country, I want to hear THEIR music, not music from my country that I've heard many times before.  I think it's nice to do one or two selections from the native land, but put mostly American pieces o...
Comment: Re: Kuss or Küss
I don't have the music in front of me, but Barbara, I'm pretty sure the line is "und ach, sein kuss," which I believe roughly translates as "and oh, his kiss."  So in that context it would be as a noun.  Hope that helps.
Comment: Re: Middle school boys: I KNOW they have the range, but...
Great discussion, and good luck with the divisi set-up for the 7th graders, Daniel.   Regarding your original question about getting the changed voices to sing higher, you might try a little trickery.  When I encounter the same problem in voice lessons, I'll sometimes shout "Ah-hah," as though I...
Comment: Re: Daily Rehearsal "Objectives" - need suggestions
Tina - while I empathize with your frustration over increased paperwork, accountabilty and assessment for the satisfaction of the educational bureaucracy, I do feel that there can be value in listing the objectives of daily rehearsals.     As conductors, we are "fixers" of many problems, and wit...
Comment: Re: Exciting extended sacred works from 20th-21st Century composers
Take a look at the Te Deum by Mark Hayes.  It's unlike many of his church anthems and arrangements, and is absolutely beautiful.  And it has enough complexity and musical sophistication to hold the interest and attention of your collegiate singers.  (Mostly in English but goes to the original Lat...
Comment: Re: Lower jaw surgery and singing!
FWIW, Sean (and it may not be much), a loose and relaxed jaw is an asset in singing, so the numbness wouldn't be a problem for that aspect.  However, if the muscles around the lips are affected, that could present a problem with some of your vowels.  "Aw," "oh," "oo" (look) and "oo" (soon) all req...
Comment: Re: Beautiful but simple Renaissance Piece
Michael -- I was thinking of "Verbum Caro Factum Est" which I think is by Palestrina and is for double choir.  Sorry I mis-understood you, but with only a partial title I hope you can see where I was misled.     Chuck
Comment: Re: Beautiful but simple Renaissance Piece
Michael -- did you see John's request that the music be relatively "simple?"  Verbum Caro is for double choir!     John -- several other English Renaissance pieces that fit your criteria are:  Thomas Tallis -- If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments Orlando Gibbons - O Lord, Increase My Faith ...
Comment: Re: Choral piece featuring alto
Other piece that I believe is also published by Alliance is Paul Halley's Sound Over All Waters.  It has an alto solo throughout and a nice gospel flavor.  Worth a look.   Good luck
Comment: Re: Popular singers with good technique?
Hi, Jean.   You're opening a huge can of worms here, since to many, "good technique" is synonymous with a sound that they like.  To me, "good technique" in the most general terms, involves a tone that is vocally healthy -- one that can be used for a long period of time without doing damage to th...
Comment: Re: "Come Thou Fount"
I agree wholeheartedly, Bing -- the Wilberg arrangement is terrific.  But the complicated (and at times "inconsistent") divisi, where women or men can go from 2 to 3 to 4 parts almost note by note, and the high tessitura for the sopranos at the end) make this arrangement a very tough one for the av...
Comment: Re: Question about a boys/men's anthem for church
Thanks, Derek.  You're right -- it's Gibbons.  
Comment: Re: Question about a boys/men's anthem for church
There are several nice Renaissance-style pieces in English that your boys and men could learn fairly quickly.  Richard Farrant's "Lord, for Thy Tender Mercy's Sake" and Tallis' "If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments."  It's also Tallis, I believe, who wrote "O Lord, Increase My Faith."  All 3 of th...
Comment: Re: Double Dipping as a Music Director
I would also add to Simon's comment that had you included the information from your last post in your first one, much of the discussion above would have been unneccessary.  Why ask for advice if the parameters of the situation are entirely clear to you?  
Comment: Re: Seeking advice
Andrew --    You likely won't get many responses because composition is such an individual thing.  Your two "challenges" indicate that you have some thoughts as to what should happen next.  Keep experimenting and struggling through the process, and the right solution will come to you.  And it...
Comment: Re: Double Dipping as a Music Director
What I think would help clarify things is what happens on a "normal" Sunday when everyone is there.  If your MD plays piano for the choir or any other solos or ensembles, and the organist plays for other aspects of the service, such as prelude, hymns, offertory, responses and postlude, then that wo...
Comment: Re: Looking for bass/tenor duet
I would second the J.S. BAch “Der Herr Segne Euch.”  It's a wonderfully expressive piece and not too difficult for HS guys at all.
Comment: Re: CJ Replay: The Frustrated Church Musician
Well said, Ron!     I direct the choirs at a Christian liberal arts university (more a "college" size, actually, but we call ourselves a university) and also direct a small church choir which "keeps me humble," shall I say.  I strive to think of fun and entertaining ways to make my church choir...
Comment: Re: Repertoire Suggestions for "Songs of Home" theme
Speaking of "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need," Wilberg has a wonderful arrangement that also has flute and oboe solos.  Very moving.   I also believe there's a choral arrangement of "Home" from the musical "The Wiz," if it's still in print.
Comment: Re: Winter Concert Repertoire
Hiver, Vous Nette qu'un villain from Trois Chansons by Debussy. Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind -- various composers (Rutter's is probably best known). Mid-Winter Madrigals by Lauridson.  (Several candidates -- but these are not easy, and it's not your typical Lauridson sound.  They would be for you...
Comment: Re: texting during rehearsal
Or if a person is found texting, their phone could be confiscated and put in a "phone basket" until the rehearsal is over, when they could pick it up again.  Hopfully it would be enough of an embarrassment and a nuisance to keep them from trying to do it.
Comment: Re: The Accessibility of Mendelssohn
They're all great!  Mendelssohn had a wonderful knack for writing expressive choral music!  Many of his choruses have a basic ABA structure, but what makes his unique is that he often had a clever and almost unintrusive way of sneaking the A theme in during the conclusion of the B section, allowin...
Comment: Re: Teaching a new hymn
In the absence of having actual teaching time with your congregation, another approach that can work is to have a "hymn of the month."  If you sing one of the hymns they don't know each week for a month, by then they should be familiar with it, in theory anyway.
Comment: Re: teaching the concept of a glottal stop to church choir
One thing that has worked for me is to have the singers imagine they are scolding an unruly child, by saying "ah-ah-ah," using a glottal stop at each onset.  You could then have them apply it to the place in question, so as to differentiate righteous / in from righteous sin.  (Would that be an oxy...
Comment: Re: Choral Music Storage Boxes from JW Pepper
I've used their heavy duty file boxes for a long time, and have found them to last very well.  You can get 4 different widths to accommodate the thickness of your anthems.  Also for the larger sized pieces that are common today, they now have a folio size, available in two widths.  They organize ...
Comment: Re: Help! Instrumentalist dealing with attitudes
Good suggestions, all!  To which I would add, Heather: if you decide to spend time focusing on tone and vocal production, use a demonstration rather than a lecture.  When you present a concept, you demonstrate it and then immediately have them do it.  They will stay more engaged and you'll know i...
Comment: Re: Choir standing
My experience underscores the above.  The only time the congregation sits for a hymn is when they're instructed to do so and it serves some purpose, such as preceding a prayer or during an offering, when standing would be awkward.
Comment: Re: Please help: Who is the composer/arranager of this piece?
Since choirs who post a video usually watch it, you might try asking your question in the comments section under the video.  Maybe someone who knows the answer will respond.  Good luck.
Comment: Re: Looking for anthem to celebrate church's 50th Anniversary
John Ness Beck's Upon This Rock is a winner.  I believe it includes brass, and near the end the congregation gets to participate by joining in a verse of "The Church's One Foundation."  Very celebratory and appropriate for the occasion, IMHO.  
Comment: Re: Sports themed choral music
I went to Pepper's web site and typed in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."  Many different arrangements came up.  You might also check Musica's web site.  
Comment: Re: Multi-level sight singing?
You may need to write your own examples.  You could write a two or three-part texture, with one easy line and one difficult line (2-part), or an easy, intermediate and difficult line (3-part texture).  You could then assign each of the parts to singers who feel are at that level, regardless of sec...
Comment: Re: High School Honors Choir
Not sure why you're hesitant to do the Fauré without an orchestra, Matt.  The old FitzSimons edition has a reduction listed for "piano" that I've heard done on organ many times.  And even Rutter's edition has an organ part that covers what you need, even if there's no orchestra.  Even the harp p...
Comment: Re: Help! New Teacher Seeks Advice!!!
For your elementary program, I suggest that you think about what skills (vocal, musical, etc.) you'd like to have them accomplish in each grade, keeping in mind their mental and motor development, so that you're not pushing them too far too fast.  For example, for some younger elementary kids, keep...
Comment: Re: christmas composition with brass quintet and percussion
John Rutter's Gloria would fit the bill, especially the first movement.  (I believe it also includes organ, though.)  
Comment: Re: HELP! Young church music director dealing with attitudes
Hi, Lukas.   I agree with all of the above comments, and would add only two more things:   1) In warm-ups that they mock, take a moment to explain what you're trying to accomplish with the warm-up, and how it will help them in singing their music.  If they see a vocal goal that will actually ...
Comment: Re: HELP WITH MY VOICE! D:
That helps to know, Elliot.  What you are experiencing is normal.  Your voice will likely go through a stage (or maybe already has been in a stage) where you can only sing a narrow range of pitches.  E above middle C will be about as far as you can go, and that too is normal.  Don't push it, and...
Comment: Re: HELP WITH MY VOICE! D:
Elliot -- when you say your voice "broke," does that mean you are a teenager whose voice is starting to change?  Your original post doesn't make that clear, and most of the responses have assumed that's the case.  It would help other responders if you would clear that up.  If that IS the case, yo...
Comment: Re: Conducting Lessons for Beginners: The must haves...
Hi, Lynn.   Your heading says that these lessons are for beginners.  So I wouldn't worry too much about repertoire that inspires the student right away.  If you think about conducting as a visiual "language" of communication (which I believe it is), you need to start with the basics of the lang...
Comment: Re: HELP WITH MY VOICE! D:
Elliot:   There are many different things that could be causing the problem you describe, including the situation that Thom is assuming.  But the key is to have someone who is well qualified listen to your voice before making a diagnosis.  So I would suggest that you find a very good voice teac...
Comment: Re: Faure Requiem - Rutter ed.
Another option would be to give a copy of the old Fitzsimmons edition to your organist, and have him/her play from that score for the movements you suggest.  (The Fitzsimmons is a full reduction.)  I know this might be heresy to some, but it would solve the problem.
Comment: Re: Church Music Position Descriptions and Contracts
Though I don't have a sample description for you, Lori, here are things I would like to see on a job description so that I would feel comfortable knowing what's involved and who they're looking for:     1.  What's involved with the job?  (Be specific.)  How many services does your church have...
Comment: Re: Repertoire for American Folk music concert
Hi, Marti.   Though it's been heard often, Mac Wilberg's arrangement of Cindy ("get along home, Cindy, Cindy") is a definite winner that your advanced HS groups and your audience would love.  Definitely upbeat and a good closer.