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Items by Austen Wilson

Results: 197
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: Upbeat SSA Holiday Piece...suggestions!
A La Media Noche by Joan Szymkko, published by Santa Barbara.
Comment: Re: Christmas: the excitement of the Birth
Christmas Day by Holst. It's just under 7 minutes. Contains a few English Christmas Carols, but Good Christian Friends Rejoice repeats several times. 
Comment: Re: Youth Church Choir Rep Suggestions
I would also strongly recommend taking a look at Chorister's Guild.   I would not look at contemporary/praise music because of theological content. When selecting music for church, I always look at theology first, then the music.   Especially if the choir meets once a week, pieces by Dawson ...
Comment: Re: SSB in church setting
I am of the opinion that music during church needs to focus on Law and Gospel, and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.    For the Sunday of Memorial Day, the sending hymn at my church is "Eternal Father Strong to Save" (which is also the Navy Hymn). For the Sunday closest to July 4th, the...
Comment: Re: Books Worth Your Time II
Thank you for this book recommendation. I downloaded it through iBooks. I love it and I'm only on the 3rd chapter!   More book suggestions would be very welcome!
Borrowing request: Full score and orchestral parts need for "Christmas Day" by Holst
Item: Orchestral parts for Christmas Day Composer/Arranger/Edition: Holst Starting: December 21 For: 1 month Copies: 1 Full Score and parts for 7 strings, organ, and flute Willing to rent: Yes   Do any of you have the full score and orchestral parts for "Christmas Day" by Holst that I could bo...
Comment: Re: Bottom heavy mixed choir
Maybe you could use original voicings of some Renaissance motets? Guys could sing the lower 3 parts and all the women could sing the top part.
Comment: Re: Taking the "Christ" out of "Ubi Caritas"?
What exactly did you mean by "But I'm also uncomfortable imposing those words on others, especially in a corporate act such as an anthem."   Are you implying that a non-Catholic should not sing the music of Palestrina, a non-Lutheran should not sing the music of J.S. Bach, or a non-Jew should no...
Comment: Re: Taking the "Christ" out of "Ubi Caritas"?
Find another piece. I would echo that since it's about Communion, it wouldn't make sense to remove Christ from the piece.   In addition, why meddle with such a beautiful work of art?
Comment: Re: Good Arrangements of "Contemporary" choral music for Episcopal Church
Hi Patricia,   I want to echo Sonya's comments about not having too much pressure be put on the church to "save" the church. IMHO, it is not the pastor, the music, the programs, etc. that grow the church, but rather God. However, as a church musician, I believe that I'm called to provide music th...
Comment: Re: Latin American upbeat piece for SSAA chorus
A la media noche by Joan Szymko. It's published by Santa Barbara Publishing. It's a Christmas piece that's a lot of fun!
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "When the Young Teacher Becomes the Mentor," by Emily Hackethorn
I would encourage your student teacher to:   1. Listen 2. Be present 3. Be vulnerable   I think I'm just starting to get a handle on #1. I have a lot of work to do on #2-3.
Comment: Re: College Theory Program and Great Choirs
I would highly recommend St. Olaf College.
Forum message: Question about a boys/men's anthem for church
Greetings,   I am the Director of Music at a Lutheran Church. I have 3 very good boys in my Children's Choir, 4 good boys in Youth Choir, and good tenors and basses in my Adult Choir. I would love to do a Renaissance anthem with those forces combined. The boys from Children's Choir would take the...
Comment: Re: Looking for Holiday Partner Music
Night of Silence by Kantor. It's a partner song to Silent Night. I've done it with multiple choirs and each has fallen in love with it.
Comment: Re: Most challenging song(s) for you personally that you were proud of yourself for learning and performing well!
The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore by Menotti. One of the toughest pieces I have ever sung.
Comment: Re: The Accessibility of Mendelssohn
In my humble opinion, I would question the accessibility of mixed choral works by Mendelssohn for middle school ensembles, mostly because of the range of the bass parts. However, if there are basses who can sing towards the bottom of the bass clef, go for it!
Comment: Re: What we can learn from John Wooden I
Thank you so much for posting this. My voice teacher in grad school, the late James McDonald, bought each of us a book with quotes and stories by Wooden. Each time we sang in studio class, we were supposed to read a quote from that book. 
Comment: Re: Gettin' Paid (Money, Strikes, Unions and Money and Money)
I sang in the Minnesota Chorale during the 2003 - 04 season. Most of the concerts were with the Minnesota Orchestra. I can't help but think that due to the lockout, there is much less of an opportunity in the Twin Cities to hear live great choral/orchestral works.   That is me as a choral musicia...
Comment: Re: ChoralTech: Use Spotify to share music with your musicians
I have found spotify's choral offerings more than satisfactory! I love being able to find so many interpretations of varied repertoire.   One of my goals this year is to get my Adult Choir on spotify so I can share playlists with them.
Comment: Re: Science Related Choral Selections -- Request for additional ideas
Choose Something Like a Star from "Frostiana" by Randall Thompson might be a possibility.
Comment: Re: Rehearsal Protocols and Section Leader Roles in Community Chorus
Michael   I am the Director of Music at a church, so my situation is slightly different. However, I had some thoughts that might be applicable.   From my perspective, if there were too many rules and I were the singer, I would not think twice about leaving the choir! With my adult choir, I am...
Comment: Re: Messiah orch parts
To me it sounds like things were chaotic not solely because parts of IMSLP were used, but rather the following:   1. Two different editions were used, which tends to be a recipe for disaster. 2. Parts were not checked ahead of time by the conductor. That should be done well in advance of the fir...
Comment: Re: Choral chestnuts
Keep Your Lamps - Andre Thomas (SATB, a cappella) And the Glory of the Lord form Handel's Messiah Ding Dong Merrily on High arr. Carolyn Jennings (mostly SATB a cappella with some divisi in the sopranos at the end).  True Light - Keith Hampton (SATB with piano. It's mostly SATB with divisi at th...
Comment: Re: Choral chestnuts
I did not include my own chestnuts because I want to know what kind repertoire the original poster is looking for before mentioning my own. That's why I asked what she meant by "not program the usual Christmas/holiday rep". Does that refer to secular music? Non-western music? What voicing?   One ...
Comment: Re: Choral chestnuts
Jocelyn   What do you mean by "not program the usual Christmas/holiday rep"?    I love the Thompson "Alleluia", but I would not recommend programming it with an inexperienced choir.   Austen
Comment: Re: Christmas Program - Jauchzet Frohlocket
I'm surprised I didn't see this post either. With the forces you mentioned, I would be extremely hesitant about programming "Jauchzet Frohlocket" from the Christmas Oratorio. Bach is always tougher for a choir than one would think. Better to have the choir sound good and preach the Gospel rather t...
Comment: Re: Techniques on how to detect wrong notes in a piece with multiple voice parts?
As a suggestion, you might try conducting beat patterns in different articulations while you're walking around the house, talking on the phone, etc. Mine are pretty comfortable now and my ideal is to enbody the music and the character of each piece through my gesture.
Comment: Re: Techniques on how to detect wrong notes in a piece with multiple voice parts?
Hi Christina,   IMHO, the best way is to not only be familiar with each voice part, but be able to sing each voice part memorized with all of the nuances you would expect from your choir. Something else that works that I need to do more often is simply stop conducting and just listen to your choi...
Comment: Re: Education as Customer Service?
Do you know the book "Choral Charisma" by Tom Carter? I highly recommend it. He has some great team-building exercises in that book.
Comment: Re: conducting Bach Motet with small choir
Hi Hallie   I would agree with others that Jesu, meine Freude might not be the best choice. That is a very challenging work! In fact, all of the Bach motets are extremely difficult. This is my personal opinion, but for a choir with mixed ability, I would steer away from the standard Bach motets (...
Comment: Re: Lessons during the school
Are there other teachers from Iowa you could contact? I've found that a system you've described is not uncommon in the upper midwest, but almost unheard of in other parts of the country.
Comment: Re: Who is qualified to teach show choir
I just thought I would clarify something. Based on NCLB law, my impression that "highly qualified" means holding a degree with a certain amount of credit hours. When I have applied for teaching jobs, in order to prove that I was "highly qualified", I was never asked about teaching experience. Rather...
Comment: Re: College Piece for a Learning Conductor
Sing Me To Heaven by Daniel Gawthrop  Light Everlasting by Olaf C. Christiansen Wondrous Love by Paul J. Christiansen Almighty and Everlasting God - Gibbons Purge Me, O Lord from All My Sins - possibly Tallis, but it could be by Morley If Ye Love Me - Tallis Thou Knowest Lord the Secret of Ou...
Comment: Re: Conference Program Book Sent to All ACDA Members
This was a brilliant idea! Now I'm looking forward even more to the convention.   As an added bonus, I don't have to worry whether or not I'll have a convention booklet at the convention(: Well, unless I forget to bring my issue of the Choral Journal with me....
Comment: Re: Keeping all of choir on task all the time
I only work a section for a very brief amount of time (maybe 30 seconds or less). Here are things I have done:   1. When I am working with one section, I ask the others to audiate their part and pay attention to what I'm teaching the other section because it might apply to a section I'm not w...
Comment: Re: Straight Tone Choral Tradition (Specific Ensembles?)
Hi Jay,   Regarding your statement about St. Olaf choral ensembles singing with straight tone, what gives you that impression? As far as I can remember, I was never asked to sing with straight tone as a student (graduated in 03), and in many cases I remember being asked to sing like an intell...
Comment: Re: Men's piece to rival Drunken Sailor
Manly Men by Kurt Knecht
Comment: Re: story telling church anthems
In the Year King Uzziah Died by David McK. Williams. A fantastic piece for choir and organ.   There are several choruses from Mendelssohn's "Elijah". "Behold, God the Lord passed by" comes to mind.
Comment: Re: The "new" Battle Hymn?
I was distracted by the pre-recorded accompaniment and multiple key changes. I actually preferred James Taylor's rendition of America the Beautiful because it was live music and musically it was more interesting. I was glad that Beyonce didn't turn every single note into an aria during the Star Span...
Comment: Re: Students Without Materials/Sheet Music
I should try that with my ensembles! However, I know of at least a few students that would probably volunteer to sing "I'm A Little Teapot" with all of the gestures. Several of my students are fearless and love to be in the spotlight!
Comment: Re: Amazing Grace
Keith McCutchen has a fantastic gospel arrangement of Amazing Grace. I think it's published by Earthsongs.
Comment: Re: Seeking ideas for program called "Out of This World"
What about "Choose Something Like a Star" from Frostiana by Randall Thompson?
Comment: Re: ...for band...really?
There is a transcription of Salvation is Created by Tschesnokoff. I don't know the arranger, but it is fantastic. Sometimes I prefer the band transcription over the original!   There is also a transcription of F. Melius Christiansen's Psalm 50 movement 3, but I don't know who the arranger is....
Comment: Re: Women's Choir Repertoire by female composers
Santa Barbara Music Publishing has some great repertoire. One of my favorites is "I Dream a World" by Joan Szymko, which could be very appropriate considering recent events. It's not about women, but it's written for SSAA and composed by a female composer.   "Blessing" by Katie Moran Bart is ...
Comment: Re: Deluge of Rep. Strategy
To me, it doesn't seem like a deluge of rep for Advent and Christmas. I plan enough ahead of time. The longer I conduct my adult choir, the better I'm able to plan for them. Starting two weeks ago, I was able to start on repertoire for the first 4 Sundays in Epiphany. I started rehearsing this yea...
Comment: Re: Classroom Management
There two rhythmic warm-ups that I've used that have been effective. I've used the first with high school and elementary aged kids. I've used the second one with high school aged kids.   1. Count to 4, then have the choir clap on 5. Then count to 4, have the choir think 5,6,7,8, then clap on ...
Comment: Re: University level SSAA Contemporary accapella pieces
Mary Speaks or Sing Me to Heaven by Daniel Gawthrop might fit the bill. Both contain rich texts and are gorgeous, SSAA, and a cappella.   Austen
Comment: Re: Church Choir Repertoire
If you have the divisi, what about "I was glad" by Parry?    There is a piece by Z. Randall Stroop where part of the text is "Come and dwell in Solomon's walls", but I can't think of the title.   There is also a fantastic arrangement of "The Church's One Foundation" by John Ferguson. Wi...
Comment: Re: Tell the soloist to tone it down!
What exactly do you mean when you mention blend? Are you talking about rhythm, articulation, volume, diction, vowel shape, phrasing? From my experience, a good ensemble sound happens when: 1. All choir members have a similar idea of good vocal production that is on the breath. 2. They sing the...