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Items by Larry Thompson

Results: 58
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: Proper choir name
Anthony, As Nan Beth Walton contended, and speaking from a Catholic perspective, chancel and sanctuary are not synonymous. Actually, I don't think it matters much what a director wants to name the choir. I suppose one could name them the Balconey Choir, if that's where they were located. Or maybe ...
Comment: Re: Favorite Lullabye
My absolute favorite is: LULLABYE (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel. A wonderful choral arrangement has been done by Kirby Shaw and offered thru, I believe, Hal Leonard. It is guaranteed to touch the heart and moisten the eyes.
Comment: Re: Choral works or song arrangements about specific towns
"April In Paris"--Duke/Harburg "Autumn In New York"--Duke "Route 66"--Troup "Walkin' In N.Y."--Brenda Russell
Comment: Re: What are some of your favorite warm ups?
I second Kirby's suggestion of WARMUPS FOR POP, JAZZ AND SHOW CHOIRS. We put these warmups to very good use with our Show Choirs, even putting choreography to them. That way, we got a two for one warmup benifit. We also used THE VOCAL COACH ULTIMATE CHOIR WARM-UP, VOL 1 & 2. These can be order...
Comment: Re: Round in Italian?
I really like Michael's idea about the TWENTY-FOUR ITALIAN SONGS AND ARIAS. In the meantime, you might look at THE KING'S SINGERS BOOK OF ROUNDS, CANONS AND PARTSONGS. On page 69, #83, you will find a three-part Italian round titled PERCHE VEZZOSI RAI. A short fairly easy round. This songbook is p...
Comment: Re: Round in Italian?
Rebecca, I have quite an extensive collection of rounds. However, I've not been able to find one in Italian........plenty of rounds in French, German, etc.  Try this: choose a round of your liking in English and ask your 8th grader to translate it into Italian, then she can teach it to the choir....
Comment: Re: Bad intonation
Dale, I should not have made the statement about catagorizing. For that, I apologize. My point was simply that "hearing" is the result of "listening" and when I would direct my singers to "listen", it was for them to "hear" that perfect pitch within their section........achieved through matching v...
Comment: Re: Bad intonation
I have no problem, Stuart, with Robert Shaw's approach to in-tune singing. Attitude certainly plays a part in achieving this goal. Whatever the approach, if it works.......if it produces the desired results.......then I am open to it.
Comment: Re: Bad intonation
Dale, With all due respect, those of us who use the term "listen", are, of course, teaching what to listen for, or as you put it: "hear". Let's not catagorize directors by terminology usage. I agree with you on recording, evaluation and mastering the concept of blend, intonation and tone quality b...
Comment: Re: Unison a capella piece for non-auditioned choir of 4th graders
Rebecca, I was excited to read your comments about using rounds with your fourth graders. I'm retired now, but I frequently used rounds with my middle school choirs and even my high school choirs. They are perfect for teaching inexperienced singers to sing parts. We even used some of them in perfor...
Comment: Re: Beautiful but simple Renaissance Piece
ADORAMUS TE  by Jacques Clement (Clemens Non Papa) O JESU CHRISTE  by de Melle Both are published by Bourne Co.
Comment: Re: I'm a great teacher... but my piano skills STINK!
Yes, Kimberly, it is acceptable to use a rehearsal track as long as you don't depend on the demo voices to rehearse your group of singers. A rehearsal accompanist works best, of course, but often department budgets don't allow for this. Maybe through fundraising efforts, a rehearsal accompanist coul...
Comment: Re: Magnificats
Dietrich Buxtehude: Magnificat Anima Mea. Very nice and approximately 10 minutes in length.
Comment: Re: Favorite Ave Marias
My favorites are : Victoria Lauridson Biebl
Comment: Re: Ethics of borrowing music (Church choirs)
I agree Ronald. I can't imagine anyone objecting to borrowing or lending music. Two choir programs with limited budgets, sharing sets of music with each other would be a great way to save money. Of course it's not legal to copy music but there's no law against borrowing and trading.
Comment: Re: Choral Sight Singing exercises for class
FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC READING by Paul Harder is an excellent sight reading course. I used it extensively with my choirs for years. I trust that it's still in print through CPP/Belwin, Inc.
Comment: Re: Proliferation of excessive excess
No, Ed. You're still missing the point, and what's the point of submitting videos of one's amateur choir on U-tube so you can judge them by what you consider to be the only standards that would qualify them to participate in a musical ministry. Most church choirs are not filled with trained voices...
Comment: Re: Proliferation of excessive excess
Sorry Ed, but that dog doesn't hunt and I'm not buying it. I agree with Ron, Clay, and especially Phyllis, but not you. Just who should be the judge of one's effort in giving their Since Jane has not replied to any of the posts, I believe she is nothing more than a "community agitat...
Comment: Re: Proliferation of excessive excess
Craig, I respectfully believe that you have missed Ron's point. I'm in the Catholic Church and not part of the Evangelical experience so I can't speak about your experiences with any authority, however, I do know that judging others intentions is dangerous ground to walk on. In addition to the Psa...
Comment: Re: Renaming groups: Voce or Vox
Pardon me Nathan for addressing you as David. I proofread but still missed the error. Larry
Comment: Re: Renaming groups: Voce or Vox
Hi David, I can certainly understand your desire to rename your groups and to even use the same word in each group's name, such as VOX. One of the very best vocal jazz groups in the country is named VOX ONE. I would urge you to, in spite of the detailed advice that you've received, to name your gr...
Comment: Re: Helping singers to not sing flat.
William, Thank you for sharing your viewpoint on this subject. However, some of the techniques, which you rudely dismissed and others have put into practice in their own groups, have worked, or else they would not offer them. I respect your opinion but not the way you present it. I know that listen...
Comment: Re: Helping singers to not sing flat.
Joy, I like what you say about vowels relating to pitch. Many pitch problems I encountered was a combination of: (1) not listening, (2) inadequate breath support, and (3) poor vowels and failure to match vowel sounds with other singers. I heard it said once (I don't remember the source) that "you...
Comment: Re: 1st-5th grade chorus
Yes, thank you Donna for suggesting the partner songs. I forgot about those. They're another good way to teach part-singing skills. The Gilpatrick books, COME JOIN IN and ROUND THE SEASONS both have a generous number of partner songs and short songs. For the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, I sugges...
Comment: Re: 1st-5th grade chorus
Hi Erica, ROUNDS, ROUNDS, ROUNDS.  You can accomplish what you want as far as unison singing is concerned and teach them to sing multiple parts at the same time. You can even teach them theory and sight-singing with simple rounds. There are three excellent collections of rounds by Elizabeth Gil...
Comment: Re: Ideas
Hi Laura, Get a copy of Tom Carter's book: CHORAL CHARISMA. You'll be ever so glad.  
Comment: Re: What is the most perfect piece of choral music ever composed? Opinions, please.
Antonio, I second the emotion on Beibl's AVE MARIA. In addition, however, I would like to nominate (and this has probably already been suggested......I've lost count) Morten Lauridsen's O MAGNUM MYSTERIUM.  What a profoundly moving piece of music. 
Comment: Re: What is the most perfect piece of choral music ever composed? Opinions, please.
Thanks Bruce, for reminding us of Torke's quote. I've had that framed and on my wall for years.
Comment: Re: What is the most perfect piece of choral music ever composed? Opinions, please.
Wow! What a thread this has become. I would like to suggest John Wilbye's six-part madrigal: DRAW ON, SWEET NIGHT. A beautiful piece of music. It's like singing the Renaissnace blues.  
Comment: Re: Authentic Classical Repertoire for Middle School?
David, Check out INVITATION TO MADRIGALS, edited by Thurston Dart and published by Galaxy, #1.5106. There are 25 SAB pieces in the collection and all but 3 were written originally for 3 voices. Composers such as Byrd, Weelkes, Morley etc. Good Luck.
Comment: Re: Curbing MS Tardies
Susan, I agree. I don't think I could take a lunch period of Mrs. Miller either. I was a college vocal music major in the '60's and I and my fellow vocal majors would sit around, on occasion and listen to her, along with PDQ Bach, just for a good healthy laugh. So I hope you figured out that ...
Comment: Re: Curbing MS Tardies
Michael, If you really want to punish them, play any album by Mrs. Miller. You can get them through Amazon. After having to listen to Mrs. Miller, your student's tardy problem will disappear.  If you're too young to know who Mrs. Miller is, just ask anyone who grew up in the '60's.
Comment: Re: Seeking concert choral pieces that tell a story, SATB, TTBB and/or SA
I like Jason's idea. Two English madrigals that would work well in this manner would be Farmer's FAIR PHYLLIS I SAW and Youll's SWEET PHYLLIS, STAY. I don't know if Galaxy Music Corp. is still around but, they have published (in a collection) both pieces and FAIR PHYLLIS is published by, among o...
Comment: Re: Easy two-part (Treble/Bass) church music
Check out SUNDAY SAVERS (Five Anthems for the Church Year Easily Prepared in One Rehearsal) by Jay Althouse and published by Alfred. Level Two-2 part mixed. Alfred # 4941.
Comment: Re: Choir festival
The most obvious suggestion would be John Rutter's FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH. Whether or not it has been overdone might be a matter of debate, however, its beauty has never faded.
Comment: Re: Humorus Madrigal
Two pieces come to mind immediately: John Farmer's FAIR PHYLLIS I SAW and Adrian Willaert's SEMPRE MI RIDE STA (Laughing So Heartily). If performed with the spirit in which I believe they were written, they would be very entertaining. In FAIR PHYLLIS, Farmer even uses the age-old mocking motif of...
Comment: Re: What to do about tardy parents
Ron's advice is right on the mark. I'm a retired public school choral director of 38 years and I have had to wait many, many times for parents to pick up their children after a concert or at the end of a trip. In situations where we were returning, at night, to the school at the end of a trip, my ...
Comment: Re: Famous people who sang in church choir
Kristin Chenoweth
Comment: Re: Matching motets to liturgical season/function
You might find the table you're looking for at CanticaNOVA Publications at or possibly at GIA Publications, Inc. at Both are great resource websites. Good luck.
Comment: Re: Cascades of voices, rising ever higher
Take a look at Franz Biebl's AVE MARIA.   Larry  
Comment: Re: SAB Caroling Collections
Shawnee Press publishes an SAB version of THE ALFRED BURT CAROLS. Great Christmas music. They are available in three sets.
Comment: Re: What books have helped you the most as a choral director?
CHORAL DIRECTOR'S COMPLETE HANDBOOK by Lewis Gordon, published  by Parker Publishing Co   CHORAL MUSIC, TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY by Charles Heffernan, published by Prentice-Hall   CHORAL CHARISMA by Tom Carter, published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing                 ...
Comment: Re: Middle School Concert Attire
I'm retired as of this year but, we instructed our middle school girls to purchase a black dress and black shoes (no high heels). The dresses had to meet the school dress code regarding length and they could not have spaghetti straps. The boys were instruced to wear black dress pants, black shoes,...
Comment: Re: What to do when they misbehave...
Amen to that. I couldn't agree more. Thanks. Larry Thompson "cantare amantis est"
Comment: Re: What to do when they misbehave...
Yes, keeping them constantly busy is a good strategy. One that I tried to use everyday. It works with most students. That is, the ones who are in there to create art. However, you will always have a certain number of students whose agenda priorities are to socialize during the rehearsal, even afte...
Comment: Re: Pronunciation of "Angel"
If you have your copy of THE SINGER'S MANUAL OF ENGLISH DICTION by Madeleine Marshall, you can turn to chapter 42, page 150 where Ms. Marshall encourages the use of the neutral vowel when singing "angel". (p.154).
Comment: Re: Choral Songs of "Relationships Gone Awry"
Hal Leonard publishers used to publish an SSA arrangement of the '60's pop hit "GONNA GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU NOW." It may be out of print by now however, you might find someone who still has copies in their music library and would loan it. Walton Music Corp has published  LOVE LOST (four satir...
Comment: Re: pronunciation of Latin words "patiens" and "invicem"
            Amen John, concerning your positive comments on liturgical latin. I was just getting ready to reply to Bill's charge when I read your comment. I couldn't have said it better so, I'll  just lend my support to your statement.
Comment: Re: What I learned as a new director
Susan, I enjoyed reading your message. I would suggest that you also read, if you haven't already, Tom Carter's excellent book: CHORAL CHARISMA, Singing With Expression. It addresses in detail, among others, the very problems that you talk about in your message. Good luck.
Comment: Re: Latin Pronunciation "Accentus" RULES;
Well, I finally found my copy of LATIN PRONUNCIATION ACCORDING TO ROMAN USAGE, published by National Music Publishers and edited by William D. Hall. It does cover which syllables should be stressed.  It's a great, definitive guide and I've used it for years as a handy reference source. Check it out...