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Beginning of year rote song or round

Colleagues,

Do you have a favorite rote piece or round you use to start of the
season with your choir? If you'll share it, I'll be glad to post a
compilation.

Happy new year!

Kayla Werlin
kaylawerlin(a)yahoo.com

;) Kayla Werlin
Longmeadow (Mass.) High School
Mak'hela (Western Massachusetts Jewish Chorus)
President; American Choral Directors' Association Massachusetts Chapter
Choral Coordinator; Massachusetts Music Educators' Association, Western District
kaylawerlin(a)yahoo.com

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Colleagues,

Many thanks to all who responded to my question. The song I chose was
not a recommendation, but "Sure as the Wind," a round by Terry Dash
from Libana's collection "A Circle is Cast."

Here were listers' responses:

A good friend has used "Now I Walk in Beauty" (a navaho Prayer
Chant) quite successfully for many years. Published by G. Schirmer:
$1.60

My favorite has these words:
"Rose, rose, rose, rose,
Will I ever see thee wed?"
"I will marry at thy will, sire,
at thy will."

The rhythm is (cut time):
hh | hh |
qqqq | qeeh |
qqqq | qeeqq|
hqq | w ||

The pitches are (a-minor):
ag | ae |
aabb | cdcb|
eedd | cdcbe |
agb | a ||

Simple piano/orff/autoharp/guitar accompaniment is a-minor and e-minor
half notes.

Singers of all ages love it. May be sung in unison (range is an
octave) or canon (up to 4 parts).

Music Alone Shall Live is one of my favorites

I teach all of my freshmen "There Was an Old Man From Calcutta" I also
teach Byrd's "Non Nobis Domine"

I like round about music, when possible. A couple of good ones are
"All things shall perish..." and "O Music", which is by Lowell Mason.

Rounds work great: "Now I Walk in Beauty," "Jubilate Deo (Lassus...
Palestrina...??)."
Camp songs work well, too: "Today, while the blossoms..."

I teach Yonder Come Day by rote on a yearly basis with my 6th graders
but its also great for a middle school boys chorus. It's a 3pt song
with some chanting/speaking parts at the end. I know it would work well
for a high school group as well. You could omit the chanting/speaking
parts if you find them cheesy.

This year I'm using "E Oru O," a Nigerian Yoruba
welcome song. You can find it in the Henry Leck World
Folk Song series published by Plymouth Music Company.
I've used it before with my high school kids and they
loved it. You can add drums, etc. right away.

For your readers who direct church choirs: my choir usually starts off
its season with Martin Shaw's upbeat "With a Voice of Singing." It's
easy, can be accompanied on organ or piano, can usually be pulled
together in one rehearsal, is a perfect rousing march for "Rally
Sunday," and the choir never seems to get tired of it.

I am using "viva la musica" to begin the year (and to begin my Fall
concert). I learned it at district choir when I was in high school,
but I know it's in the King's Singers book of rounds

I have used Gregg Smith's Now I Walk in Beauty. You probably know it.

I like to teach a canon on the first day and use it as part of my
warm-up
for the next week or so. I also use it as the prepared solo for aster
school ensemble auditions

New Shoes Blues (sorry, don't have publisher or composer info here at
home...but this song has been a beginning "winner" for my younger
students for years!)

Happy fall to everyone, and thoughts and prayers to those in the
Katrina region.

Kayla Werlin
kaylawerlin(a)yahoo.com

;) Kayla Werlin
Longmeadow (Mass.) High School
Mak'hela (Western Massachusetts Jewish Chorus)
President; American Choral Directors' Association Massachusetts Chapter
Choral Coordinator; Massachusetts Music Educators' Association, Western District
kaylawerlin(a)yahoo.com



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on September 4, 2005 10:00pm
A great collection is "Canons for Choirs" edited by Dr. Charlene Archibeque and the late Dr. Ken Hannaford, published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing (www.sbmp.com) They are very accessible and encourage good choral singing. Dr. Archibeque regularly uses these rounds as conducting exercises in her workshops as well. Good Luck!

Sincerely,

Jonathan Souza
Director of Music Activities, Fortuna High School
Artistic Director and Conductor, Arcata Choral Artists
on September 14, 2005 10:00pm
we use the techniques during our 5th period class at Marshall High School and it really helps the younger singers get a feel of what Chorale is all about. The once was a man from Calcutta is best one that we sing in the rounds. I really hope it does the same for your choir. It's a great exercise for warming up also. Thanks!