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National Anthem

A local sports team has asked us to sing the National Anthem (Star Spangled Banner) at a game this spring.  I would like my middle school choir (grades 6-8, SATB) of 30-35 voices to do this, and maybe my adult choir of about 55.  I am looking for tried and proven arrangements for both groups.  Any suggestions? 
Also, I asked last spring for some possible Good Friday pieces to do with my adult choir after we did Dubois' 7 Last Words this last year.  I got several good ideas, just wondering if anybody else would like to add some ideas.  Thanks!  Rob
Replies (6): Threaded | Chronological
on December 18, 2009 12:46pm
I have heard several renditions of the National Anthem, the most stirring and inspiring - Dave Barduhn's arrangement published by Sound Music Publications. You can hear it by going to WWW.SMPJAZZ.COM
Cheers for a joyous Holiday Season,
on December 18, 2009 1:03pm
Rob:  SATB Middle School?!!!   Good for you!
As it happens I have an arrangement written for basically this exact use, SATB, very traditional but not a boring arrangement.  And NOT the kind of pop approach that seems to offend so many people.  I'd be happy to send you a copy if you'd send me an edress.
It's in Bb, works fine a cappella (and I've used it with both an 8-voice group and a 22-voice group), but can be used with any standard band arrangement in Bb.
on December 19, 2009 6:35am
Yes, by all means look for the arrangment by Lloyd Pfautsch.  It has been used by the Texas All Stage Choir for many years.
Tom Council
on December 19, 2009 7:21am
We use the standard SATB version in Eb found in most hymnals for our a cappella choir. We usually have about 15 singers for this sort of thing & it sounds terrific. A bit of trivia, it's also the "official" version per the government's National Anthem code.
on December 19, 2009 10:42am
Hi, Patricia. I really, REALLY hope you mean Bb and not Eb! Eb would be an unsingable key, since the melody to "Anachreon in Heaven" famously covers a range of a 12th, from tonic to dominant plus an octave!
The standard DOD key (per the Navy Band, which is the "official" arbiter) is Bb. A better key for community singing is Ab. And when I was in high school I was MOST impressed when I realized that the Navy Band on tour played it in Gb! Heck, I was impressed that ANYBODY could play in Gb!!! And that was a really gorgeous arrangement.
The main thing I did differently in my own arrangement is to get rid of the outdated idea that everything has to be harmonized in 4 parts at all times, and used different textures with changes at logical places.
All the best,
on December 20, 2009 10:15am

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