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Easy 2 part song rep suggestions needed!

I teach a 5-6 school where all 5th graders take Choir, Band, Art, and Tech and then choose their favorite elective to take all year in 6th grade. It's basically in house recruiting! So I am looking for a 3rd piece to teach them that is very catchy and maybe has a pop music feel that can be sung in unison or easy 2 part (even if I need to modify it from 3 part treble). I don't really want to do a popular pop song because it's really difficult to get them to sing it well as a group. I would love to do Oye by Papoulis but it is way too difficult. If you have any suggestions please let me know!!
Replies (10): Threaded | Chronological
on September 5, 2010 3:54am
These pieces have worked for me:
Galop          Ken Berg   2 part
Why We Sing    Greg Gilpin  2 part
The Banjos Back in Town (choreography is on Shawnee Press Website) Jill Galina  2 part
I Hear America Singing         Andre Thomas 2 part
Instrument of Peace          Gilpin 2 part
Magical Kingdom         John Rutter 2 part
My Own Song            Crystal Kowalski   2 part
Through the Eyes of a Child    Greg Gilpin  2part
Al Shlosha D'varim   Naplan  2part
Birdsong Paul Read  2 part
Hine Ma Taov   Naplan   2 part
Inscription of Hope    Randall Stroope  (show a holocaust video...real moving)
Everlasting Melody   Dillworth  (it is 3 part but you make it 2 part)
on September 5, 2010 7:25am
I agree with Wishart.  Jubilate Deo by Michael Praetorius and Viva La Musica are two more.  Use good music with them and they will return to you.   Use "fluff" music and they won't.  Look at the Kodaly 2-part Bicinias and rounds.
Linda Jones, DMA
Director of Choral Activities
Chandler Public Schools
Chandler, OK
on September 5, 2010 9:07am
Hi Stephanie,
I have written an acessible 2-part arrangement of Cantate Domino. The vocal line is straight forward and accompanied by a rhythmic piano part. The text is in Latin but again accessible .  . . could be a good tie in to the art they are doing and world music.
please contact me if you would like further information.
Maryanne Rumancik
on September 5, 2010 9:45am
Stepanie:  Back in the '80s, my late wife, Susan Taylor-Howell, edited two rather good collections of folksong arrangements for OAKE (the Organizationn of American Kodaly Educators)--Sourwood Mountain and The Owl Sings.  I don't know what the availability of those books is, since they were usually available directly from OAKE and the location changed with the annual change in officers, but if you belong to OAKE or know someone in a local chapter you might be able to find them.
Some were Susie's arrangements and some by experienced arrangers like Mary Goetze and Ruth Boshkoff, but there were also very good ones by less-known arrangers.  And if I remember correctly, they were all basically 2-part.
on September 5, 2010 10:03am
A Voice From A Dream- 2 pt.  by Joyce Eilers.
I have done this piece for 25 years with 6th grade and they love it.  I even have my Jr. High and HS students asking if they can sing it years later.
Sandra Clark
on September 5, 2010 4:03pm
"Pick a Bale of Cotton" - Edwin T. Childs  (Shawnee Press/Hal Leonard)
It's energetic, 2-part, kids love it.
It has been a mass-choir choice in All-State festivals.
on September 5, 2010 5:54pm
Boy do I have a fantastic deal for you....Sound Music Publications has two sets of selections that are two part and really fun. In this case, two part swings and the kids did the music.
We encouraged the finest arrangers tp produce this music and they include Ken Kraintz, Vijay Singh, Natalie Wilson, Sonja Sarr, Judith Brack, Kirk Marcy and many more wonderful writers.
The music includes piano and bass parts completely written out, in most cases a 2nd or 3rd year pianist can play these arrangements.
And, each packet includes 15 fanatasic charts. You will have enough music for the entire year and kids will love these selections. Specifically arranged to be entry level, fun, educational and entertaining. Some of these charts have been performed at music festivals, because they are that good.
Go to:  - then to Elementary Choir and you will see Jazzin' It Up #1 and Jazzin' It Up #2.
We specifically put these packets together to assist choir directors to get good music, that is entry level, educational, entertaining and really lot of fun for students, directors and audience members. Those of you who haven't met Natalie Wilson or Sonja Sarr really need to meet these two talented ladies. Thier groups are simply incredible and they are magic with students of all ages, both having taught elementary throuhg high school and college level groups.
on September 14, 2010 5:52pm
Is there anywhere I can listen to some of those selections?
Stephanie Kinnett
on September 9, 2010 3:34am
Hi there Stephanie
Two pieces I've used which fit your criteria (mostly unson with some optional two part sections, pop music feel, suitable for 5th-6th graders) are
When My Roots Begin To Grow
Robinson Crusoe
Both songs have been really popular amongst the singers I've used them with.
Have a look and listen at to snippets. If you go for the Sea Pie Parcel versions, you get a better idea of how they go!. Sea Pie Parcel is a collection of 20 songs in fact for this type of group - only the two I've mentioned fit your pop music feel, but the others may be suitable for other occasions. You can get the songs separately or as the collection.
Hope you find something there you like, and best of luck with your recruiting!
Best wishes, Cheryl
on September 16, 2010 2:19pm
Here are a few of my 2 part compositions that work very well with younger choirs;
Song For A Pirate Child - catchy, fun 2 part with piano (BriLee Music)
Little Red Bird - hauntingly beautiful lullabye from the Isle of Wight (BriLee)
Bluejay - uptempo fun tune about the noisy bird w/piano opt. mallets/Orff instruments (Belwin/ WB/Alfred)
In Living Things We Take Delight - uptempo choral w/piano with a neat text/lyric (National Music Publishers)
He Bop - n - Re Bop - swinging vocal jazz 2 part with fun lyrics and catchy melody w/piano, bass, drums (Sound Music Publications)
Good luck and hope these might work for your choir!  
Vijay Singh, Composer
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