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Hello all! I'm a member of Missouri State University's Concert Chorale, and I'm perusing literature trying to find an excellent closing piece (an encore, it won't necessarily be listed in the program). We can perform advanced literature, so if you know of any pieces that would be a good fit to an advanced collegiate program, please let me know! In the past, we have performed Rheinberger's Abendlied, Paulus' The Road Home, as well as others. Thanks for all the help!
on October 19, 2012 4:18am
Here si a work of mine that was programmed a couple of years ago as the finale to our ACDA performance.
I also have a great arrangement of Jericho if you're looking for  something more entertaining.
on October 19, 2012 4:35am
Do you want something upbeat or contemplative?
Daemon irrepit Orban
Elijah Rock Hogan
Mike Peterson
on October 19, 2012 12:02pm
Hi Jared,
Great that you are helping your director with research and recommendations!
Here is a list of selections from my catalog that might suit.
Just surf to to the Works/Choral page and listen and look.
I publish all these in inexpensive .pdf, and offer educational discount.
Tyger Tyger Burning Bright (Blake), powerful with an eery quiet ending (moderate difficulty)
Freedom/Uhuru, powerful anti-slavery song, bam ending (difficult)
From "Principles", The Truth is Great, righteous fugue (difficult)
Go Ahead and Rejoice, check out the last "miracle" chord. . . (moderate difficulty)
There's a Wind, a real storm, whistling effects, quiet end, difficult
The Lamb (Blake; sweet sweet; easy)
The Cradle Song (Blake, bittersweet, drowse off at the end with eyes closed; medium)
The Fly (Blake), ironic existential madrigal.
The Laughing Song (Blake; hysterical breakdown in the middle, big SBPSQA ending; difficult)
The Garlic Blessing (pungent; tongue in cheek; with piano; easy)
Flopsy the Christmas Pup (corny but true; with piano; jazzy middle, Rockettes kicker coda; easy)
Please let me hear back from you, and if anything is of use.
Best Regards,
David Avshalomov
Composer, Singer, Conductor
Special Citation Winner, American Prize 2012/Orchestral Composition
ACDA Silver Platter Award 2012 for Choral Composition
Santa Monica
on October 20, 2012 5:32am
Hi, Jared --
Here's a piece of mine that makes a terrific closer.  It's called Love, thricewise, cast in three short movements (total duration about 5'30" or 6') and you can see/hear it here:
It's published in the NCCO Choral Music Series.
If you're looking for something contemplative, take a look at my Dona nobis pacem (hear it here: and if you want a perusal score, send me a message).  It's in 7 parts, gently builds to a big climax, then settles into a tender conclusion.
Thanks for considering my music!
All the best,
Joseph Gregorio
on October 20, 2012 6:29am
Jared- your selection for an encore is highly correlated with your concert program, especially the final number.
Do you want to close with a number that might bring the audience to their feet, cheering and applauding? OR do you want to close with a number that might be contemplative and quiet?
A few years ago I attended a concert performed by Rene Fleming. After several exciting encores, she sang a quiet,  contemplative song that communicated to the audience that it was time to exit the concert hall.
Perhaps you might consider this "feeling" in choosing an encore.  I think it might NOT be necessary to overwhelm the audience with a difficult piece- sometimes, I think a simple piece, beautifully sung, might be perfect for your encore.
Surprise your audience with a piece that means much to you and your choir!
Carl Smith
on October 20, 2012 10:16am
Jared:  Coming in late on your question, just to add a little perspective, but I agree that both WHETHER to plan an encore and WHAT to plan depend entirely on the pacing of your concert--especially the 2nd half--and on what your formal closing number is.  There is not and cannot be any one-size-fits-all answer to your question.
But having spent about 20 years in professional entertainment before getting into the teaching game, I'm quite familiar with programming encores as part of an overall program, because professional entertainers do exactly that.  NOTHING is left to chance, and an encore is just as planned and just as much a part of the program as any other part of it.  The one thing that thinking about it as an encore does allow you to do is to drop it on a particular concert if the audience response is not what you think it should be to deserve an encore.  Every audience is different.
And there's also a truism in entertainment:  "Always leave your audience wanting more."  Or as Dolly Parton put it, "Make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, and then cut out!"  With my university show ensembles I NEVER planned an encore, but I DID plan closing numbers that would leave the audience both satisfied that they had seen your very best efforts AND still wanting more.  (Kind of tricky, I have to admit!)  I take the same approach with classical or early music concerts.  *I* control the pacing and the length of the program, not the audience. 
But the main difference is not between entertainment and art, but between a program or show that is repeated over and over again for different audiences (which all professional entertainers do), allowing you both to fine tune your presentation and to experiment with things like programmed encores, and a program that is prepared, presented once or at most 2 or 3 times, and then filed away (which virtually all educational ensembles and community ensembles do as a matter of course because they assume that they will have essentially the SAME audience for each program).  In the latter case you are trying to guess what the audience response will be.  In the former case you KNOW what it will be.
All the best,
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