Composition Spotlight: Harmony in Gold
Date: May 31, 2015
COMPOSITION SPOTLIGHT ~ by Jack Senzig
(Each week we look at a piece of useful repertoire from the ChoralNet Community Composition Showcase. A variety of voicings and levels of difficulty will be presented. Enjoy!)
Level: High School or higher
Uses: General Concert Use, Building Community Relationships, Choral Masterworks
Program Themes: Summer, Flowers, Beauty of the Earth
This Piece Would Program Well With: The Heavens are Telling from The Creation by Joseph Haydn available from JWPepper and Sheet Music Plus
Harmony in Gold was commissioned by the Milburn High School Choir from Milburn NJ. A quick search on the school showed a 100% graduation rate. Could the music program and talented directors have something to do with that? Dale Trumbore very skillfully wove young voices into an orchestral tapestry. The choir is easily heard through the texture and the text painting by choir and brass is astounding! Harmony in Gold really got me thinking about the value of collaboration with our instrumental colleagues.
For my graduate conducting recital, I collaborated with the orchestra director at the high school I taught at. It was one of the most fulfilling musical events of my life and the lives of my choir members. Is there an orchestra at your school or in your community? In Racine, WI where I live, there is an excellent community orchestra that regularly collaborates with our high school choirs. I challenge high school and community choir directors to step up their programs through collaborations such as this. I am forwarding Harmony In Gold to our city orchestra. Won’t you do the same?
If you are a high school director choose a couple pieces so you and your instrumental counterpart can share in the conducting duties. Make it clear from the beginning that you would like to conduct at least one piece and that you will make your choirs available for him/her to conduct. At the community level you may have to accept that you are the guests of the orchestra director.
Why collaborate? It will expand the musical experiences of your choir members, make your program more valued by your community, build a larger audience for you and make valuable connections to the musical movers and shakers in your community.
Why would a community orchestra want to collaborate with you? Ticket sales! If they accept, be sure to sell the performance to your families. Our collaborations are sold out events.
How do you collaborate? Ask! It never hurts to ask. Be a regular audience member of the program you want to collaborate with. Get to know the members of the board of directors. Offer the orchestra free advertising in your concert programs. In a high school, offer to run sound, house lights or take tickets at the instrumental director’s concerts. Building relationships is essential.
Get on it!
(Original publication: March 17, 2015)