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Repertoire Suggestions for "Songs of Home" theme

I direct a 40-50 voice intermediate mixed chorus (community volunteers) and am planning a program around the theme of "Songs of Home," to be performed in January of 2014. I'm looking for any and all suggestions for repertoire that would fit within this theme - sacred, secular, multicultural, accompanied, unaccompanied, etc. Any language is fine. Bonus points if it's something pre-20th century! Thanks in advance for your contributions!
Kate Shealy
Pennsylvania Academy of Performing Arts
Replies (19): Threaded | Chronological
on September 5, 2013 10:38pm
Marta Keen's Homeward Bound is excellent, and several arrangements are available.
on September 6, 2013 5:00am
Pretty much any one of the Parker/Shaw spiritual or folk arrangements would be great for that kind of program.  Good luck!
on September 6, 2013 5:29am
My community group just did a concert with the theme of Home.  It was for the opening of a new performing arts center in our small town. 
Home Is Where the Heart Is - Strommen
Day-O - arr. Billingsley
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home? - arr. Gilpin
The Dover Cliffs - Frombach and Courtney
Daddy Sang Bass - arr. Shaw
City Called Heaven - arr. Poelinitz
I'm Going Home - arr. Choplin
Poor Wayfaring Stranger - arr. Christopher
Angels Carry Me Home - arr. Purifoy
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child - arr. Helvey
Amazing Grace! Amazing Love! - arr. Rentz
Home - Althouse
Cindy LeGette
on September 6, 2013 5:53am
Stephen Paulus's The Road Home, a cappella, beautiful.
Applauded by an audience of 4
on September 6, 2013 8:42am
Mark Hayes has a really nice arrangement of Home On the Range. It's available for both 4-part and 8-part.
Also, check out Song for the Mira (arr. Calvert), Coming Home (Joseph Martin, old hymn text), and Already Home (arr. Althouse, from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Wizard of Oz).
Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 6, 2013 8:52am
Virgil Thomson's "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need" comes to mind with that beautiful last line 'like a child at home.'
Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 6, 2013 3:13pm
Hi Kate! Have you considered Brahms' "An die Heimat"? It melts the heart!  And you have the voices and the accompanist to pull it off.
Randy Cornell
on September 6, 2013 7:06pm
Here's a program my community chorus didi a few years ago:
Home is Where the Heart Is
Home Town and Homestead
Oj Savice trad. Croatia
Breaths (1980) Ysaye M. Barnwell
lyrics adapted from the poem by Birago Dop
Marjorie, Come Feed the Black Sow anon.
Vermont Summer (1998) Andrew Christiensen
Wooing Song of a Yeoman of Kent’s Son (1611) Thomas Ravenscroft
Tomorrow the Fox Will Come to Town (1609) Thomas Ravenscroft
Slavonska Poscočica trad. Croatia as performed by Lado
A Belman’s Song (1611) Thomas Ravenscroft
Homeless, Homesick, Migration
Homeless (1986) Paul Simon and Joseph Shambalala
Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen (1502) Heinrich Isaac
Mival guriashi trad. Republic of Georgia
Hu-Tsa-Tsa trad., arr, Jane Peppler 2001
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Long Way Home (2002) David Mahler,
This Must Be the Place (1983) Talking Heads
Habitat / Home on Earth
The Moth and the Fish Eggs (2010) Anna Dembska
lyrics by Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Nell’ apparir dell’ amorosa Aurora (1608) Mogens Pedersøn
Turn the World Around (1977) Harry Belafonte and Robert Freedman
Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 9, 2013 8:17am
You might consider "We are Going," a call-and-response song I wrote that invites audience participation. It came to me in a dream after Katrina hit and it's about children leading us home. You can learn more about it and hear a sample at (bottom right column). There was no written music for this but it's very simple and you can pick it up from the sample or I can get you the mp3.
Sing on!
on October 15, 2013 6:13pm
In 2007, the Minnesota Chorale performed "Sing Me a Home", a collaboration with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH), several area high schools and five Minnesota composers. The idea of the program was to use music" to explore the idea of “home” and to deepen awareness of issues relating to affordable housing and poverty." []
Five new choral works were commissioned, set to texts written by local high school students who had drawn from the stories of families who had worked with TCHFH. It is my understanding that these pieces were to be shared freely, but I have just checked the website, and not everything is there. However, what is there is at this location: If you would like me to pursue this further, please let me know.
I generally keep my old programs, but for some reason I cannot locate the one from Sing Me a Home. Once I do, I may share it, as there were several other "home themed" works besides the pieces that were newly commissioned. Good luck!
Liz Pauly
on October 16, 2013 8:00pm
Kate - 
Just wanted to add a few things now that I got the old program.
Three of the newly commissioned works were provided in simplified form on the website, with the link I gave above (Thomas, Bettinis and Vandervelde). They are freely distributed. 
Full versions of all of these commissioned works may be available directly from the composers, but I don't know for certain.
Here are the pieces:
Here We Can Dream - David Evan Thomas 
A Place to Call Our Own - Jerry Rubino
Joy Always Joy - William Banfield
Journey Home - Abbie Betinis
Sing Me a Home - Janika Vandervelde
Other pieces on the program worth considering: 
Is There a Place? from Garden of Light (Aaron J. Kernis)
Somewhere from West Side Story (we performed Steve Zegree's arrangement)
Make Our Garden Grow from Candide
House Him There Leland B. Sateren
The Road Home Stephen Paulus
on October 16, 2013 6:29am
Speaking of "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need," Wilberg has a wonderful arrangement that also has flute and oboe solos.  Very moving.
I also believe there's a choral arrangement of "Home" from the musical "The Wiz," if it's still in print.
on October 16, 2013 8:58pm
Home Cookin

Home Cookin' by Jack Curtis Dubowsky. For 2-part choir. Country Western; humor; GALA; cabaret; folk; Americana; Pythonesque. Lead sheet. Composed 2007. 4 pages. Duration 2:30. Published by De Stijl Music (D1.SM-07-0004).

A fun, cheerful, upbeat country two-step barnyard song, innocent enough with potential for innuendo. Sing about chickens, dogs, bears, and piggies (who also can be understood as representational of various character types!) Two-part harmony lead sheet with chord chart. Originally performed by the Winsome Griffles.

on October 17, 2013 6:50am
"Here is My Home" is a nice, open-sounding hymn that the UUs use (maybe other faiths do, too). Oddly enough, I can't find it on YouTube, but here are the lyrics: I might have a copy somewhere if you want me to look.
Sing on!
on October 18, 2013 6:46am
My choir did a Habitat for Humanity concert a couple years ago and here is our program:  Good Luck
Happy Home (shaker tune)
America the Beautiful
In these delightful, pleasant groves(,Henry Purcell)
Shenandoah(.James Erb)
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Philip M. Young)
Ain’t That Good News(Moses Hogan )
Home and the Heartland(Bill Whelan)               
Goin’ Home(Antonin Dvorak)
Who Says You Can’t Go Home (Jon Bon Jovi)
If I had a Hammer (Pete Seeger )
The Little House (Berger / Klonaris)
Magazine Madrigals(A. Oscar Haugland)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?(Fred Rogers)arr. Robert Page
Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please come Home? (arr. Greg Gilpin)
Loch Lomond  (Arr. Earlene Rentz)
Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen (Heinrich Isaac)
A House Is Not a Home. (David / BacharachArr. Mac Huff)
The Hearts Cry (Bill Whelan)
Shut de Do (Randy Stonehill arr. Mark Hayes)
Build Up the Common Life (Will Schmid)
on October 18, 2013 8:55am
Hi, Kate -- 
If you're open to folk music, and to programming something with a sadder twist on the idea of going home, take a look at my arrangement of the Irish folksong The Maid of Culmore.  You can see and hear the score here:
The speaker, in the song, says that he'll return home no more if he can't find his beloved.
Thanks for your time, and good luck with your program!
All the best,
Joseph Gregorio
on October 18, 2013 11:13am
If you want to make everyone cry, have your ladies sing "Music In My Mother's House" by Stuart Stott.  There's a couple of arrangements out there.
on October 21, 2013 5:21am
My choirs (high school age-level) and I are giving a performance with a very similar theme tomorrow night.  Here's our program:
A Girl's Garden - Randall Thompson
The Lord of the Small - Dan Forrest
Jordan's Angels - Rollo Dilworth
At Last - Mack Gordon, Harry Warren; arr. Jay Althouse
American Folk Rhapsody - Linda Spevacek
Ride On, King Jesus - arr. Alice Parker, Robert Shaw
Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal - arr. Alice Parker
Little David, Play on Your Harp - arr. Rollo Dilworth
Omnia Sol - Z. Randall Stroope
The Seal Lullaby - Eric Whitacre
Don't Stop Believin' - Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon, Steve Perry; arr. Alan Billingsley
Hope some of those might be of help.  Also, if you're looking for great pre-20th Century American, anything by William Billings is always great.  Good luck!
on October 22, 2013 6:34am
This is brand new from World Library Publications. Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling arranged for SSAA voices. Sacred Americana.
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