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Repertoire Suggestions for Independence of Spirit

Hello all,

I'm working with a chorus that does themed programs. For the Spring of 2015, I am collecting pieces about exercising an Independence of Spirit - Personally, Spiritually, Socially, et al.

I'm looking for suggestions - I've got a good 36-40 voice amateur choir (think college undergrad level) who prefers both piano accompanied and unaccompanied pieces. For some seasons we do hire small instrumental ensembles (considering a woodwind quintet for this one... though, that's still way up in the air).
If you have any suggestions for pieces, I'd love to hear them.

Possible pieces I've so far gathered:
The Road not Taken - V. Thompson
Fear Not, Dear Friend - Jake Runestad
To Love this Earth - Gwyneth Walker
My SPirit is Uncaged - Paul Rardin
Invictus - though I'm not crazy about th Nancy Cobb SSA - any other out there?
On Children - Sweet Honey in the Rock

Would love some stuff in non-english? Looking for the William Billings Score "Independence" but haven't had any luck yet...

Thanks for any advice you may have!
on November 24, 2013 8:10am
Dont know a specific choral work, but recommend the concept of Terry Riley's "In C"- wherin any number -generally from sub groups of 5- of 53 variations are instrumentally played- but on the individual initiative of the participants. A great richness /diversity of sound is created, See no reason why this cannot be arranged vocally.
on November 24, 2013 8:44am
Hi Kevvn,
My "Do You Hear How Many You Are?" might work for your theme.  Have a look and a listen here:
Keane Southard
on November 24, 2013 9:01am
I have a setting of Thoreau’s Nature for SATB div. with incidental T or S solo that might fit your bill. You may listen to it here:
You might also find my Psalm 131 useful here (SATB div., S solo); soloist sings the psalm in Hebrew; choir sings in English:
Or, perhaps, the work that combines the two: Of Nature and Humility (Double SATB, S solo); which was a Finalist in the 2012 American Prize for Choral Composition:
Any or all of these scores are available from me directly.
BTW: The Billings work you're looking for should be in the Complete Works (5 or 6 volumes; if you're anywhere near a large university library that has graduate degrees in music, they should have it). But be aware that Independence will be the name of his tune; the odds are excellent that the text will be that of a hymn and will have nothing to do with the theme of your concert.
Then again, it might be a great opener regardless!
Hope this helps,
Robert A.M. Ross
robertamross(a) <Robert Ross 11>
on November 24, 2013 10:55am
Vaughan Williams: Six Choral Songs (To be Sung in Time of War)
(Shelley). For unison voices with pianoforte or orchestra. A Song of Courage; A Song of Liberty; A Song of Healing; A Song of Victory; A Song of Pity; A Song of the New Age.
These are unison chorus (with piano or orchestra) and can be very moving.
Alexandra Ludwig
Springfield College
on November 24, 2013 6:50pm
Check out Jeffery Cobb's nod to "Invictus".  It has a very demanding piano accompaniment, but would be very fitting for your program.  (I'm not sure if Nancy and Jeff are of any relation)
I was hoping to find a youtube performance, but couldn't, but I do have a CD performance from where he won the Ithaca College School of Music's Choral Composition Festival a few yrs ago.
I'll throw in a suggestion of my own "City of the Heart" for SATB and piano. is a performance by Horsehead High School Concert Choir.  The music is available through many on-line distributors - JWPepper - Sheet Music Plus or the publisher >
Good luck.
on November 24, 2013 7:29pm
Independence of Spirit brings a lot of odd pieces to mind.  I hope this is what you are looking for...
Beethoven:  Opferlied
Billings:  Chester (Let tyrants shake)
Britten:  Rejoice in the Lamb
Corigliano:  Fern Hill
Dello Joio:  Dalliance of Eagles
Henry VIII:  Pastime with good Company
Ives:  They are There
Menotti:  Unicorn
Vaughan Williams:  Let us now praise famous Men
on November 25, 2013 12:31pm
Hi Kevvn,
I have two suggestions for your "Independence of Spirit" theme:
An Open World, SATB, ca. 3 minutes.  Recording and downloadable PDF score:
The text:
An Open World
There is a certain madness born of sailing 
From port to distant port the world around.
There is a certain way it has, unveiling
Unused chambers of the mind so that the sound
Of many different voices can be heard.
- The range of human thoughts and views,
From which with joy can be inferred, 
An open world, and paths to choose.
From Ode 17 of the Odes of Solomon, SATB, ca. 5'30".  Recording and downloadable PDF score:
A text excerpt:  
I was freed from myself and uncondemned.
The chains fell from my wrists.
The thought of truth drove me.
I walked to it and did not wander off.
I opened closed doors,
shattered bars of iron.
My own shackles melted.
Nothing appeared closed
because I was the door to everything.
on November 25, 2013 8:56pm
Excuse me, but, what does "independence of spirit" mean?
Thanks, and best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
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