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Unison piece for 5 middle school girls

I am looking for a complementary piece for festival to give to my 6th grade singers.  I've already selected Leavitt's 2-Part arrangement of "Simple Gifts" as our first piece.  I need a unison piece that is more lyrical and contrasting for their second selection.  My only caveat: there are only 5 of them.  They are all confident singers, but their small number makes stagger breathing a challenge on long phrases without it sounding jarring.  
This week they performed "I Wonder As I Wander" on our Christmas concert and gave a performance with which I was pleased, but did struggle with phrase endings as they were running out of breath.
I have considered Brahms' "Marienwurmchen" arranged by Mary Goetze but think it may be too juvenile for almost-7th-graders, and also have considered Vaughan Williams' "Song of the Tree of Life" but figured I'd put it to the experts here on ChoralNet :)
Thanks in advance!
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on December 12, 2013 6:28am
Try the Vaughan Williams "Orpheus with his lute"  -- it is lovely and has numerous opportunities to make connections with the story. Actually, there are many art songs that would work well with your 5 girls, just find one with a text, range, and a tune that will work for your situation. Best wishes! RRW
Applauded by an audience of 2
on December 12, 2013 6:52am
My •Lady Music Speaks• for unis/2-PT & piano (text by Martin Luther) may fit the bill for you. Please contact me.
Hope this helps,
Robert A. M. Ross
robertamross(a) <Robert Ross 11>
on December 12, 2013 9:09am
Two fabulous suggestions:
"How Can I Keep from Singing?"
arr. Ginger Littleton (Brilee)
U/opt 2-part
"To Music"
Schubert/arr Rao (Boosey & Hawkes)
Unison, German w/ opt English lyrics
on December 15, 2013 5:06am
I was going to suggest "How Can I Keep from Singing?" too.  BriLee also has a nice version of "This Shall Be for Music," but I can't remember now if the 2nd part is optional. 
on December 12, 2013 11:09am
 "Marienwurmchen" is often done in my are by 6th and sometimes 7th grade, and really is a lovely piece. It's the opposite of lyrical, but if they're really good, I do love "Bee, I'm Expecting You!" by Emma Lou Diemer (the poem is by Emily Dickenson). Best wishes!
on December 13, 2013 3:46pm
This Shall Be For Music - U - Mark Patterson is great.
Also, any art song book is full of songs that will work for a small unison choir. I almost always have sixth graders sing something in unison from a traditional "solo" book to help with unifying vowels and tone at the beginning of the year. Some good ones are the "Pathways of Song" series of books, "Ready to Sing - Spirituals", "Ready to Sing- Folk Songs", "Reliquary of English Song" , "57 Classic Period Songs", "And This Shall Be For Music" (Mary Lynn Lightfoot book), "Folk SOngs for Solo Singers" (Book one or two), "Get America Singing!" (Book one or two). Happy Singing!
Mary Jane
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 14, 2013 6:11pm
Art Thou Troubled by Handel
There are also several other Handel arias that are published for choral purposes. 
Simple Song from the Mass by Bernstein
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 15, 2013 5:25pm
A Girl's Garden from Frostiana by Randall Thompson  ( a few bars only of part singing).  ECSchirmer
on December 15, 2013 9:56pm
"The Little Birch Tree" Arr. by Mary Goetze
Also by Mary is another one that is about Sleigh Bells (Russian Folk Tune) It's two part, but a partner song type harmony.
My middle schoolers love both of them.
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