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Unison a capella piece for non-auditioned choir of 4th graders

I'm looking for a unison a capella piece for a non-auditioned choir of 4th graders.
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on February 11, 2014 10:47am
I recommend Gregorian chant.  While there are some very complicated chants, many are fairly simple (e.g. narrow range, mostly stepwise motion, minimal melismas).  The Liber usualis is available online in PDF format (http://www.sanctamissa.org/en/music/gregorian-chant/choir/liber-usualis-1961.html); however, you would have to transcribe the chants into modern notation.  I found book of Gregorian chant in modern notation (http://media.musicasacra.com/books/chantsofchurch_modern.pdf).  I haven't explored it to see what is in there, but it's worth looking at.  You may also find some chants in modern notation on the Choral Public Domain Library (www.cpdl.org).
 
Keep in mind, the chants may be transposed to any key.  Don't feel locked in to what is on the page.  Best wishes!
on February 12, 2014 9:12am
Three that come to mind quickly:
Art Thou Troubled: Handel/Bartle
This Little Light of Mine: arr. Ken Berg - this is not the energetic, fast tempo one; it is slower and more sustained with no overt religious reference
I Will at all Times Bless the Lord: Handel/Hopson
on February 15, 2014 7:06am
Oops, I missed the "a cappella" part of the requirements.  In that case, I second the chant and round suggestions.
on February 12, 2014 11:13am
The Promise of Liberty is designed so that it may be performed either in unison or two-part treble choir, with either piano or guitar accompaniment. It is an adaptation of the text "Give me your tired, your poor," from the poem associated with the Statue of Liberty.  Full text, recordings and a free downloadable PDF perusal score are available on my website:  www.gregbartholomew.com/libertyindex.html 
The unison version was premiered by the Jackson Elementary School Choir of Everett, Washington, in June 2011.
on February 13, 2014 4:42am
My fourth grade students love rounds, and they feel so accomplished when they sing in parts for the first time. I use the 150 Rounds for Singing and Teaching book, lots of good ones in there, and they're not very long, but you can easily draw them out for performance. Teach the piece in unison first, and ( I learned this the hard way) don't try singing it in parts until they can sing the melody accurately on their own.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on February 13, 2014 12:33pm
Rebecca,
I was excited to read your comments about using rounds with your fourth graders. I'm retired now, but I frequently used rounds with my middle school choirs and even my high school choirs. They are perfect for teaching inexperienced singers to sing parts. We even used some of them in performances, such as Mozart's Alleluia. When my students were able to put the parts together and experience the positive results, their immediate reaction was: "Teach us another round." They loved it.
I would recommend that you visit the web site: solweber(a)juno.com and order Sol Weber's ROUNDS GALORE! CAPTIVATING ROUNDS, OLD AND NEW (340 rounds) collected, edited and written by Sol Weber and THE UNOFFICIAL SET OF ADDITIONAL ROUNDS (150 ROUNDS), published by Astoria Press. Another excellent source are the round books by Elizabeth Gilpatrick: 'ROUND WE GO! and COME JOIN IN, published by Alfred.
As John would have said,
All the best.
on February 13, 2014 9:49am
A fun pair is Step Back, Baby/Chicka Hanka, a version of which is posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDfxzcYL26E. We did it with solos but you could do it with duos or trios.
 
Sing on,
Cairril
on February 13, 2014 10:23am
Happy Birthday. What ever key.
S
on February 14, 2014 4:46am
Hi there Matthew,
 
I've written lots of songs over the years for 3rd to 6th graders. You may find something you like on my website:
 
 
Most of these have optional part-song opportunities, but apart from Banana Fanfare 2, they can all be done as unison songs, as I myself have done them.
 
My best recommendations for unaccompanied would be: Henry Hotspur Percy or Rain.
Actually, the best one to be unaccompanied is indeed Banana Fanfare 2, but it is in 3 (easy) parts. I did do it once with some 2nd Graders, so it might be possible for your group!
 
Best of luck with your search,
Thanks
 
Cheryl
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