University of Florida Online Master's in Music
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Composition Spotlight: O Danny Boy

(Each week we look at one or two of the best choral works posted in the Composition Showcase here on ChoralNet.  This is where we store a treasure trove of works that your choirs will love to sing and your audiences will love to hear.)
O Danny Boy arr. by John Ward for SATB and piano (click here for PDF and here for AUDIO)
Level: Middle School or Higher
Uses: Spring Concert, Open House, Social Events
Program Themes: Spring, St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland
This Piece Would Program Well With: The Wind That Shakes the Barley arr. by Dan Davidson available from JWPepper
KISS = “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”  In order to program masterworks of high art you may want to sing something fun and easy as well.   John Ward’s simple arrangement of O Danny Boy will give your choir that sublime feeling of singing in and for their community.  Your audience will probably react more to this song than the Bainton “I Saw a New Heaven” you spent all semester on.
There is something about St. Paddy’s Day that puzzled me in my college days.  A tenor friend of mine would walk into a bar, stand on a table and sing O Danny Boy. The puzzling part is that people would begin crying and then buy him drinks all night.  It took me a few years to realize the power a sentimental melody can have on people.
 Let your singers engage with a beguiling melody in this easy to learn setting. 
on February 16, 2014 5:19am
Thanks, Jack.  I'll just add that print copies are available from JWPepper.