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SSA/SSAA piece for opening in-service

Greeting all,
I have been asked to perform at our teacher's "back-to-school" opening in service program next fall.  The supeintendent's only guidelines were something "inspirtational" and uplifting.  The audience is made up entirely of faculty and staff.  I am looking for recommendations to fit the bill.  The few pieces that have appropriate text are perhaps a bit too "stuffy" for this occasion.  Ideally I'm looking for a piece with appropriate text (beginnings - leadership - perserverance - optimism - etc) and be musically interesting for a general audience.  The group is a 30 voice high school SSAA choir that can tackle some challenge.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Replies (11): Threaded | Chronological
on May 22, 2014 2:33am
Letter From a Girl to the World!!! :) - Andrea Ramsey!
Applauded by an audience of 2
on May 22, 2014 10:38am
DEFINITELY look at this one.
on May 23, 2014 5:56am
I didn't know this piece until now, thanks for sharing!  I think I'd have a hard time getting the percussion together before the performance, otherwise this would be perfect.  I've added it to my fall repertoire, though - thanks!
on May 25, 2014 2:38am
I used minimal percussion with my group. It worked! :)
on May 22, 2014 9:52am
Hi there,
These are of varying levels but would suit the situation (wonderful that your choir will be singing at this event!): 
Al Shlosha - Alan E Naplan (Translation: The world is sustained by three things, truth, justice and peace.) A two part partner song but although simple, is beautiful and moving! 
Come Ye Makers of Song - Ruth Watson Henderson - 3 part - fairly challenging - celebratory! 
I Dreamed of Rain - Arr. Larry Nickel - song of hope, folk style, beautiful melody and great arrangement, feels good to sing
Hymn to Freedom - Oscar Peterson - always an excellent message! 
Tree of Peace - Gwyneth Walker - challenging - fabulous! 
Uma Familia - Jay Althouse - simple, fun, crowd pleaser, very useful
Sister Song - Sarah Quartel - message of hope and joy and "keep me singing" - lovely! 
We Rise Again - Arr. Lydia Adams - always a favourite - for soloist and choir
Not sure if you are "allowed" to use any sacred but if so:
I LIft My Eyes - Bob Chilcott - breathtaking! 
I Thank You God - Gwyneth Walker - demanding - needs mature voices - stunning! 
Yours in song,
Jackie Hawley
Artistic Director: Ottawa Children's Choir
Founding Director: Cantiamo Girls Choir of Ottawa
Applauded by an audience of 3
on May 23, 2014 5:57am
"We Rise Again" will fit perfectly for this event - thanks for suggesting it!  There were many great ideas on your list I hadn't thought of - thanks for sharing them!
on May 23, 2014 9:00am
Hi Lee,
I have a piece for SSA Chorus and harp (or piano) called I Saw Two Clouds at Morning. The text is John Gariner Calkins Brainard poem.  The text and sample pages are on the same link. It's not difficult but it would be an inspirational type of piece.
Janet Lanier
on May 24, 2014 7:52am
Two pieces I have used for this situation are Victor Johnson's "Will You Teach Me?" and Jim Papoulis' "Give Us Hope."
Applauded by an audience of 1
on May 27, 2014 3:58am
Those were both on my short list as well - thanks for the suggestion!
on May 26, 2014 6:10am
TO MUSIC by Leonard Enns
Treble Choir, simple handbells, 4 minutes.  Written for a music educator's conference.
Publisher:  Boosey & Hawkes (CME - M051474851)
here's a note on the work: 

To Music was inspired by the theme, “Music Matters.”  There are several references in the piece to the music of Schubert’s Lied  "An die Musik" whose text speaks of music taking us into a better world.  Also, much of the text of the piece is simply the actual "matter" of the word "music"--its phonemes:  MM  EE  OO  ZZ  IH  K.  These are introduced backwards at first, and only gradually assembled, until we hear the word "music" as it should be toward the end of the piece.

    To Music was premiered 1 July 1998, at the International Choral Kathaumixw, Powell River BC, by Viva Concert Choir,  Connie More, director.


Leonard Enns

on May 27, 2014 5:52am
Also, "Can You Hear Me" by Bob Chilcott. Sign language for the refrain is included - very moving piece.
Applauded by an audience of 1
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