Chorus Repertoire Fall 2019

This will be a very challenging semester for us as we’ll have a concert all to ourselves. (The bands and the skits workshop will have separate concert events.) We’ll sing a lot of numbers with the whole chorus, and then we’ll do a few with a smaller group made up of some of the more advanced singers. We’ll also throw in a few solos this time–which is a first for us!

The point of this page is to familiarize the chorus members with what we’re doing. Some of the videos here are the exact arrangements we’ll be singing, while others are simply the closest thing we could find. And I apologize in advance for the poor quality of some of the performances below. I think we can do better!

Whole Chorus

Keep Your Lamps–This 4-part piece was composed by Mr. Pelham’s main choral professor, and is a real crowd pleaser. It’s generally in the style of the Negro Spiritual, and we’ll be sure to use some special percussion with this piece. It is arranged for “SATB”, which means Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass. (Get used to hearing that term!) We’ll learn this one from the sheet music—-and at least 50% of our chorus is qualified to take your parts home and learn them with the help of your pianos. FYI, we will learn the exact same arrangement you hear in the video.

Sanctus–From Schubert’s German Mass in F. This piece is in 3 parts and will be sung unaccompanied. The whole chorus will perform this piece. The arrangement we’ll be doing is slightly different from that in the video, so don’t rely on the video too heavily in learning your parts. (We do have sheet music for this.) Oh, did I mention that it’s in German? Yes, we’re that sophsticated!

Down Our Way–This will be our first piece in the Barbershop style. The family show here has the Dad singing bass, the Mom singing tenor (which is the highest part in Barbershop), the youngest boy (7) singing lead (which is the melody part), and the older boy singing baritone. We’ll likely have some of our altos singing the lead and baritone parts. We will have sheet music for this.

Don’t Give Up On Me–We’ll sing this song just as it is done in the video below, where the star joins the chorus of 5th graders from PS 22. We’re currently hunting for a guest soloist who can sing the solo in something close to the style of Andy Grammer, who is seen in the video. We’ll also have sheet music for this piece.
Also, we’ll make this our first ASL piece, as Janie and Rori Lindal have been preparing to lead a small group in signing the song. They tell me this is a tough one, so we won’t try to teach the whole chorus all the signs. We’ll ask for a small number of volunteers to learn the signing outside of rehearsal time.

Chichi Wolly Wog—When was the last time you heard a chorus sing a Bluegrass number? Well, this may be it! I’m arranging an obscure folk song that has been passed down through the generations of my own family—to the point where many of its lyrics are no longer intelligible. We’ll sing it in typical Bluegrass harmony, from sheet music, and with accompaniment. Here are some of the lyrics below so that you can see what you’re in for! See what you can make out from these words:

Chichy wolly wog in a hoe gall own
Chichy wolly wog in a valiant show
Shoo, shoo, shoot a come arou’
Shoot a poppa coon
Shoot a jack-a-rou
Crosscut a vander
Chichy wolly woglin splendor

Montana–Our official state song, which we sing at all our events will be performed again in our December concert. There’s no video below because you’re all familiar with it already.

Chopsticks–I’m making a new arrangement of the piano classic for us to sing in 2 or 3 parts using Solfege syllables instead of words. This is something of an academic exercise, but we’ll do our best to make it entertaining for our audience, too. As the arrangement we’ll sing doesn’t yet exist, neither does a video of it being performed. The video below, therefore, is for that rare person who is not familiar with the song by its title.

Christmas Show–It’s hard to have an early December show without at least giving a nod to Christmas, so we’re cooking up a grand medley of sorts to do just that. There is no video, because this is top secret and you are not authorized to know any more about it than what we have told you already!

Advanced Chorus

We’ll do a handful of numbers with a smaller chorus made of some of the more advanced singers in our group.

Where Is Love?–This is one of the most gorgeous songs ever to come out of musical theater. This one’s from the hit musical, Oliver! We’ll be doing a different arrangement from what’s in the video, and we’ll have our more advanced singers forming a smaller chorus to accompany a solo singer. Our arrangement will feature lots of rich jazz harmonies. And we’ll have it in sheet music so that you can learn your parts at home as much as possible.

Isn’t It Romantic?–I hesitate to post the video below because of the poor quality of the performance, but it’s the only video I can find of this particular arrangement—which is the exact one we’ll be doing. We’ll hand-pick a smaller group to tackle this one as its harmonies are quite demanding.

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore–This Duke Ellington classic from the American Big Band era will be a challenge to be sure, but the payoff is huge. It’s a sweet number and we’ll play it with live piano accompaniment improvised by Yours Truly. The video below is—well—unfortunate, but all things considered, it’s the best I could find for this particular arrangement. We’ll do it much better than its shown here. And yes, we’ll have sheet music for it.

Going To The Chapel Of Love–We’ll have some fun to this classic 60s tune from The Dixie Cups. Our new arrangement will feature our more advanced women in three parts, with some special help from our bass section. The women’s vocals will be quite close to how they are in the video below.