AMERICAN CHORAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION WESTERN REGION NEWSLETTER FALL 2022 A R I Z O N A • C A L I F O R N I A • H A W A I ' I • N E V A D A • U T A H Tactus
It is with great joy that I share the 2022 fall issue of Tactus with you! Being a new face in regional leadership, I would like to start with a few thank you's and an introduction.
I was fortunate to meet and work with Angelica Dunsavage prior to my appointment as editor In crafting this issue, I looked to Angelica's work from 2018 2022 for guidance Additionally, I would like to thank former Tactus editor Nina Gilbert who reached out to offer assistance and answer my many questions. Thank you to these editors for setting a fine example, both in curating content for Tactus and for being approachable mentors! Additionally, thank you to Julie, Kim, Lou, and Mike for taking me on in this new role. I am very excited to be a part of this connection to the larger choral community!
I teach middle school choir in Honolulu, Hawai'i and am finishing up (woohoo!) my master's degree in music education at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. I sing in the university choirs and at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. Originally from Virginia, I grew up singing casually in church and school. The moment that shifted my attitude towards choral music, from hobby to passion, was singing under Dr André Thomas in Virginia District 2 Chorus I loved the excitement I felt for Dr Thomas' dynamic rehearsal pacing, getting to sing in a large ensemble of other high schoolers, and learning about the power of my own voice. I am reminded of this fond experience through my students' excitement for singing and community. I have my undergraduate conducting mentor, Dr. Shane Lynch, to thank for inspiring me to make choral music my profession.
The fall 2022 issue of Tactus features a few new columns: choir features, an in memoriam, a choral podcast spotlight, and a DEI article. Each piece of content demonstrates choral music's ability to connect diverse communities through visions of empowerment, equity, and inclusion.
To those who received an email from me out of the blue, responded, and submitted to Tactus thank you for trusting me to feature your choirs, pictures, research, and stories Mahalo to my graduate conducting mentor Dr Jace Saplan for leading by example, connecting individuals with communities, and communities with one another. We stand stronger together.
Readers, I hope that you are inspired by our fantastic colleagues featured in this issue as much as I am. If I might suggest a takeaway from this issue, it would be to encourage readers to make a new connection in their communities. Community choirs, children's choirs, and church choirs, just to name a few, are cornerstones of our singing communities Seek out and embrace new opportunities for collaboration. If it hasn't been done yet, be the first to try.
Please tell me about your own stories of choral connection and collaboration!
You can email me at email@example.com.
Aloha, Olivia Arnold Tactus Editor
Hawai'i ACDA Co R&R Middle School Chair Hawai'i Music Educators Association Secretary
A Letter from the Editor
FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 3
Table of Contents
A Letter from the Editor
Western Region Leadership
A Message from WACDA President Michael Short . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"What Happens in Vegas" by Kim Ritzer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"Music and Morale Among Ukrainian Refugees" by Erica Glenn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Choir Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
In Remembrance 18
ACDA Grant and Funding Opportunities 19
Choral Podcast Spotlight: Conduct(her) Podcast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
"The Published Choral Works of John Williams" by Micah Bland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Photos from Around the Western Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
A Message from the President Elect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
DEI Column: Dr Jace Saplan & Olivia Arnold 38
Social Media 40
Cover photos obtained from the Library of Congress
Left to right:
Hawai'i: Overlooking Diamond Head at Waikīkī Beach
California: Half Dome at Yosemite National Park
Nevada: Stargazing at the Bristlecone pine groves
Utah: The Windows in Arches National Park
Arizona. View from the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park near the Bright Angel Trailhead
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Western Region Leadership
Western Region Executive Committee
Michael Short, President
Lou De La Rosa, Past President
Julie Dana, President Elect
David Sonnichsen, Treasurer
Lori Marie Rios, Special Advisor to the President
Joan Steinmann, Recording Secretary
Ted Gibson, Arizona President
Katie Gerrich, Arizona President Elect
Chris Peterson, California President
Arlie Langager, California President Elect
Justin Ka'upu Hawai'i President
Michael Polutnik, Nevada President
Jeninifer Lowry, Nevada President Elect
Cheryl Worthen, Utah President
Emily Mercado, Utah President Elect
Cari Earnhart & Scott Hanna Weir, Conference Co Chairs Kim Ritzer, Registration Chair
Marc McGhee & Vivian Santos, Honor Choir Chairs
Michael Ushino, Equipment Coordinator
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Jace Saplan, DEI Coordinator
Nicki Manlove Ernest Harrison Olivia Arnold Ryan Duff Emily Mercado
Western Region Advisory Committee
John Tebay & Shawna Stewart, Membership
Tim Westerhaus, Repertoire R & R Coordinator (TBA), Lifelong R & R Coordinator
Rodger Guerrero, Collegiate R & R Coordinator
Deseree La Vertu, College and University Choirs
Christina Hall, Youth R & R Coordinator
Joan Steinman, Recording Secretary
Elizabeth Baker, Social Media
Anna Caplan, Webmaster
Olivia Arnold, Tactus Editor
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A message from our president
First, thank you for trusting me to guide our organization for the next two years. It has been an honor to work with the amazing board members and volunteers over the last many years! Over the last two years Lou De La Rosa has done an amazing job of communicating with and advocating for all of us!
Thank you, Lou, for creating a way for our art! Over the last two years Lou De La Rosa has done an amazing job of communicating with and advocating for all of us! Thank you, Lou, for creating a way for our art to function in the midst of a devastating couple of years.
This year’s conference, the first since “The Shutdown”, was under the leadership of Lou De La Rosa, Dr. Cari Earnhart, and Dr. Scot Hanna Weir and it was a great success. The conference brought us back to a place where we had a chance to get reacquainted with our friends and colleagues and meet new fellow choral directors from all over the Western region and beyond We saw performances and were inspired by our colleagues who not only created amazing music but did it under the most stressful of conditions! YOU ARE AMAZING!
Thousands of volunteer hours were given by all the members of the Western Region Board and Conference committee. Your efforts were and are life changing for all of us in ACDA. The leadership didn’t just tell people to do things but got down and dirty moving chairs, risers, choral shells, and students The hundreds /thousands of hours that people in leadership of our conferences, honor choir chairs and site chairs along with the amazing work of our performing ensembles are the real “torch bearers” of choral music in our region.
This organization, ACDA, has been a gateway for most of us to understand the impact that our profession has on the world. The friendships forged, the inspiration of the performances given and the learning from interest and reading sessions give us all the zing we need for the rest of the year! Without the encouragement, example, and support of my ACDA
family I could not have accomplished what I have in my career.
They have pushed, pulled and dragged me along the way. They have taught me that we are all in the same business not just creating beautiful music and training musicians in the skills that lead to amazing music but we are here to create amazing people students who start to understand who they are and the great abilities they have.
We teach them to: Have confidence in themselves Work as a team Listen Expand their horizons Be responsible Take direction without offense Be independent Conquer fear
Do what they love Express themselves Respect everyone even those they don’t agree with (adults still have that problem)
Understand a culture or belief other than your own
This is the short list. Feel free to send me your thoughts.
In other words, we use music to teach students how to be a creative, kind and loving human being.
*Disclaimer: As a high school teacher, I know that most of my students are not going to be professional musicians. It will not be their vocation, but I hope and pray that it is their avocation
To our Collegiate friends your goals are the same, but the musical goals are much higher You are teaching the tools of our trade, creating the amazing and talented future of our profession. You are training the people that will step into a classroom to shape the lives of our young people or onto the stages of the world that will inspire us for years to come.
We are all dependent on one another to continue the legacy that has been handed to us. Please remember, this profession is not only about us today, but the future generations to come We have a great responsibility to all our singers young or old
Hello fellow ACDA Members,
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Over the next few years, I hope we can help each other rebuild our programs after the devastating last couple of years. All of our singers and programs have been touched. I would also like to concentrate on rebuilding relationships with all our choral community, allowing all of us to reach out, understand and accept each other and grow together musically I am excited that with the great leadership in our region we will continue to build up and grow our membership and our music!
Attending ACDA National this school year in Cincinnati, Ohio, could be a life changing experience for all of us! Don’t miss the opportunity that could be THE MOMENT that you finally understand why you are a choral director!
Our Western Region ACDA conference for 2024 will be here before you know it So it is time for you to tell us what you would like to see in/at the conference It is a place for us to learn and have mountain high experiences.
Please send your suggestions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. I really do want to hear what you have to say!
Have an inspiring and productive year!!
Michael Short is the current president of Western Region ACDA. For the last 43 years Michael has directed choirs from elementary, middle, high school, community college and adult community and church. He is currently the choral director and department chairman at Orange High School, founder/director of the Orange Community Master Chorale, president of the Greater Orange Community Arts Theater Foundation (GOCAT) and director of music for the First United Methodist Church all in the city of Orange, California Michael has been married to Vicki for 40 years and they have two grown children and three very cute and smart grandchildren.
Head over to the WACDA website using the QR code below for repertoire suggestions curated by Saunder Choi!
Featured arrangers and composers include Carlos Cordero, Michael Gilbertson, David Saldaña, and Lim Han Quan
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What happens in Vegas... by Kim Ritzer
ACDA conferences can be instrumental in refining techniques in choral conducting, innovative classroom management and new choral music. When planning for these conferences, board members visit venues where conferences will be held; working out logistics for adequate choir space, rehearsal rooms, attendees, additional meeting rooms, hotel room availability and so on While taking a dinner break from planning the 2022 conference in Long Beach, California, Lou De La Rosa, our then ACDA President, asked me what drew me to Las Vegas. Or in his own words, “Why Vegas?”
My reply was, “I didn’t choose music, music chose me and Las Vegas was booming with a long list of talent.” I started very young surrounded by musical talent. The first musical savant to introduce me to music, a prodigy in his own right, the one who taught me to appreciate the power of song, whom I loved very much, was my father, Robert Barclay
My dad's family owned a music store in Media, Pennsylvania while he himself auditioned and was accepted to the United States Marine Band, The President’s Own. After several years in the band, his father became ill and my dad had to leave the band he loved so much, to take over the family music store. My dad’s music store didn’t just sell scores and sheet music, he also took on students and taught them woodwind and string instruments An incredible musician, my dad played violin, viola, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone and flute He imparted his knowledge and expertise to his students and when I came along, he started me on piano after I asked for one at six years old.
In the 1970’s, the Las Vegas Strip was the place to be for musicians as performers were headlining at every major hotel. Most used live bands and musicians were in high demand, working sometimes seven nights a week My dad packed up my mom, me and my two brothers for Sin City, much to the disaccord of my Pennsylvania family I was only four years old when we arrived in Las Vegas. I didn’t know Las Vegas as Sin City, as a matter of fact, I didn’t hear that term until I was much older. To me, this was my home. There were my friends of course, mountains in every direction, and my dad, who came home every night dressed in his tuxedo with his bow tie undone and hanging just above his lapel.
During summer vacation, starting when I was seven or eight, my dad would take me to rehearsals in showrooms at the hotels I remember sitting in the nearly empty audience, intently focused on the stage where the likes of Wayne Newton, Tony Bennett, Debbie Reynolds, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Elvis
Presley, Shirley MacLaine, Liberace, the entire ‘Rat Pack’, the Osmonds, the Jackson Five, Tom Jones, and so many more rehearsed with the band, the light and sound crews, and stagehands, rigging, lowering and raising curtains. The experience for me was surreal and exhilarating Not just for the stardom of these super celebrities but also because I witnessed, watched and learned during my formative years, how shows were put together
I had a passion and was drawn to music because of my dad. Having the opportunity to see how all the magic happens before the crowds paid (or had their show tickets comped), made me feel special, like my dad was the superstar. Yet at the same time, it just felt very normal, like what every kid would experience. Thinking back, I remember how my face was full of freckles My mom would tell me they were sun kisses, but they still contributed to my shyness and confidence levels until I met Shirley MacLaine, who had strawberry blonde hair and freckles of her own. In fact, many of the headliners were friendly with me. I garnered an admiration for them as performers while seeing the genuineness of their personas. In other words, they may have been famous but still showed their human side.
I cannot speak for my parents about what impact they thought the move to Las Vegas would have on our family but I can tell you that the exposure to music both in Vegas showrooms and at home, literally put me and my siblings on a musical trajectory. Fifty two years later and after 33 years teaching choir in the Clark County School District, I am grateful for the experiences that I was afforded due to my dad’s profession and his willingness to let me see for myself what music can do for my soul and the hearts of the thousands of students I’ve taught. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen the ‘Sin’ in this city of mine What I have seen is the positive force of music, how it touches people, the rhythm that makes all hearts beat at once and how music brings people together.
“Why Vegas”? It was where the work was. My dad saw that. I hope I can fulfill the dream he had of sharing his love of music with our future generations.
Kim Ritzer is a Past President of WACDA (2019 2020), and Nevada ACDA She teaches choral music at Green Valley High School in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, and is a respected leader in Clark County music education and beyond. Her Madrigal Singers recently performed at the Western Region ACDA Conference in Long Beach.
FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 9
THE GLORY AND FREEDOM OF UKRAINE HAS NOT YET PERISHED MARCHING FORWARD TO FREE OUR BROTHER UKRAINIANS FROM THE SHACKLES OF MOSCOW DO NOT WORRY, GLORIOUS UKRAINE; YOU WILL HAVE A FREE PEOPLE WE’LL SPARE NEITHER SOULS NOR BODIES FOR OUR FREEDOM AND WE’LL PROVE THAT WE ARE BROTHERS THE GLORY AND FREEDOM OF UKRAINE HAS NOT YET PERISHED MARCHING FORWARD TO FREE OUR BROTHER UKRAINIANS FROM THE SHACKLES OF MOSCOW DO NOT WORRY, GLORIOUS UKRAINE; YOU WILL HAVE A FREE PEOPLE WE’LL SPARE NEITHER SOULS NOR BODIES FOR OUR FREEDOM AND WE’LL PROVE THAT WE AR UKRAINIANS FROM THE SHACKLES OF BODIES FOR OUR FREEDOM AND WE’ ARD TO FREE OUR BROTHER UKRAINIAN RE NEITHER SOULS NOR BODIES FOR RISHED MARCHING FORWARD TO FREE FREE PEOPLE WE’LL SPARE NEITHER SO AINE HAS NOT YET PERISHED MARCHIN ; YOU WILL HAVE A FREE PEOPLE WE’LL EEDOM OF UKRAINE HAS NOT YET PERIS LORIOUS UKRAINE; YOU WILL HAVE A S THE GLORY AND FREEDOM OF UKRA W DO NOT WORRY, GLORIOUS UKRAINE WE ARE BROTHERS THE GLORY AND FR KLES OF MOSCOW DO NOT WORRY, GL LL PROVE THAT WE ARE BROTHERS THE ROM THE SHACKLES OF MOSCOW DO N REEDOM AND WE’LL PROVE THAT WE AR OTHER UKRAINIANS FROM THE SHACKLE R BODIES FOR OUR FREEDOM AND WE’ ARD TO FREE OUR BROTHER UKRAINIAN RE NEITHER SOULS NOR BODIES FOR OUR FREEDOM AND WE LL PROVE THAT WE ARE BROTHERS THE GLORY AND FREEDOM OF UKRAINE HAS NOT YET PERISHED MARCHING FORWARD TO FREE OUR BROTHER UKRAINIANS FROM THE SHACKLES OF MOSCOW DO NOT WORRY, GLORIOUS UKRAINE; YOU WILL HAVE A FREE PEOPLE WE’LL S
Music and Morale Among Ukrainian Refugees
BY DR. ERICA GLENN
55 year old Olga Burlakova sang many roles with the Kharkiv National Opera, including Iolanta in Iolanta, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, and Sacerdotessa in Aida. Then the theater was bo
mbed by Russian forces and Olga fled to a reception center in Warsaw housing 3,000 refugees She came alone, bringing only what she could carry her beloved cat, her passport, and her favorite sheet music. Olga slept on one cot among hundreds in a giant warehouse room where the lights never dimmed. Colds and other viruses spread quickly, and Olga developed a persistent cough. Still, she climbed the stairs every morning to sing next to an old upright piano (provided by an American donor) in a noisy space that functioned as a clothing distribution center, a children’s playroom, and a basketball court Others would gather to sing too
That room is where Olga found me one afternoon in May. I had come to volunteer and ended up playing the piano for a group of adults and children. Olga heard Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu" and rushed over to kiss me on both cheeks. “You are trained!” she said.
OLGA BURLAKOVA & ERICA GLENN
10 | TACTUS • FALL 2022
Music and Morale Among Ukrainian Refugees
“So am I!” I asked if she had any sheet music, and she instantly produced Bach’s “Mein gläubiges Herze.” A mini concert ensued (in direct competition with noise from the basketball court)
Another volunteer recorded the piece on her phone, and I posted an excerpt on Facebook Then something miraculous happened: A few days (and nearly 5K views) later, Olga had several offers for free housing and an invitation to sing with the Warsaw Symphony. We also arranged a virtual mini concert and Q&A through my alma mater, Arizona State University.
Thanks to our chance encounter, the generosity of the Polish people, and the power of social media, Olga now lives in a private room with her cat. The two of us presented a concert at the Museum of Praga soon afterwards and were asked to perform several more times throughout Warsaw When I saw Olga last, some color had returned to her cheeks, and her cough had completely disappeared. For her, this is a real life, rags to riches fairytale. “I’m Cinderella!” she told me. “I'll have to be careful not to let my carriage turn into a pumpkin or my horses and coaches into rats.”
Olga’s story is just one of many highlighting the power of song among Ukrainian refugees in Poland. It’s easy to feel lost in an unfamiliar country sharing a room with hundreds of strangers, but music unites people in remarkable ways It generates a shared identity and sense of solidarity both of which are critical to morale. A Ukrainian friend told me,
Another woman who just arrived in Poland after fleeing Kyiv with her two daughters told me, "I'm not a singer, and we didn't sing much before. But my girls know all the patriotic songs now, and their eyes light up when they hear them When bombing was heaviest in Kyiv, I would wrap my arms around my youngest in the fetal position and sing "
At the moment, everyone is listening to “Stefania,” the Ukrainian piece that recently won the Eurovision contest. Members of a street protest in Krakow even rewrote the words as a plea to NATO to close the skies. My friend, Anya, who escaped Mariupol and is now in Italy told me, “This song gives us greater hope for victory over our invaders.”
More than almost any other piece, the Ukrainian National Anthem seems to bridge generations Elderly men stand with great dignity and place their hands over their hearts. Children crowd around the piano and sing with a fervor that belies their years. Adults weep openly. My Ukrainian friends tell me that the song makes them feel an intense pride and longing to return to their homeland. “I can’t help but sing along,” one said.
“For us, life itself is a melody in which one hears, in turn, joy, sadness, and lyricism.”
FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 11
Possibly even more beloved than the National Anthem is “Chervona Kalyna” an anti Bolshevik anthem written in 1914 The moment I mention it, Ukrainains exclaim, “I love that song!” It “unites the common opinion of the Ukrainian people,” Anya explained. Under Soviet rule, any Ukrainian who sang the song could be severely punished.
In 2022, Boombox (a Ukrainian band) resurrected the piece, and now it is performed everywhere by protestors in Krakow, by a young street violinist in Gdansk, by a choir in Estonia that has gone viral, by a young girl in Warsaw who knows all five verses and wants to sing them for me, again and again This same little girl approached me at the center a few weeks ago and asked if she could perform some piano pieces she learned before the war.
She spent the following weekend painstakingly drawing notes on music staves. "Will you play my compositions?" she asked the next time she saw me. When I finished, she nodded thoughtfully. "I'm a pretty good composer!" Song 1 was called “I am Alive.” Next to it, she drew a picture of bombs falling and a woman crying Song 2 was called “I Leave My Home ” "The first two are sad songs," she told me "But I'll make the next one happy " Music literacy is highly valued in Ukraine, and her mother spoke of how difficult it was to see things like music lessons cut short with no promise of resuming any time soon. A teenage girl at the center told me that she had to leave behind her violin.
But while refugees leave behind instruments like violins and pianos, they all bring their voices. Everywhere I’ve traveled in Poland Warsaw, Medyka, Przemysl, Krakow, Gdansk I hear Ukrainian refugees singing. It would be hard to overestimate the influence of song on morale
If Ukraine somehow manages to win this David and Goliath battle, music will have fueled the spiritual conviction that made it possible.
Music and Morale Among Ukrainian Refugees
“When life was normal, music was integral; now it’s even more necessary.”
TRADITIONAL EMBROIDERY PATTENS FROM POLTAVA, UKRAINE 12 | TACTUS • FALL 2022
Music and Morale Among Ukrainian Refugees
Music literacy is highly valued in Ukraine, and her mother spoke of how difficult it was to see things like music lessons cut short with no promise of resuming any time soon. A teenage girl at the center told me that she had to leave behind her violin.
But while refugees leave behind instruments like violins and pianos, they all bring their voices Everywhere I’ve traveled in Poland Warsaw, Medyka, Przemysl, Krakow, Gdansk I hear Ukrainian refugees singing. It would be hard to overestimate the influence of song on morale.
If Ukraine somehow manages to win this David and Goliath battle, music will have fueled the spiritual conviction that made it possible.
Dr Erica Kyree Glenn is Director of Choral Activities at Brigham Young University Hawai'i and has led choirs at Dean College and Arizona State University She is the founder of Virtual Choir Conductor and the International Virtual Children's Choir. She recently returned from a Fulbright to Poland where she researched the impact of music on the morale of Ukrainian refugees.
In 2021, Erica became an American Prize Finalist for Conducting (Opera). The previous year, she was named a Conducting Fellow in the Cortona Sessions for New Music, attended the Kodaly Music Institute, and was hired by the Kennedy Center to generate video content as a Music Teaching Artist She also received a 2020 21 Fulbright Grant to Ukraine and a $25,000 American Councils Grant
Dr. Erica Kyree Glenn is Director of Choral Activities at Brigham Young University Hawaii and has led choirs at Dean College and Arizona State University. She is the founder of Virtual Choir Conductor and the International Virtual Children's Choir She recently researched the impact of music on the morale of Ukrainian refugees In 2021, Erica became an American Prize Finalist for Conducting (Opera). The previous year, she was named a Conducting Fellow in the Cortona Sessions for New Music, attended the Kodaly Music Institute, and was hired by the Kennedy Center to generate video content
as a Music Teaching Artist She also received a 2020 21 Fulbright Grant to Ukraine and a $25,000 American Councils Grant.
In 2019, Erica received ASU's GPSA Teaching Excellence Award and a Department of State Title VIII Grant for Eastern European Research and Training Erica holds a BM and MM in Music Composition as well as an Ed M in The Arts in Education from Harvard, where she conducted empirical research under Dr. Howard Gardner. In 2015, Erica received a grant to study the healing effects of Dalcroze Eurhythmics on Russian orphans with Reactive Attachment Disorder and presented an interest session at the 2016 Western Division ACDA Conference
Erica was also the founding Performing Arts Director at the American International School of Utah (2014 17). Her six choirs consistently received superior markings at state festivals, took first in statewide competitions, and were featured in PBS specials. As a composer and arranger, Erica has worked with Charles Strouse, Richard Maltby, Jason Robert Brown, and the music directors of several Broadway shows Her choral compositions have been commissioned by choirs across America, and her first opera won VocalWorks' International Opera in a Month Competition. Her most recent musical received both a developmental reading at NYMF (2012) and a world premiere at the American Repertory Theater (2014) Current research interests include the cognitive science behind audience perception of conducting gesture and the lost history and music of early 20th century Ukrainian composer Stefania Turkevych.
“Hey! Hey! We will cheer up our glorious Ukraine!”
FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 13
Nevada choir feature :
What impact does choral music have on your community?
From offering tuneful holiday cheer at assisted living facilities and rousing patriotic songs at Memorial Day and Veterans Day events to singing the National Anthem at Las Vegas Aviators ballgames, the Silver Statesmen Barbershop Chorus has been delighting audiences throughout southern Nevada with its award winning Barbershop harmonies for more than 50 years As Nevada’s largest a cappella men’s chorus, The Silver Statesmen also provides the community with a varied assortment of classic and contemporary Barbershop music throughout the year in partnership with the Clark County Library District, the Nevada Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additionally, the Chorus has joined with local music educators at annual “Real Men Sing” events to help introduce middle school and high school boys to the Barbershop style of singing.
How do your singers connect music to their identities?
The Silver Statesmen range from seniors with many years of experience singing Barbershop to teenagers and college students who are just starting to embrace the rich harmonies and ringing chords of the Silver Statesmen’s signature Barbershop sound. Chorus members come from all walks of life. With the goal of bringing people together in harmony and fellowship, all are warmly welcomed, regardless of musical ability Many Chorus members also participate in one or more quartets and enjoy singing “tags” during post rehearsal social “afterglows.” As we like to say at the end of every rehearsal: “It’s GREAT to be a Silver Statesmen!”
AUTHORED BY G STAMOS
FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 15
PHOTO CREDIT: TOM BRILL, LAS VEGAS, NV
Arizona choir feature:
What impact does choral music have on your community?
Over the past 36 years, the Tucson Girls Chorus programs have grown and evolved based on the needs of the Tucson community. We understood that offering scholarships was not enough to support and engage with our diverse community TGC’s main building and rehearsal location is in an affluent part of the city, and although a robust scholarship program helped to remove financial barriers, it did not address the many other issues that prevent youth from accessing group singing in a choral setting. These challenges include lack of transportation (a prevalent issue in Tucson), scheduling issues due to families working multiple jobs, or the community perception that choir was for the well off and neurotypical.
TGC’s Engagement Program continues to grow into a fully staffed, multi tiered community engagement effort that emphasizes access, connection for youth and music educators, and removal of boundaries. This program is implemented through pillars of focus, depth and breadth. For example, one pillar, depth, consists of robust scholarships and dependable subsidized programming to ensure access to all. This includes financial support for singers at our Central and Northwest locations, as well as operating choirs that meet weekly in underserved communities (Engagement Choirs) and hosting one day choral festivals for singers from around the Tucson community. In person choirs at partner schools meet weekly throughout the school year for one hour sessions and are led by highly qualified music educators and professional accompanists. Participants are girls, grades 2 5, whose schools do not otherwise have a choir program on site and participation ranges from 12 20 singers at each location. Engagement Choirs sing a diverse repertoire that aims to reflect and validate both dominant and non dominant perspectives in the Tucson community and the world
In 2021, TGC began a partnership with the Native American Advancement Foundation (NAAF) to provide a singing program delivered virtually. NAAF is a grassroots education nonprofit in the GuVo District of TON, led by Tohono O’odham educators in cooperation with the GuVo District and the TON Department of Education. The GuVo District is a rural remote region on the U S Mexico border and children attend the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools The partnership is multi faceted in approach by providing GuVo District’s first music education
program for pre K 12 grade students, mentoring two middle school students as music teaching assistants, and creating a cross cultural exchange between classical music education and Tohono O’odham traditional music and language The pilot program began with singers in grades 2 12, and because programming was virtual younger siblings joined in along with other family members. The program continues to grow and adapt as the TGC learns more about the needs and culture of the TON community.
How do your singers connect music to their identities?
TGC programming is designed to affirm the agency of young people to accomplish challenging tasks, persevere through uncertainty and unfamiliar content, and build relationships with peers and adults in constructive ways. TGC focuses first and foremost, both inside the classroom with our singers and outside the classroom with our partners, on building and nurturing relationships that are based on mutual respect, understanding of each other's needs, strengths, limitations, and the desire to understand and serve each unique community. Pieces in a variety of languages and from a variety of musical traditions are included. Also, explaining cultural, historical, and social contexts are vital aspects of the rehearsal process. Students should know how music was originally performed, its significance to the culture it comes from, and how it is performed and held by people from that culture
Our partner at Tohono O’odham (TON) connects all learning to the language and culture, part of the himdag (lifeways). The language and sacred geography are a vital part of the regional cultural foundation and are important for TGC to understand when programming.
AUTHORED BY MARCELA MOLINA
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PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF TUCSON GIRLS CHORUS
Utah choir feature:
What impact does choral music have on your community?
The Midvale Messiah performances began in 1984 and have continued annually with the exception of the last 2 years due to Covid 19. Originally we performed at Christmas time, but the last several years have changed the performance to the Easter season. It began with a chorus of about 40 with an organ accompaniment and grew to a choir of around 80 with a full orchestra It is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, but is open to people of all faiths in our community Anyone who wishes to participate in the choir is invited to sing regardless of skill. This gives many people the opportunity to participate in this work that would otherwise not have that opportunity. The orchestra, out of necessity of balance and limitation of instrumentation, consists of those in the community who have the proper skills and others needed to cover all the parts. This is always a free performance, but attendees are encouraged to bring a can or two of food for the local food bank in a reference to the proceeds of the first performance of Messiah being given to the foundling hospital.
I have two experiences, among many, that I would like to share. At the performance, we usually tape off the first two or three rows of seats in the audience for convenience of the performers. One year several of those seats were occupied by people that looked to be of very little means. I was irritated at first because of the inconvenience it caused me, but then remembered that this was a performance for the community and not the elite or well to do as well as being about the Messiah and His work.. I thought how this might be one of the few programs of this kind that these people would be able to attend.
At the end of the performance, I could tell by their demeanor that it had truly been a wonderful and uplifting experience for them.
The second experience involved a special needs woman who loved to sing, but could not sing on pitch. Singing Messiah was the highlight of her year. She sang loudly and enthusiastically. One day, an alto came to me and offered to have this lady sit by her. She took special care to make her feel included and really helped alleviate a rather uncomfortable situation To me, this is what community is about Several other communities in the Salt Lake area began their own community performances of Messiah after participating in or attending the Midvale Community Messiah.
How do your singers connect music to their identities?
The annual performance of Messiah is a community tradition here in Midvale and Sandy. We have community members who tell us every year how much they look forward to it We think it's even more impactful now that we've moved the performance from the Christmas season to the Easter season December is a busy month for folks and it could be easy for our performance to get lost in the hustle and bustle of that time of year. We don't have as many tributes to the Savior, especially of the musical variety, near Easter, so our performance comes at a time that really has an impact.
We believe that singing with a group like our Midvale Messiah gives singers a sense of belonging as well as a sense of accomplishment Most of our singers would not ever have the opportunity to sing with a full orchestra Our soloists, which are drawn from the choir, may never have the opportunity to perform in this type of performance without our Midvale Community Messiah.
AUTHORED BY JAN LISTER & SEAN RALEIGH
PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF MIDVALE COMMUNITY MESSIAH FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 17
18 | TACTUS • FALL 2022
R e q u i r e m e n t s
A C D A G r a n t a n d F u n d i n g O p p o r t u n i t i e s
D e s c r i p t i o n
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T h e c o m p o s i t i o n c o n t e s t w i n n e r w i l l b e a w a r d e d a p r i z e w o r t h $ 1 , 0 0 0 ( i n c l u d i n g t r a v e l t o t h e s t u d e n t ’ s r e g i o n a l c o n f e r e n c e , h o t e l a c c o m m o d a t i o n s , a n d a c a s h p r i z e ) , a c o m p l i m e n t a r y A C D A r e g i o n a l c o n f e r e n c e r e g i s t r a t i o n , a n d a c o m p l i m e n t a r y o n e y e a r s t u d e n t m e m b e r s h i p i f t h e s t u d e n t i s n o t a l r e a d y a m e m b e r o f A C D A . T h e w i n n i n g c o m p o s e r i s e x p e c t e d t o a t t e n d t h e w i n n i n g w o r k ’ s p e r f o r m a n c e a t h i s o r h e r r e g i o n a l A C D A c o n f e r e n c e , a n d t h e p r i z e m o n e y m a y g o t o w a r d t h e i r t r a v e l e x p e n s e s .
D e a d l i n e
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L e a r n m o r e
FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 19
r e l e a s e d w h e n t h e c o m p e t i t i o n o p e n s b y O c t o b e r 1 .
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t h e f o l l o w i n g d o c u m e n t a t i o n :
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m u s t b e a c u r r e n t m e m b e r o f A C D A .
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l a t e r t h i s y e a r T h i s c o m p o s i t i o n p r i z e c a l l s f o r w o r k s t h a t r e l y
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W o r k s n e w l y w r i t t e n i n 2 0 2 0 2 1 a n d a r e
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e a r n m o r e
T i t l e D
e a d l i n e
20 | TACTUS • FALL 2022
Tactus is excited to feature a noteworthy choral podcast in this issue! Choral podcasts are excellent resources for all things choir: composer interviews the must-haves of new compositions music history performance practice tips advice for novice and seasoned choral directors and so much more! Choral Choral Choralpodcastspotlight spotlight spotlight advice mtips usic history new compositionscomposer interviews 22 | TACTUS • FALL 2022
Choral Podcast Spotlight: conduct(her)
Please introduce yourselves and your podcast!
Kyra & McKenna: conduct(her) is a podcast by two sisters on a mission to amplify female voices on the podium. We interview female and female ally mentors, teachers, and conductors in the music world while exploring the gender divide We are passionate about the field of choral music and wanted to create a tangible resource to help inspire and motivate others. McKenna Stenson is the older sister, currently the Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of Kansas. Kyra Stahr is the younger sister, currently a 2nd year MM student in Choral Music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
What speakers are featured in season one?
Dr Tram Sparks, Dr Brittney Boykin, Dr Hilary Apfelstadt, Dr. Iris Levine, Dr. Deanna Joseph, Sierra Farquhar Wulff, Dr. Kari Adams, Dr. Jennifer Sengin, Dr. Amanda Quist, Dr. Jessica Nápoles, Dr. Mary Hannah Klontz, and Dr. Jace Kholokula Saplan.
2) INTERVIEW WITH DR APFELSTADT
What is the mission of your podcast?
Our mission is to amplify female voices on the podium We believe that representation matters and our goal is to highlight the many successful women in the field. The conversation with each guest is usually a combination of discussion about music as a career, questions about the guest, humor, and advice for others in our field. It has been important to unpack each guest's musical journey and how they ended up where they are today We always ask about overcoming obstacles in the field of choral music and end with the same “fast five” questions We had twelve fantastic guests featured on season one and each episode was unique and wonderful!
What audience does conduct(her) aim to reach?
Anyone and everyone who is interested in choral music and the advocacy of women in our field. We recently discovered that conduct(her) is being featured in a leadership class as well. This podcast truly is for everyone!
3) INTERVIEW WITH DR SPARKS
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What excites you about this new generation of choral conductors?
There are many new voices who are not afraid to be authentically themselves. In general, there is less ego and more emphasis on teaching the whole person.
Which guest tells the best stories?
We feel that Dr. Levine had some of the best stories. She was a natural interviewee and had so many meaningful and vulnerable things to share! In particular, we enjoyed hearing about her journey as a member of the LGBTQIA community in our field
Who has been your funniest guest?
Dr Jace Saplan was one of our most informative guests who also kept deep conversation balanced with laughter and joy. After we finished recording it felt like Jace would be a great person to go have a coffee or happy hour beverage with and hear more about their life story!
What have you learned about the female experience through your guests?
After deciding a topic, we would highly advise investing in a nice microphone and headphone setup
We did this later into our first season and if we could go back we would have purchased a blue yeti mic from day one! It has made a world of difference in our final product and clarity of sound. Although it can be daunting to begin, just dive in and do not be afraid to ask for help. We reached out to friends and introduced ourselves to current podcasters to ask for advice.
We have learned so much from season one. One of our takeaways is to lean into vulnerability. Listening to our guests share their struggles and joys helped us to be more open in sharing our authentic feelings with graduate students and ensemble members. Sometimes we find ourselves tempted to divide feelings from teaching This season taught us that sharing our stories and experiences with our students is empowering This season also taught us that if there is a will, there is a way. There is no one direct path to success in this industry, and if you have the drive and ability to ask for help, there will be people to support you.
Choral Podcast Spotlight: conduct(her)
I am interested in getting my own podcast started... what should I know? Do you have any tips?
24 | TACTUS • FALL 2022
What about podcasting brings you the most joy?
Partnering as sisters and bringing the many stories of our female conductors into the world. If we had access to these stories when we were younger music educators, we would have had more confidence entering the field of choral conducting. We hope these episodes answer questions, provide joy, and inspire others to follow their passions.
Do female voices hold unique value in the choral community?
Absolutely, they do. We know from speaking with Sierra Farquar Wolff that only 17% of four year institutions have women directors. Instead of rising, the number of female identifying choral directors at the collegiate level has dropped by 7.05% between 2006 2020. Representation is important, and we need women to know that there are people out in the field who are just like them managing careers in addition to personal goals These statistics only speak to a decline in higher education but women in primary and secondary spaces need to see this representation as well As we m d teachers at all levels
As an innovative vocalist, McKen career inspiring confidence and to create lastin Stenson current at the Universit Associate Direc where she cond and Oread Singe ensembles, Sten graduate choral conducting, and Prior to her app was a DMA Conducting at Texas (UNT) whe Allen Highto MacMullen, and Dr Jessica Nápoles Stenson enjoys serving as a guest conductor, clinician, presenter, and adjudicator for choirs throughout the United States and abroad. Recent engagements include teaching internationally with “Music Across the Pond” and directing the KMEA Kansas Treble All State Honor Choir.
Kyra Stahr is a second year MM student in Choral Music at The University of Southern California. Stahr graduated from Miami University, where she earned her B.M. in Music Education and Vocal Performance, and a dual minor in Special Education and Musical Theater. At Miami, she led an inclusive choir for adults with disabilities and was awarded the 2017 "Outstanding Future Music Educator" honor, graduating summa cum laude
Stahr is from Arlington, Virginia where she was choral director at Bishop O'Connell High School for three years. She serves as the Associate Director of the South Bay Children’s Choir, and enjoys adjudicating and guest conducting At USC, Kyra is Associate Conductor of the Oriana Choir, serves on the USC Thornton Student Council, and is the ACDA student chapter president. Recently, she was selected for the 2022 ACDA Eastern Graduate Conducting Masterclass and was awarded the USC Thornton Chamber Singers Ensemble Award.
Choral Podcast Spotlight: conduct(her)
FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 25
The Published Choral Works of John Williams
BY MICAH BLAND
When you think about composers of the film music genre, the first name that often comes to mind is John Williams (b 1932) With a staggering fifty two Oscar nominations and countless iconic film scores, John Williams has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the greatest film composers of all time. Despite these memorable themes, over the past several decades his published choral works have gradually fallen into disuse in favor of the most recent film pop tune or Disney medley. As a recent example, musical selections from Encanto (2021) were published almost concurrently with the film’s release to capitalize on its anticipated popularity In addition, music distributors such as J W Pepper prominently feature these works in their promotional materials, and at the time of this article, include a shortcut tab on their website for both Encanto and Disney under the music category “School Choral Music.” While an interest in performing choral works from recent films is understandable, the music of John Williams should not be overlooked. As a result, this article seeks to reintroduce choral directors to the published works of John Williams, providing readers with insights into the compositional and historical features of these works Williams’ Choral Works
As a musical score, Williams’ work on Star Wars, as well as Jaws, has been identified by researchers as the point of revival for the classical symphonic film score. According to Jon Burlingame,
The success of Star Wars (and its sequels, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983) altered the course of contemporary film music After several years of scores dominated by pop and rock songs, filmmakers were suddenly demanding orchestral music in their films.
Stretching throughout almost the entirety of his career, many of the Star Wars films have featured choral music. However, choral singing is heard most prominently in Episodes I, II, and III. Star Wars’ most iconic choral moment appears in Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999, directed by George Lucas) with the song “Duel of the Fates.” Emerging in the final climactic battle, “Duel of the Fates” was described by Williams as portraying a musical character of ritualism paganism and antiquity This musical the Sanskrit ure in the ated rhythms d a brief
ritualism, paganism, and antiquity. This musical sentiment is achieved through the use of the Sanskrit language and driving rhythmic feature in the orchestration that is coupled with elongated rhythms in the voices For the text Williams selected a brief excerpt from Robert Graves poem, “The Battle of the Trees,” which he had translated by friends at Harvard University into Celtic, Greek, and Sanskrit, ultimately selecting Sanskrit for its optimal vocal quality.
As one of the more popular and recognizable themes in the Star Wars franchise, it is surprising to note that the inclusion of the chorus for “Duel of the Fates” was momentarily questioned by Williams. In discussion with George Lucas during a recording session, Williams stated, “The only concern that one might have is you may want a version without the chorus ” To which Lucas quickly replied, “I love the chorus.”
Versions of “Duel of the Fates” have been published by both Alfred Music and Hal Leonard. The Hal Leonard edition is the more authoritative of the two as it is part of the John Williams Signature Edition series, and requires full orchestral accompaniment. However, this edition is a movement within the larger “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” orchestral suite In contrast to the orchestral version, Keith Christopher has arranged the work for piano accompaniment This edition calls for soprano and tenor divisi, however, in each occurrence one of the notes is always notated as optional.
An additional choral octavo from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace includes the triumphant “Augie’s Great Municipal Band.” As Naboo celebrates their victory over the droid army, the joyful soundscape of a wordless two part treble chorus, brass and various percussion instruments can be heard in the final scene of the film The published octavo features several of the same musical elements but replaces the brass section with piano accompaniment, and requires only three percussion instruments (whistle, tambourine, and drum), making it accessible to most children and treble voiced ensembles.
Published as part of the John Williams Signature Series, “Battle of the Heroes” from Star Wars: Episode III
Revenge of the Sith (2005, directed by George Lucas) is available for orchestra with optional chorus. The published edition has been significantly abbreviated from its original film version, which can be heard th h t th fi l li ti b ttl b t the Jedi a
3 4 5 6
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throughout the final climactic battle between the Jedi and Sith.
In Revenge of the Sith, “Duel of the Fates” is significantly reprised during the battle between Yoda and Chancellor Palpatine, but is reduced to a momentary three measure quote in the abridged “Battle of the Heroes” score Interestingly, this musical quote is the only text featured in the work as the rest of the song is performed exclusively on an “ah” vowel. “Battle of the Heroes” also incorporates a brief quote of the force theme, which is first heard in Episode IV (1977) and incorporated throughout the Star Wars saga. Throughout the work, strings often double the voices, which is likely why the chorus has been identified as optional in the published score.
Released on Christmas Day in 1987, Empire of the Sun (directed by Steven Spielberg) features a significant amount of choral singing which is intricately woven into the fabric of the film’s score. This choral music is often produced by a boychoir (with soloist) performing one of two themes: “Suo Gan” or “Exsultate justi.”
As a primary theme in the film, “Suo Gan” is an anonymous Welsh lullaby that beautifully captures childhood innocence amidst the conflict of war. “Suo Gan” unfortunately is not available as a published octavo by Williams However, the theme “Exsultate Justi” is available as an octavo from Alfred Music “Exsultate Justi” appears towards the end of the film (as well as the credits) when young Jim (Christian Bale) is rescued by the American military after spending four years in a Japanese internment camp.
“Exsultate Justi” is a joyous theme that incorporates portions of the Latin text “Exsultate Justi in Domino” (Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just). Williams’ incorporation of this text is unusual considering the method in which he freely inserts other Latin phrases throughout the work including portions of the “Gloria” and an “Alleluia ” In the film, the work is predominately accompanied by orchestra doubling the voices, which is imitated in the published octavo arranged by Dave and Jean Perry. The Perry’s version calls for keyboard accompaniment and is available in multiple voicings from two part to SATB mixed chorus, making it accessible to a wide range of ensembles.
In another World War II military epic, Saving Private Ryan (1998, directed by Steven Spielberg), John Williams concludes the film with an emotionally reflective song, appropriately titled “Hymn to the Fallen.” Interestingly, “Hymn to the Fallen” is the only choral music in the entire film, which is also limited in its use of score in general. According to Williams,
its use of score in general. According to Williams,
The “Hymn to the Fallen” was kind of a set piece that seemed to be required. One felt like we needed a kind of requiem for the people lost in the film How to do that tastefully, discreetly, quietly, and hopefully elegantly was the opportunity it presented. Of course, chorus and orchestra is still the best medium for that kind of thing.
Through a sentiment of peace and patriotism the chorus in “Hymn to the Fallen” offers a reflective conclusion to an emotionally charged film about World War II. The work features a homophonic mixed chorus, without text, that is interspersed between instrumental interludes Lacking a text, “Hymn to the Fallen” exclusively incorporates the vowels “oo” and “ah ” Throughout the work, the “oo” vowel gradually opens to “ah” as the music steadily increases in volume, ultimately reaching a climax before fading away during the instrumental conclusion. “Hymn to the Fallen” has been published by Hal Leonard, but unfortunately is only available as an arrangement for full orchestra or concert band with optional chorus.
The film Amistad (1997, directed by Steven Spielberg) is an emotionally challenging film depicting a group of slaves and their struggle for freedom through the early nineteenth century American judicial system Despite its dramatic courtroom setting, Williams delivers an inspired score that makes significant use of the chorus. The song, “Dry Your Tears Afrika” is utilized as one of the significant themes in the film, and first appears when imprisoned slave Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) stands in the courtroom proclaiming, “Give us free!” s This theme is later triumphantly utilized at the conclusion of the film as British ships destroy the Lomboko slave fortress in Sierra Leone, liberating the enslaved Africans For this work Williams utilized a text set in the Mende language which proclaims “Dry your tears, your children are coming home. We’re coming home, Afrika.”
Harmonically, the work is highly repetitive incorporating the same harmonic progression throughout, which is paired with a four part homorhythmic texture. Williams carefully paces the repetitiveness of the work through the gradual addition
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repetitiveness of the work through the gradual addition of voices, minor rhythmic variations, and key change during the final repetition of the theme.
Two versions of the work have been released, both of which by Hal Leonard. The more authoritative of the two comes from the John Williams Signature Edition Series, which does not identify an arranger implying it is the original work of Williams This edition calls for SSATB mixed voices, children’s chorus, and piano accompaniment. Although the signature edition may be more authoritative, Hal Leonard’s alternate edition (adapted by Audrey Snyder) provides the director with more performance options. Snyder’s edition includes voicings for SATB, SAB, and two part chorus, as well as instrumental parts for percussion, band, string, or full orchestra John Williams’ work with director Chris Columbus on both Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) have provided choral ensembles with four beautiful works for the holiday season.
Aurally, with the exception of “Merry Christmas,” three of these works are very similar through their use of treble voices and a lyrical melody that depicts an aura of mysticism. The theme “Somewhere in My Memory” is likely the most recognizable tune from the franchise, and is incorporated in both productions, however, the theme appears as an instrumental work in the sequel Featuring the celeste with orchestra, the song’s text, written by Leslie Bricusse, expresses a tender sentiment of embracing the special moments during the holiday season. Two arrangements of the song are available, each with options for voicing and orchestration.
“Star of Bethlehem” can be heard in Home Alone after Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) confronts his fears and talks to Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom), whom he discovers isn’t so scary after all The scene takes place in a church where a choir can be seen and heard in the background performing popular holiday songs such as “O Holy Night” and “Carol of the Bells,” as well as Williams’ original “Star of Bethlehem.” In the film, the song features a two part treble chorus with organ accompaniment. Although the work was significantly obscured behind dialogue within the film, it has since been published for various voicings from two part to SATB mixed chorus with optional orchestral accompaniment
The song “Christmas Star” can be heard in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York as an expression of longing to see family again during the holiday season. This emotional sentiment is musically depicted through the descending parallel triadic motion performed by the harp, and lyrical melodic contour of the children’s voices. “Christmas Star” has been arranged by Tom
harp, and lyrical melodic contour of the children’s voices. “Christmas Star” has been arranged by Tom Fettke and Thomas Grassi for SATB, SAB, and SSA voicing with piano accompaniment.
To conclude the film Home Alone 2, Williams composed the joyous choral work “Merry Christmas” for mixed chorus and orchestra Similar to “Hymn to the Fallen,” “Merry Christmas” can only be heard during the credits, concluding the film with a rousing holiday song of joy and cheer. This joyful character is achieved musically through a recurring cut time rhythmic pattern consisting of two eighth notes that lead into the down beat. At the same time, this rhythmic feature is further emphasized through the declarative minor third harmonic motive that continuously reappears throughout the work (Figure 1) “Merry Christmas” has been arranged by Tom Fettke and Thomas Grassi, and can be performed with piano or small orchestra. piano or small orchestra.
In addition to these previously mentioned octavos, the John Williams Signature Series also features a three song set from Home Alone which includes the tunes “Somewhere in My Memory,” “Star of Bethlehem,” and “Merry Christmas.” The work is available for two part or SATB mixed chorus with full orchestral accompaniment
In programming choral film works by Williams, conductors should carefully consider the inclusion or exclusion of instrumental parts and recorded accompaniment. While these works have been published in various formats, and can be performed with piano or limited instrumentation, it is highly advised that conductors attempt to incorporate all available instrumental parts when possible. Published works with accompanying instrumental parts are aurally closer to the original soundscape intended by the composer More importantly, some film tunes are highly recognizable to patrons who have a strong auditory visual connection with the work. Upon removing these instrumental parts, patrons may be left disappointed and unfulfilled by the performance as their auditory expectations do not align with the performance.
The Published Choral Works of John Williams
Figure 1. “Merry Christmas” rhythmic and harmonic motive
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The Published Choral Works of John Williams
One potential challenge limiting the performance of Williams’ choral works is the cost. An orchestral edition of a Williams film score can range between $100 $550, plus the added cost of hiring additional musicians. When funds are limited, several publishers (as seen in Table 1) offer recorded performance tracks of Williams’ works The use of performance tracks is viewed by some as unfavorable when used with advanced ensembles. However, these tracks are entirely appropriate for any ensemble level, and are necessitated by financial need and instrumental availability.
The works included in this article are appropriate for a wide range of ensemble abilities. Selections such as “Augie’s Great Municipal Band,” “Christmas Star,” “Exsultate Justi,” “Somewhere in my Memory,” and “Star of Bethlehem” were initially composed for younger ensembles, and are entirely appropriate for these voice types. At the same time caution is advised with some works as they can be deceptively challenging. For example, “Somewhere in my Memory” is a beautiful work for younger singers, but features a disjunct melodic line that requires an octave range, and frequently includes ascending intervals of a perfect fifth and minor sixth.
For conductors interested in programming film music the works of John Williams are exceptional selections artfully crafted by a highly skilled composer. They are accessible to a wide range of experience levels, with many published for reduced instrumentation As a whole, the choral works by Williams express a wide range of musical styles, cultures, and emotions, and are sure to provide the singers in your ensemble with a fulfilling film music experience.
Dr. Micah Bland is Director of Choral Activities and Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of Toledo, where he directs the Chamber Singers and University Chorus, and teaches courses in choral music education, conducting, and voice. He is the founder and host of the ChoralEd video podcast, which is also a monthly blog feature on ACDA’s ChoralNet.org.
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Nicky Manlove presenting a session at the AzACDA Summer Conference “Awake My Soul and Sing” July 6 8 at Mesa Community College
2022 Director of the Year Award Winner, Aimee Stewart and 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Cris Evans
Rita Scholz, Gregory Gentry, and J. Edmund Hughes enjoying time connecting
Pictures ubmitted by Katie Gerrich, Director of Choirs, McClintock High School and AzACDA President Elect
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Jamie Flora presents on the changing male voice at Hawai'i ACDA PD day at Hawai'i Pacific University in September.
Presenters Jamie Flora, Jerilyn Ornellas (PD day chair), Olga Flora, Justin Ka'upu (president), and Alec Schumacker (vice president).
Punahou School MS Choirs, Honolulu, HI. These are photos of our spring concerts in May the 6th, 7th and 8th grade choirs directed by Joanna Habermann, Marlene Patton, John Roberts and Alicia Scanlan. These were our FIRST performances since early 2020 with families and friends in the audience!
Submitted by Alicia Scanlan
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Nevada ACDA is so grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Dr. Edith Copley at our Mini Conference this past weekend.Dr. Copley gave a powerful clinic to two of our choirs, she gave an incredible keynote address, we all learned so much from her conducting workshop, and she led us through an amazing reading session
Green Valley High School Madrigal Singers, Henderson , NV Performance at ACDA Western in Long Beach
Submitted by Kim Ritzer
Ritzer, Lou De La Rosa, Dom Ritzer at dinner after Clark County Choral Festival, March 2022.
Submitted by Lou De La Rosa
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to be back
and Italy and singing with the Vienna Boys Choir!
s u b m i t t e d b y K e n t J u e
Ragazzi Boys Chorus, Silicon Valley
Utah Children's Choir singing with BYU
U C C ' s F a c e b o o k p a g e FALL 2022 • TACTUS | 35
President Elect Julie Dana, President Mike Short, and Past President Lou De La Rosa at WACDA President's Council Retreat in Cambria, California July 2022
As another academic year is underway, I send out my heartfelt wishes for a year of growth, of beautiful music making, of changing lives through music, (be it your singers, your compositions or the people who are blessed to hear them), and most of all I send you peace Be kind to yourself as you navigate a time that no one has had to work through in our lifetime! This year is the beginning of a new awareness for the world. Thank you all for the work you are doing to elevate the choral art in our recovering world!
Ten years into teaching secondary choral music (and Spanish, and coaching volleyball, and more), some friends encouraged me to look into ACDA's educational resources Little did I know that joining this organization would open doors to amazing choral experiences, friends, and colleagues At my first National ACDA, I watched high caliber performances (Robert Shaw conducted, Henry Leck’s Indianapolis Children’s Choir brought me to tears, and a session by Charlotte Adams opened my eyes, ears and mind to new ways of approaching sound and beauty in my ensembles) that rocked my world and my vision so deeply as an educator. I also came away with an awareness of who I was not, how much I didn’t know, how much better everyone else was than me, and how much I needed to learn if I were to continue as a choral music educator
Our insecurities and egos can get in the way of our learning. One lesson I learned was correcting the thought that I could not “approach” the ‘big guns’. My inner voice asked, “Who are YOU to talk to Paul Salamunovich and ask him how to make up for your lost time as a choral educator?” Or Lynn Bielefelt, Jane Hardester, or Ron Staehli? I thought I was just a little blip on the screen of choral music education One educator I asked for help was Maestro Salamunovich He did not brush me off or send me to ask someone else; instead, he offered his time, thoughts, and encouraged me to continue asking colleagues for help. My fear of being ignored for not being an elite choral musician was diminished that day. From that day, I have allowed myself to be vulnerable, acknowledge my deficiencies, and to seek help. This mindset led me to have private conducting lessons with Lynn, join a UCI graduate conducting seminar with Joe Huszti, and spend a week learning from Rodney Eichenberger and Charlene Archibeque I continue to learn from our incredible choral community and am so very excited to see such amazing, talented choral musicians sharing their expertise with all of us! I realize that we don’t all have the ability to leave our personal lives for a
week due to financial considerations and familial obligations. HOWEVER, I do know that the conversations I have had with wonderful colleagues over the years saved my bacon, ESPECIALLY teaching during the pandemic. Being a part of ACDA has been instrumental in helping me navigate a 38 year career I have sought out help and reached out when my ensembles needed something I had no idea how to give them. I brought these “choral elites” to my festivals as clinicians/adjudicators and was able to call them colleagues. At conferences and conventions, I spoke with them even if it was simply to thank them for their inspiration. I attended their concerts, rehearsals, helped with honor choirs that my students participated in, and always took away small things to incorporate into my rehearsals My students enjoyed the camaraderie I had with other directors at our festival performances We are teaching them about having treasured relationships, as well, aren’t we? Sometimes it is the only positive example of relationships some of them have.
And when California ACDA (CCDA) asked me to serve, I was overjoyed to spend time with people who gave so selflessly of their time and expertise for our choral family. I’ve had the honor of serving on more ACDA and SCVA board meetings than I can count since that day in the mid 1990’s when I joined ACDA Individuals on these boards have incredible hearts for service and want to help you succeed! Have you reached out to any of your local or state board members? Are your students participating in the opportunities available in your area, state or region? Are you encouraging non member colleagues to consider joining and sharing ways that you have been blessed by your membership? If not, it is time to open that door to more learning, to collegial camaraderie, to nurturing and growing your skill set AND to helping others expand theirs. This is “the way” of ACDA!
THIS, my friends, is the purpose of ACDA for me I would be nowhere without all of the many colleagues who have encouraged and taught me and my singers over the years. I am humbled and honored to have been added to the Western Region ACDA presidential leadership team of Lou De La Rosa and Mike Short. Lou and his team performed one of the most miraculous comebacks in modern time in Long Beach at the Western Region Conference! What a joyful and beautiful way to begin our return to live choral performances and conferences! Mike, thank you for encouraging me to join ACDA and for the subsequent journey of service Your heart for service is larger than anyone I know and I am honored to be a part of your 2024 Conference planning team in this new and wonderful opportunity for service!
I look forward to working with you to continue to gift
36 | TACTUS • FALL 2022 A Message from the President-Elect
the world beautiful choral opportunities and experiences. Please reach out to us and your state boards we are here for you! I offer a poem as you begin a new choral journey this fall:
You are a child of the universe, No less than the trees and the stars; You have a right to be here And whether or not it is clear to you, No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, Whatever you conceive Him to be, And whatever your labors and aspirations, In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
excerpt from "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann
Wishing you peace and beautiful music making! Carpe diem, Julie Dana
Julie is the President Elect of WACDA. She has been dedicated to serving the choral education music community as a board member of the California Choral Directors Association (CCDA), as state conference chair for the California All State Music Education Conference (CASMEC), and as Conference Chair for 4 regional conferences. She is past President of CCDA and executive board member of
the Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA). Julie lives in Fresno with her husband Mike, a jazz music educator Both are recently retired from Fresno City College where they worked to foster an appreciation of the arts
BIO AND PHOTO COURTESY OF CALCDA ORG
DIVERSITY, EQUITY DAND IVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION ICOLUMN NCLUSION COLUMN
It is with great excitement that our DEI column feature the brilliant brain and empathetic spirit of our new Tactus editor, Olivia Arnold. I have had the pleasure of working with Olivia when she was enrolled as a graduate student in my choral literature classes at the University of Hawai’i and can remember her infinite capacity to connect song to story, repertoire to community, and theory to practice. For our DEI contribution, we focus on the concept that DEI does not merely mean outsourcing new materials or familiarizing ourselves with the “other,” DEI can also mean looking at the traditions we have embodied in the craft and acknowledging there is work to be done beneath the surface How can we take a look at these practices that we hold dear and acknowledge new truths and more integrated ways of analyzing these practices? Olivia takes a step in that direction by taking a look at the phenomena of internal colonization through the English choral tradition.
Enjoy, Jace Kaholokula Saplan
Resisting Internal Colonization:
The Choral Works of Ruth Watson Henderson
BY OLIVIA ARNOLD
This article is a continuation of my research on colonialism in the English choral tradition. Colonialism in a basic understanding is “the practice of institutional control by one people over another people, their territory, and their resources” (Fosler Lussier, 2020, p 15) Specifically, England experienced internal colonialism, a form of colonialism that gained power from insular self containment government strategies (Olwage, 2004). English folk music was curated by individuals seeking to redefine the English sound by erasing the popular ‘vernacular’ songs (Gammon, 2010). The English government stepped in to reeducate the working class’ musical skills through solfege sight singing classes, led by the Tonic Solfa College (Olwage, 2004). A musically literate working class society was advantageous for internal colonization Singers were taught the same curriculum and choral literature, thereby unifying their musical experiences Additionally, the chosen literature represented a highly prescriptive version of English choral music void of any folk influence. In this way, England overhauled the folk music genre through a strict effort in eradicating the ‘vernacular’ sound (Olwage, 2004). English choral singing became a practice of sonic and social control.
The solfa sight singing legacy continued on through the Royal College of Music in England In Canada, the
Royal Conservatory of Music was established to expand English choral music in North America. This expansion marks a turning point in England’s control over its choral sound. Perhaps due to the physical distance or weakened control over this colony, Canada has produced a wide range of styles of choral music Notably, the works of Ruth Watson Henderson have demonstrated a great divergence from traditional English choral sound and represent a unique Canadian choral style.
Ruth Henderson Watson embodies resistance to the internally colonized sound of 19th century England through her dedication to the choral craft, expansion of Canadian choral performance practice, and harmonic experimentation in her own compositions. Henderson creates new pathways in choral composition and music education that disrupt traditional English choral music A biography and exploration of four choral works will be used to contextualize Henderson’s contributions to Canadian choral literature.
Ruth Watson Henderson was born in 1932 in Toronto, Ontario. Her interests in piano performance, choral accompaniment, and choral composing led her to her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music (McMillan et al , 2013) Her mentors were Chilean pianist Alberto Guerrero
Chair of the Western Region Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
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Guerrero and Danish pianist Viggo Kihl. These formative mentors introduced her to very different worlds of music on opposite corners of the globe Throughout her time at the Royal Conservatory of Music, she won many awards, was a soloist with Canadian orchestras, and performed on CBC radio.
When she moved on to teaching organ and piano and working as the organist choirmaster in Winnipeg, she began composing for her choirs (McMillan et al., 2013). In her later years, she accompanied and composed for the Toronto Children's Chorus. Her musical signature involves impressionistic melodies and dramatic and solositic piano accompaniments
Within her compositional style, she utilizes mixed meters to convey text painting through arrangements for children's through adult choirs.
The River (2002)
This piece for SATB choir explores the theme of spiritual connections to nature. Set in 6/8, the melodic movement creates the feel of a running river with continuous movement in the left hand of the piano. The lilt of the opening unison phrase, “there is a river that runs so calm,” mirrors the flow of water The phrase builds to ‘river’ where it lingers and quickly rushes to ‘calm,’ conveying a feeling of water flowing around rocky and organic obstacles. The choir beckons the listener to “come to these waters” on a striking CM m7 chord and resolves by repeating this call in a hushed tone.
When I am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple (2009)
Henderson draws on the work of the English poet Jenny Joseph With a wonderfully tongue in cheek sense of humor, “When I am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple” depicts what a younger woman thinks on the experience of aging. Henderson sets this text in an SSAA arrangement, perhaps acknowledging how Joseph wrote this poem in her youth. Full of descending chromatic scales in the piano’s left hand and duplets in the vocal line, the harmonic language leans on the theatrics of a young person’s perspective of fighting aging This piece can be performed with acting and props
She Walks in Beauty from “Shades of Love” (1997)
“She Walks in Beauty,” a poem by British Romantic poet Lord Byron, has been set by many choral composers including Laura Farnell, David Foltz, and Z. Randall Stroope. The poem praises and seeks to capture a sense of the beauty of a particular woman. The speaker compares this woman to a lovely night with a clear
with a clear starry sky, and goes on to convey her beauty as a harmonious "meeting" between darkness and light (Needler, 2010) After its discussion of physical attractiveness, the poem then portrays this outer beauty as representative of inner goodness and virtue Henderson’s command of creating lush, impressionistic harmonies accentuate the imagery of moonlit rolling landscapes. The lack of lower bass notes directs the listener’s attention to the soaring cascading SA voices.
"Winter Store" from Voices of Earth (1991)
This mass work is composed for double SATB adult choir, children's choir, two pianos, and percussion This work is especially compelling for its choice of compelling text and potential for community collaboration (Herbert, 2007, 12). Singers of all ages can relate to the intertwined themes of nature and spirituality. In Henderson's own words, “The text is the inspiration for my musical ideas. It shapes the form, the rhythm, and the harmonic color of the music. I believe that music can make words come alive with added dimensions and depth” (Herbert, 2007). Compositionally, this work involves mixed meters, impressionistic melodies, thick and sparse textures, and dramatic dynamic shifts
The history of English choral sight singing schools began with good intentions, but the insular nature of the programs created internal colonization. Internal colonization limited the scope of England's choral output, making for an insular music experience. Henderson's legacy points to the success of resisting forms of colonization and celebrating individuality To resist various forms of colonization, the choral community can learn from Henderson’s involvement of varied textual sources, engaging new harmonic sounds, and creating opportunities for community engagement.
Herbert, R (2006) A conductor's study of Ruth Watson Henderson's Voices of Earth (No 3581) [Doctoral dissertation, Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College] LSU Digital Commons
Hebert, R (2007) “Voices of Earth” by Ruth Watson Henderson: Textual Considerations for Analysis and Performance The Choral Journal, 48(6), 8 21 http://www jstor org/stable/23556787
McMillan, Barclay and Kimberly Francis "Ruth Watson Henderson" The Canadian Encyclopedia, 16 December 2013, Historica Canada https://www thecanadianencyclopedia ca/en/article/ruth watson henderson emc Needler, H (2010) 'She walks in beauty' and the theory of the sublime The Byron Journal, 38(1), 19 27 https://www muse jhu edu/article/385568
Watson, R H & Byron, G G (1997) She Walks in Beauty from “Shades of Love” [SATB] Boosey & Hawkes Watson, R H & Harrison, W (2002) The River [SSA or SATB] Hinshaw Music: Hinshaw Sacred Watson, R. H. & Joseph, J. (2009). When I am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple [SSAA]. Roger Dean Publishing Watson, R H , Assisi, F & Lampan, A (1991) Winter Store from “Voices of Earth” [SATB and children’s choir] Counterpoint Musical Service Whittaker, W G (1922) A reply to tonic sol fa; pro and con The Musical Quarterly, 8, 265 272
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ACDA Western Region 1687 Haku Street Honolulu, HI 97819 Presort Standard U.S. Postage Paid Jefferson City, MO Permit 210