12 of the Best New School Choir Arrangements from Shawnee Press

This blog comes courtesy of the Director of Educational Choral Publications for Shawnee Press, Greg Gilpin

Assess! Inspire! Ignite!

As the new school year begins, many teachers are faced with new challenges created by the pandemic as well as ever-changing educational requirements for young people. Here are a few examples:

– You older and experienced singers are not choosing music their junior or senior year because they are taking college courses.

– Your freshman singers missed out on two years of middle school/junior high choir due to the pandemic or lack of a program in your school.

– Your music students have to choose between instrumental and choral. Those that have purchased instruments are most likely to choose band/orchestra. You may have many singers that don’t read music well or at all.

– Because of the pandemic, you find yourself “rebuilding” interest and excitement in your program. Thus, your numbers are low and your choral ensembles are smaller.

Teaching Community and Acceptance!

We Are All the Stars

Greg Gilpin

SATB | SAB | 2-Part | Choir Audio

A reflective and poignant text of how many create one; suitable for all ages. Full harmonic writing with dynamic contrast creates a beautiful interpretation of text. An independent yet supportive piano accompaniment enhances the setting.

Excellent Introduction to Masterworks!

Gloria (from Lord Nelson Mass)

Franz Joseph Haydn (arr. Russell Robinson)

3-Part Mixed 

Accessible voice parts shine in with this Latin text of the Haydn “Gloria.” It’s suitable for concert, contest or festival use with optional solo opportunities. History included on Lord Nelson and Napoleon for additional teaching purposes.

Add Humor and Movement to Your Program!

Earworm

Mark Burrows

2-Part | Choir Audio

The humorous text is relatable to musicians of all ages. Interesting and diverse vocal writing for both parts is supported by a solid piano accompaniment. The creative vocal stack includes an optional descant.

Full of Fun Using Classroom Instruments!

I Want It That Way

Backstreet Boys (arr. Nathan Howe)

SATB | SAB | TTBB | 2-Part 

In 2012, Jimmy Fallon started a recurring segment on “The Tonight Show” in which The Roots use classroom instruments to play pop songs with celebrity guests. These skilled musicians pull off engaging performances using instruments many people don’t take seriously beyond the elementary music room. Nathan Howe has continued his musical genius in a cappella writing with this pop tune sung a cappella with classroom percussion. It’s amazing and fun and suitable for all ages with the variety of voicings available.

Rhythm Teaching for the Holidays!

Hear the Sleigh Bells Ring!

Greg Gilpin

3-Part Treble | 3-Part Mixed | Choir Audio

This original up-tempo holiday selection in a minor key uses independent vocal lines imitating bells then moving into a rhythmic homophonic chorus. Optional descant and sleigh bells add to the joyful lyric of a holiday sleigh ride.

Connecting Our Cultures

Light a Candle On This Silent Night

Glenda E. Franklin

2-Part | 3-Part Mixed | Choir Audio

Poignant message of hope and peace with snippets of “Silent Night” throughout. Limited vocal ranges and simple vocal textures create an ethereal quality; excellent for teaching tone, diction, dynamics, balance and blend.

Great for Beginning A Cappella Ensembles!

Hurry Now to Bethlehem

Ruth Morris Gray

SATB | 3-Part Mixed

A cappella singing is set with optional percussion telling the story of the birth in Bethlehem and creating an exciting Christmas or holiday performance. Optional solos are sprinkled about creating call and answer style moments. The use of multi-meter and repetition make it easy and fun to learn creating an impressive performance.

Superb Patriotic Selection for A Cappella Choirs

God Bless America

Irving Berlin (arr. Mark Hayes)

SATB | SSAB | SSAA | TTBB | Choir Audio

Mark Hayes is one of our finest arrangers and now he has used his expertise in vocal arranging on this Irving Berlin treasure from the American Song Book. A cappella voices richly present the well-known lyric, capturing its emotional patriotism. Beautiful and dynamic musical interpretation weaves throughout the piece, building to a glorious final “home sweet home.”

Beautiful Choice for Multicultural Learning

Akatonbo (Red Dragonfly)

Traditional Japanese Folksong (arr. Greg Gilpin)

2-Part | Choir Audio

The simple text of this famous Japanese children’s song is paired with a beautiful English translation depicting a red dragonfly seen at sunset. The original melody melds with the original partner-song creating gentle vocal lines above a simple and supportive piano accompaniment. 2-part writing that is simply exquisite and the choral includes rehearsal suggestions for added teaching and learning.

Easily Add Sparkle to Your Concert!

Happy Holidays to You!

Mary Lynn Lightfoot

SAB | 2-Part | Choir Audio

Mary Lynn Lightfoot has given us a wonderful concert opener or closer with a message of holiday cheer and a wish that “the joys of the season last the whole year through!” Designed for young voices, the bright and festive original music can be learned quickly with the familiar notes and text of “Deck the Hall” and “Jingle Bells” sprinkled throughout. A sparkling selection for your holiday concert.

Rhythmic Energy!

Little David, Play!

Traditional Spiritual (arr. Brad Croushorn)

SATB | SAB | Choir Audio

Terrific concert, contest or festival piece filled with kinetic musical energy that’s easy to teach and learn with musical respect for the traditional spiritual. The independent part-singing is confidence building, too.

Top Seller with New Voicings!

The Holiday Tango!

Greg Gilpin

SATB | SAB | SSA | TTB | 2-Part | Choir Audio

“The sleigh bells jingle, the shoppers mingle, I get a tingle from watching such a show!” This holiday novelty will be the hit of your concert! The tango-style music set with smart and fun lyrics will create a standout selection for your program. Add some costumes and movement for a real showstopper!

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