Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MS/JH Contest Selections

by Mark Jauss, Advertising Associate and Choral Director

For music educators, the last half of the year is often just as busy, if not more so, than the first. We understand that the last thing you have time for is an extended search for the perfect, hand-selected contest piece. So that you can spend more time rehearsing and less time reviewing, we've gone through the selection process for you. The five pieces below will inspire your singers towards success in the classroom and on the stage!

Festival Gloria
Richard A. Williamson

This energetic, forward-moving concert work is a great learning piece for beginning mixed choirs, with diverse musical styles and engaging vocal lines that flatter a choir of any size.

Three-part Mixed

Lux Aeterna
Mark Burrows

This is a stunning work for young voices that creates a simple beauty from emotional melodic lines. The timeless Latin text comes from the Requiem mass. Light eternal, shine on them. A richly orchestrated performance/accompaniment CD is also available.

Two-part and Three-part Mixed

I Never Saw a Moor
Victor C. Johnson

Emily Dickinson’s inspiring poem receives Victor Johnson’s sensitive musical touch in this impassioned concert selection. With opportunities to teach lyrical singing techniques, phrase shaping, and dynamic contouring and music that naturally promotes a mature sound, this piece is destined to become a repertoire staple.

Three-part Mixed and SATB

If Music Be the Food of Love
Henry Purcell/arr. Russell Robinson

Russell Robinson presents this choral masterwork by Henry Purcell in a well-constructed arrangement for middle school mixed choirs. The music for the first and second verses is identical to aid in quick learning of this especially fine contest selection.

Three-part Mixed, opt. a cappella

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
André J. Thomas
André Thomas was at his creative best when he wrote this energy-driven setting of the spiritual standard. The repeated material makes for quick memorization, allowing you to easily and effectively showcase your singers in a vibrant program pleaser that utilizes a cool jazz piano accompaniment.
Three-part Mixed, SATB, and TTB/TBB


Mark is a graduate of Wright State University in Dayton, OH, having received a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in choral conducting. 
Before coming to Lorenz, Mark was the director of choirs at both Howard W. Blake High School for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL, and Monroe Jr./Sr. High School in Monroe, OH.  Mark is also currently the director of the KCC Concert Choir, an advanced treble choir within the Kettering Children’s Choir organization. The group has toured extensively, and recently sang in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and with the South Cape Children’s Choir and various performing ensembles on a tour throughout South Africa. In the Spring of 2015, Mark also had the privilege of preparing the choir for performances of the Britten War Requiem under the baton of Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops. In addition, Mark has been the music director at his church since the age of 18, and regularly travels throughout the country giving workshops on conducting and worship leading. 
Mark is the blessed husband of Jennifer and proud father of Michael and Ellie.

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