Posts Tagged “recording”
The music that we are ringing in the handbells segment of music appreciation is called “Fanfare.” Actually it is based on a section of a work for orchestra called “Pictures at an Exhibition.” This is a series of shorter sections, or movements, which is each supposed to represent a picture. ”Fanfare” is based on the section titled “The Great Gate of Kiev.” Kiev is a city in Ukraine, near Russia. The music was written by a Russian composer, Modest Moussorgsky. You may see his name spelled different ways, because Russian is written in a different alphabet, called the Cyrillic alphabet, which has different characters. When we try to write Russian words in English, sometimes they come out with different spellings.
Here is a link for you to listen to the orchestral version of Great Gate of Kiev. Also, I thought you might like to see the picture that inspired the music. This gate exists only in this picture. There is an old city gate in the town of Kiev, which is called the Golden Gate. At one time, it was on the edge of the city, but as Kiev has grown, it is now in the center of the town. The gate was originally built in 1037, but largely destroyed by the Mongols in 1240. In 1982, it was restored, and the lower picture is how it looks today.
Concert Chorus is going to be singing “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” for spring concert, despite the fact that the language arts department frowns on the grammar I don’t have a recording to play for you in class. I didn’t buy the accompaniment CD for this song, because the little band that accompanies us each year at spring concert plays it so well, the recorded accompaniment is kind of a disappointment. But I know that most of you like to hear the songs we’re singing, especially if it’s something you don’t know.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother was originally recorded by the British rock band, The Hollies, in 1969. You might be interested to know that Elton John played piano on the recording. That was before he was famous on his own. But the link I have for you here is a recording that was done by the Justice Collective and released last year. The Justice Collective is a group of well-known musicians and celebrities who came together to record this song for a group of British charities related to the Hillsborough Disaster, when 96 people were killed and almost 800 injured in an accident at a soccer match. I think I like this recording as much as the original. I hope you enjoy it, too.
The Justice Collective, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
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I’m not sure how many years I have played the crazy recording of “O Holy Night” in class before Winter Break. For the last two years, since I’ve been blogging here, I have made it available here, as well, for your listening “pleasure.” Two years ago, I got a comment from a students whose father could not stop laughing because he thought it was so funny!
I am always quick to point out that the singer is NOT one of my students, and you all know that it isn’t me Actually, a former student did a bit of research and found out that the singer is actually a professional musician who did it as a joke. I think it must be harder to sing like this intentionally.
I hope you enjoy listening once again, and that you and your family have a great holiday.
O Holy Night?
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I’ve had some fun picking music for Concert Chorus, and I think you’re going to like it. We’re going to do some challenging stuff, including one piece in Italian and one in German. The Italian is a piece called “Nella Fantasia,” and if you are familiar with the vocal group Il Divo, you probably have heard this. I don’t have a recording to link for you yet. However, you can listen to the song we’re going to do in German. When you listen to the recording, you’re actually going to hear two short songs, but we will only sing the first one. The title means, “ring, little bells.”
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This one’s for General Music, but you all might enjoy this. In General Music, we’re talking about and listening to blues, which is a precursor of jazz. We were talking today about the form of blues songs. We said that the lyrics, or words, follow an AAB pattern. That is, the first line is a statement of some sort. The second line repeats the first statement. Then, the third line is different. You can hear it in this song that I started to play in class, Every Day I Have the Blues.
17 Every Day I Have the Blues
The performance is by the famous blues guitarist and singer, B. B. King. You can see his picture below, with his guitar which he named Lucille. He has even written songs about Lucille.
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The only song that Concert Chorus is singing for spring concert for which we don’t have a recording is “Until We Sing Again.” I found a listening link for you, so that you can listen to the song online. This is a demonstration recording done by professional singers for the publisher of the music. There are several recordings of the song on Youtube, but of course, I can’t send you there. However, I watched and listened to a couple of them last night and, trust me, we will do much, much better than anything I saw or heard. In fact, one was so bad that I wished I could assign it as an example for you to critique. There were some really obvious errors.
I hope you like the song as much as I do. It’s the perfect piece for the end of the year.
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I know, you really don’t want to think about anything that has to do with school during Spring Break. But just in case you get inspired, I’ve put a couple of links here, so that you can listen to some of the music we’ll be doing for Spring Concert.
02 Haven’t Met You Yet – Rehearsal
What a Wonderful World
Don’t Stop Believin’
Don’t Stop Believin’ and What a Wonderful World are songs that Beginning Chorus is doing for the concert. Sing and Haven’ Met You Yet will be sung by Concert Chorus. So this will give you something to do over your spring break that will be fun, but you can tell your parents that you are working on school stuff, and make them happy!
I hope you all have a wonderful break. I’m looking forward to mine, even though my husband and I are planning to do some painting around the house. But we’re also planning on going to the beach and playing tennis and going to the Norton Museum and…well, enjoy this picture of the glass ceiling by artist Dale Chihuly at the Norton Museum.
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I’ve always known that I get to direct superior choirs, and now we have our MPA ratings to prove it. As I said in class today, I don’t worry about the actual ratings, because there is so much subjectivity in judging. Mr Bailey and I saw that when were reading the judges’ comments. One judge heard one thing, and another heard exactly the opposite. My concern is that everybody does their very best. I can’t ask for more. And I think this year, there is no questions that everyone did just that.
And I don’t think my hair got too frizzy. I know I didn’t look like the director in this post!
I know you’d like to listen to your performances again, so here they are.
01 Music Like a Radiant Light
02 Good Night
Rise, Rise Thou Merry Lark
So, we’re less than four weeks away from MPA. After that, we will start to concentrate on music for our Spring Concert, which will take place on May 22nd. I have found a new medley for Concert Chorus, called Rock and Roll All Nite. I know, that isn’t correct spelling, but that is how it is spelled for this song. the medley lasts about six minutes, and includes four different songs.
I have ordered the music and the rehearsal CD. Once I get the rehearsal CD, I will see if I can link you to the entire medley. In the meantime, here is an exerpt:
For Beginning Chorus, we’re going to look at a medley of three Beatles songs, called Ticket to Ride. Follow this link to listen to an exerpt. Concert Chorus did this medley about five years ago, and we had a lot of fun with it.
The images in this post are from the website for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you’re interested in rock music, this is a fun website, with lots of interesting information, and some neat videos, too.
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The doldrums is a term that comes from the days when ships crossing the ocean all had sails and were powered by the wind. There would be times and places where the winds would almost disappear, trapping the sail-powered boats for days or even weeks. The term now is defined as a period of inactivity or stagnation–in other words, a slump.
Usually at this time of the year, particularly in chorus, we seem to find ourselves in the doldrums. MPA is coming, but we’re tired of working on just two or three songs, and we’d really like to burn all those sight-singing exercise sheets We want to get to the “fun” music, especially since we find out that the handbells classes are already doing that kind of music. So we slump in our chairs, we talk to our neighbors, and we don’t put 100% effort into our music.
So what will get us out of our doldrums? What will put the wind in our sails and propel us forward? Mr. Bailey and I are trying different things to keep you interested and excited. What suggestions do you have? Remember, our priority right now is performance assessment, which is just four weeks away. Any ideas?
In the meantime, you can listen to an MPA performance from 2009. The song is Ose Shalom, sung in Hebrew. It is very different from Hine Ma Tov, which Beginning Chorus will sing this year. I hope you like it. Listen to the the crescendos–they were pretty amazing!
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