By Sally K. Albrecht
Director of School Choral & Classroom Publications
How about adding a touch of “showbiz” to your next concert? Alfred’s new Showbiz! choral movement DVD is packed full of complete choreography designed by Sally K. Albrecht and Andy Beck. Tons of movement ideas for choirs of all ages are included. Here’s a quick look at the 12 smashing numbers that are featured on this year’s DVD.
In case you’ve never experienced one of our choral movement DVDs (now there are 13 of them!), let me explain our format. Each song is presented in three different ways:
1. Complete performance with Sally/Andy facing the camera, mirroring your movements.
2. Instruction time, with explanations, descriptions, and options given as needed.
3. Our exclusive “Double Shot” performance filmed from behind, with Sally /Andy facing a mirror—you see the movements from both behind and in the mirror!
FOR THE HOLIDAYS
This holiday novelty number actually combines two powerhouse favorites by Lois Brownsey and Marti Lunn Lantz into one Glee style mash-up! Funky and fun! But best of all, each vocal line has its own choreography to match. Part I has “Santa Fever” while Part II does a stomp-stomp-clap routine. Perfect when combining two classrooms or two choirs for a special knockout number. 2-Part.
By now, you know you can count on Andy Beck and Brian Fisher to deliver a “bring-down-the house” holiday number! This one has a “New York, New York” style intro and interludes with an easy-to-learn partner-song format. Andy has staged it on our DVD using top hats—either real or mimed. Sure to be a show-stopper! 2-Part.
Sing Noel, Noel!
Jay and I enjoyed experiencing the premier of this original gospel-style piece in nearby Wilson, NC. Features two short solos and a soulful descant group. Add handclaps at the key change and the audience will probably join in! Simple, yet effective staging, using gospel step touches and heavenly arm reaches. Works well as a closer. SATB, SAB, 2-Part.
‘Zat You, Santa Claus?
A jazzy Kirby Shaw treatment with zingin’ rhythms and rhymes! And just wait until you teach your performers Andy’s clever choreography for this one, with singers swingin’ their Santa hats on the scat section! You can feature a special dance group or have your entire choir join in. SATB, SAB, SSA, 2-Part.
FOR GENERAL USE
Con la Música
How about a bit of Spanish flair? Jay Althouse is great at writing stylish tunes just perfect for movement. This one is staged using lots of easy upper torso “S-curves” and “tummy-walks,” plus handclaps that accent the accompaniment figures. SATB, SAB, SSA, 2-Part.
Hot, jazzy, and definitely made for choreography. Just ask Judy Garland, who made this one of her signature songs. Philip Kern’s arrangement offers lots of exciting twists and turns, great for staging ideas. Hallelujah! SATB, SSAB, SSA.
I Have a Voice
Every year, we present at least one touching, inspirational ballad with the addition of American Sign Language. This choral, written by Jay Althouse, is set up in such a way that one voice echoes another—making the sign language especially effective. If you’ve never added any movement to a larger performing group, give this one a try. SATB, SAB, SSA, 2-Part.
If I Only Had a Brain
This easy swing favorite from The Wizard of Oz is a natural for choral movement. I had a blast both arranging and staging this one. Features some soft-shoe style thigh hits and very simple riser choreography. 2-Part.
Let Me Entertain You
If you’ve seen a production of Gypsy, then you know how many ways this song is presented during the course of the show. Larry Shackley’s arrangement gives us all those wonderful styles, from 2-beat to swing to waltz to a raucous kick line! Andy’s choreography introduces simple ways to go from one style to the next. Great opener! SATB, SAB, SSA, 2-Part.
I work with many choirs that are: A. just starting to do some simple staging, and B. just starting to sing in 3-parts. One of the greatest ways to develop part-singing is to perform a round, so that’s what this choral is all about! Easy to teach (and to learn) riser choreography. 3-Part, any combination of voices.
Tama Tu (A Maori Proverb)
If you’re looking for a change of pace within a concert (who isn’t?!), here’s the tune for you! A Maori (New Zealand) proverb is set both in chant and song. I wrote this one with lots of echo sections, then staged it so students could do the movement standing, kneeling, or sitting. 3-Part Mixed, 2-Part/SSA.
The Time Warp
Andy Beck’s arrangement is almost as hot as his choreography for this popular song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This one is a blast, and nonstop from beginning to end. Lots of fun tricks in the staging that you’ll use for years. SATB, 3-Part Mixed, 2-Part/SSA.
Click here to see a trailer from the DVD Showbiz!
Thanks for finally writing about >Choreography—To Go!
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