By Sally K. Albrecht
Many choir directors chose to “lighten up” their spring concerts by featuring several pop arrangements or by adding some simple movement or choreography to a few selections. Our newest choral movement DVD “Lift Me Up!” has plenty of ideas for you, including these seven songs for spring!
• Green Eggs and Ham – This swinging’ novelty number from Seussical the Musical includes a ready-made “tag.” Earlier this year, we added crazy “Cat in the Hat” headgear with a group of middle school singers. Check it out!
• Jambo Bwana (Hello, Sir) – Feel the pulse of African rhythms, sing Swahili salutations, and grab some rhythm sticks for this multicultural feature. The DVD features three different rhythm combinations that are easy to learn. Consider painting your own rhythm sticks using simple dowel rods.
• Lift Me Up! – I always enjoy having a spiritual in every program! This one has a gospel sound and several short solos. The choreography has been designed to be performed easily on risers, even while wearing choir robes!
• Moses and Daniel (Go Down Moses/Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?) – If one spiritual is good, two is even better! Upper torso movement easily matches each of the vocal lines in this spiritual combination. Eventually, three different vocal lines are sung together—with different movements matching each. Very effective!
• One World (In Harmony) – I always try to feature an inspirational ballad as the penultimate (next to last) song in a concert. Our DVD features sign language on this uplifting choral. Consider having a small group sign on the verses, then your entire choir can sign the chorus each time. Chills.
• A Pocketful of Rhymes – My other rule? Make ’em laugh! Simple, silly staging for this trio of tunes includes a spider attached to a fishing rod or pole (“Little Miss Muffet”), a big stomp during Haydn’s Surprise Symphony (“Jack and Jill”), and a little boy dressed in a nightshirt (“Wee Willie Winkie”).
• Whatever Lola Wants – Sassy “girls vs. guys” choreography makes this Damn Yankees tango a blast to do with mixed groups. Women’s choir only . . . grab an unsuspecting guy from the audience and let your SSA ladies make him the focus of their attention!