Tag Archives: show choir

Our Favorite Music Moments

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Our mission here at Alfred Music is to help the world experience the joy of making music. We’ve certainly experienced this joy ourselves, and it has helped guide and shape our lives in one major way or another. In honor of Music In Our Schools Month, we reflected upon some of our own music classroom moments that brought to us the very joy we hope to share.

Brooke-Greenberg-Headshot

“My middle school band director was extremely understanding when I told her I had trouble breathing and couldn’t play the clarinet anymore. She saw potential in me, and handed me some drumsticks. Switching to the percussion section was a blessing in disguise. I was the only female percussionist among 4 rowdy boys, so I quickly learned how to speak up. It also helped me make a lot of new friends. I continued playing drums in my high school jazz band, and in the pit orchestra for our senior year school musical. Drumming gave me confidence, introduced me to new types of music, and became an important piece of my identity. I can’t believe what a crazy turn my life took, and it’s all because my middle school band director gave me a chance.”
—Brooke Greenberg, Graphic Designer

Toni
“Some of my best memories span across all of high school. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we had show choir rehearsal. This was where the magic happened. Everyone left their troubles at the door to make amazing music. The energy was electric. It was as if we all came together with one goal in mind, to sing and dance without fear. Best memory was when our choreographer roped our director into warming up with us! He happily joined in, even though he had no dance experience. Made the rehearsal so much more fun!”
—Toni Hosman, Product Marketing Manager, Instrumental Solo & School Performance 

Vicki

 

“Throughout school, I bounced back and forth between band and choir, but mostly focused on band in high school. But every time I was in band rehearsal and heard the choir, I wished I was in choir. The sound of the voices, the emotion and meaning that could be communicated through words and vocal inflection. And every time I was in choir and heard the band, I wished I was in band. To be surrounded by beautiful brass and woodwind instruments, a different kind of choir. My band director was great, but I was more inspired by my choir director. He was unique in that he also coached football, wrestling, and track. In fact, he knew me by ‘Rees’ (my last name at the time) because he knew my brothers from track and football. His recruiting campaign to get more guys in choir was hanging ‘Real Men Sing’ posters everywhere, and it was brilliant! Choir went from three guys to an entire section within one semester of campaigning. Honestly, I don’t think it was just the posters that did the trick. It was his true joy while teaching choir—it was contagious. He created an atmosphere where we could ask questions, struggle with parts, and try out for solos without fear of ridicule or judgement from him or other students. It was ultimately that teacher that made me choose voice for my instrument in college.”
—Victoria Meador, Product Marketing Manager, School Methods & Suzuki

Heidi Smith

 

“As a pianist, the majority of my music education was solitary until college. A whole new world opened up to me when I started college! A classroom full of other musicians, long choir rehearsals and weeks on tour buses, accompanying soloists, spending hours ‘together’ in the practice rooms, struggling through theory and music history homework . . . these experiences helped me bond with my classmates quickly and foster friendships that will last a lifetime. A community of musicians is special, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. One of my favorite memories is from my 8 a.m. theory class, discussing the form of pieces. Our professor told us to sit on the floor in a circle and passed out plastic cups to each of us. She demonstrated a couple different rhythm patterns to tap on the cups, passing our cup to our neighbor every so often. We listened to ‘Yellow Submarine’ by The Beatles—clapping out rhythms, changing the pattern when a new section of the song started (verse, chorus, bridge). We felt a little silly at first, but I think we all secretly had a blast and loved it! The story was told throughout the music department and in subsequent years, everyone knew what it meant when a theory student said it was ‘Yellow Submarine Day.'”
—Heidi Smith, Product Marketing Manager, Piano

Billy Lawler

 

“My favorite moments from studying music in school happened in between classes. Singing in my school’s vocal jazz ensemble, playing piano in combos, or serving as an accompanist provided so many opportunities to practice alongside others and grow with others as musicians. We shared the common goals of improving both together and as individuals, and that was a major factor in establishing lifelong friendships with my classmates. Our teachers felt more like mentors, coaches, and comrades compared to instructors I’d had in other subjects, and growth as a musician translated into growth as a person. The process of studying music taught me so much more than just how to play an instrument.”
—Billy Lawler, Social & Digital Marketing Specialist


Choreography—To Go!

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
Santa Mash-Up
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.

Showbiz Snowman!
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.

Get Happy
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.

Singing A-Round
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!
Showbiz!  (00-35858)………..$39.99

Show ’em some SHOWBIZ!

By Sally K. Albrecht
Director of School Choral & Classroom Publications

How about adding a touch of “showbiz” to your holiday concert? This year, our new Showbiz! choral movement DVD is packed full of complete choreography for 12 great tunes. Here’s a quick look at the 4 smashing holiday numbers that are featured on the DVD.

Santa Mash-Up
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 knock-out number.

Showbiz Snowman!
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!

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.

‘Zat You, Santa Claus?
A jazzy Kirby Shaw treatment with zingin’ rhythms and rhymes! And just wait until you teach your singers Andy’s clever choreography for this one, featuring everyone swingin’ their Santa hats on the scat section! You can feature a special dance group or have your entire choir join in.

Other titles featured on the new Showbiz! DVD include:
Con la Musica (Althouse)
Get Happy (Arr. Kern)
I Have a Voice (Althouse) (sign language)
If I Only Had a Brain (Arr. Albrecht)
Let Me Entertain You (Arr. Shackley)
Singing A-Round (Albrecht)
Tama Tu (A Maori Proverb) (Albrecht)
The Time Warp (Arr. Beck)