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Guest Blog Post: On Programming, Part 3

This is the final installment in a 3-part series, the first two of which can be found here and here. In these articles, we discussed some of the challenges presented by the task of assembling a program and worked our way through an example of the process. At the end of the last article, we left ourselves with a potential program that looks like this:   John Cantrell: Ave Verum Corpus Joseph Twist: Versa est in Luctum Jonathan David: Stabat Mater Josquin de Prez: Gaude Virgo, Mater Christi Trond Kverno: The Corpus Christi Carol G.P. da Palestrina: Nativitas tua Olivier Messiaen: O sacrum convivium!   With possible inclusion of the following: Victoria: Versa est in Luctum William Byrd: Ave Verum Corpus   Two things immediately…

Guest Blog Post: On Programming, Part 2

In the first article of this 3-part series, we discussed some of the factors conductors must consider when assembling a program that is compelling, coherent, and musically satisfying. We began with a pair of pieces–John Cantrell’s Ave Verum Corpus and Joseph Twist’s Versa est in Luctum–that form an intriguing kernel around which we might assemble complementary material. In this installment, we’ll take a look at some of the challenges that this process might present. Because of the demanding features of these pieces—they require precise tuning, an array of color variations from the singers, and, at their respective lengths of 5 ½ and 4 minutes, a good deal of endurance given their unaccompanied nature—they are best programmed within separate sets. An impeccably executed back-to-back performance of…

Guest Blog Post: On Programming, Part 1

Of the many hats choral conductors wear, one of the more challenging ones to put on is that of programmer. In many respects, programming a concert is similar to the act of composition – one tries to build a structure that takes the listener on a coherent journey, presenting a premise or argument, developing it, and leaving them with a compelling idea that changes the way the listener thinks or process an experience. Similar to a Schenkerian structure, a well-constructed program presents an overarching narrative that contains smaller, self-contained episodes, themselves containing even smaller, still-coherent structures – a musical realization of Augustus de Morgan’s musing,   Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so,…

The See-A-Dot Catalog: Sacred Pieces

Religion and choir go together like peanut butter and jelly: the Western choral tradition has its roots in medieval Gregorian chant and mutated over time to include polyphony and form, usually after some ecclesiastical reckoning or change. In recent times, the choral tradition has also included numerous sacred practices and experiences, such as Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Taoism, among others. See-A-Dot acknowledges this relationship between the ecstatic experience found in sacred practice and in group singing, and we have many pieces that are either influenced by sacred text or part of sacred worship. Take a look below at some of our favorites!   Domine Jesu Christe, by Toby Twining It is a coincidence that the newest piece on our list is inspired by the oldest sacred…

The See-A-Dot Catalog: Instrumental Solos

Our last blog post focused on pieces in our catalog with featured vocal solos, but we also carry a number of pieces featuring obligato instrumental parts as well. There are many examples in the standard repertoire of the interplay between instruments and voice, like Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs, and Randall Thompson’s Tarantella. Such obligato additions allow choirs to collaborate with musicians within their communities and are a great way to create new relationships between instrumental and choral groups. Below are some pieces in the See-A-Dot Catalog that feature instrumental solos.   Of all of them: the first, the last   The cello solo in Drew Corey’s Of All of Them: The first, the last may seem like an auxiliary component of the piece, but it…

The See-A-Dot Catalog: Vocal Solos

In the See-A-Dot catalog, there are many great vocal solos for soloists in your vocal ensemble or choir, and now you can search for pieces with vocal solos on our Octavos page! Just click on the Any Instrumentation button and select “Featured Vocal Solo” from the menu, as seen below. If you’re not sure which piece has the featured vocal solo you want, don’t panic; below are some of our personal favorite featured vocal solos in the catalog. They That Wait Upon the Lord, by David Hurd David Hurd is known throughout the Episcopal community as one of the foremost organists and composers among the faith, and his experience is on full display in the hopeful, yet elegiac They That Wait Upon the Lord. This…

An Introduction to Intonation and Microtonality for Choirs, Part 3

Microtonality is one of those seemingly deeply esoteric terms that both mystifies and terrifies musicians. The purpose of this series is to open the door of understanding to the world of microtonality and, ultimately, intonation. The question of how to achieve intonation in choral music has plagued conductors for centuries. We struggle with teaching our singers to hear the alignment of harmonies, and training their technique to maintain the pitches they hear.   To make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s a list of terms I’ll be using in this series:   Term Definition Overtones/Harmonics The upper harmonics present in all pitches Hertz (hz) The absolute frequency of any given pitch Equal Temperament (ET) The division of the octave into 12 equal parts…

ACDA Conference 2017: Reading Session & Packet

See-A-Dot Music Publishing, Inc. is very excited to participate in the ACDA Conference being held this year in Minneapolis! For those interested in delving into the See-A-Dot catalog, we will be holding a reading session at the conference on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 1 PM, in Room L100/A&B. Pieces included in the reading session this year are: Love is Anterior to Life by Bettina Sheppard How She Went to Ireland by Joseph N. Rubinstein In Flanders Field by Rachel D. Fogarty Ave Verum Corpus by John Cantrell Three Kalinga Chants by Nico Alcala Maskil of David by Karen Siegel The Peace of Wild Things by Michael Conley Of all of them: the first, the last by Drew Corey The Tree of Life by Trevor Shaw Hymn to Aethon by Fahad Siadat…

An Introduction to Intonation and Microtonality for Choirs, Part 2

Microtonality is one of those seemingly deeply esoteric terms that both mystifies and terrifies musicians. The purpose of this series is to open the door of understanding to the world of microtonality and, ultimately, intonation. The question of how to achieve intonation in choral music has plagued conductors for centuries. We struggle with teaching our singers to hear the alignment of harmonies, and training their technique to maintain the pitches they hear.   To make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s a list of terms I’ll be using in this series: Term Definition Overtones/Harmonics The upper harmonics present in all pitches Hertz (hz) The absolute frequency of any given pitch Equal Temperament (ET) The division of the octave into 12 equal parts Cents…

An Introduction to Intonation and Microtonality for Choirs, Part 1

Microtonality is one of those seemingly deeply esoteric terms that both mystifies and terrifies musicians. The purpose of this series is to open the door of understanding to the world of microtonality and, ultimately, intonation. The question of how to achieve intonation in choral music has plagued conductors for centuries. We struggle with teaching our singers to hear the alignment of harmonies, and training their technique to maintain the pitches they hear.   To make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s a list of terms I’ll be using in this series: Term Definition Overtones/Harmonics The upper harmonics present in all pitches Hertz (hz) The absolute frequency of any given pitch Equal Temperament (ET) The division of the octave into 12 equal parts Cents…

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