We at The Leading Note have been busy in recent weeks helping to organize Podium, the biennial choral conference hosted by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. We had a booth in the trade show at Podium this past weekend. For this special choral conference, we stocked a wide variety of books on choral strategies, vocal techniques, warm-ups, and sight-singing. Many of these books are new to the Leading Note and we are very excited to have them in stock. Please come by the shop to browse our special display which is now located in the choral room.
We also have multiple copies of many of the choral pieces performed at Podium as well as the titles featured in The Leading Note’s Children’s Choir Reading Session, hosted by local clinician Jackie Hawley. Among these are some of our top-selling choral titles, including Klee Wyck by Brian Tate and Al Shlosha and Shiru by Allan E. Naplan. We also featured several new pieces including the following:
|Laura Hawley: Au champ d’honneur
Au champ d’honneur is the official French adaptation of John McCrae’s famous poem In Flanders Fields for use in Remembrance Day ceremonies. Hawley has set the text for unison children’s choir with minor divisi used sparingly at the works climax. Unlike the original English poem, Au champ d’honneur has rarely been set for choir. Hawley’s composition is consequently a very useful addition to the repertoire of Canadian choral music.
Willi Zwozdesky: Hearth and Fire
This new arrangement by Vancouver composer Willi Zwozdesky of the traditional song Hearth & Fire is set for three-part children’s choir with piano. The setting is expertly crafted, moving from the unison beginning to a three-part climax that can optionally be sung a cappella.
Sandy Scofield: Song of Life
Sandy Scofield is a singer/songwriter from the Saulteaux and Cree First Nations. Her Song of Life uses vocal sounds to convey a joyful celebration of life without using a literal text. The piece is scored for a solo singer who leads the chorus in canon. The piece is accompanied by rattle and hand drum.
The text of this new carol by Donald Patriquin is taken from Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. Sung by a troup of field mice carrying lanterns through the night a-carolling, the song is overheards by Mole and Rat as they scavenge in the kitchen. Patriquin’s setting includes a few good vocal challenges for young singers including a descant on the final verse. This makes a good twist on the familiar Christmas concert repertoire.
|Garrett/Nickel: I Dreamed of Rain
I Dreamed of Rain is a beautiful song by American singer-songwriter Jan Garrett arranged here for SSA choir by Larry Nickel, the curator of Cypress Choral Music. The arrangement is set so that each verse builds on the textural density of the previous one. Some brief four-part writing is reserved for the final coda, which ends a cappella.
|We also have many other works by local composers whose works were performed at Podium, including Elise Letourneau, James Wright, and myself.|