Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dreams, Wishes, and Fairy Tales 2014 Concert Theme

This year’s concert has come and gone again.  It’s amazing how fast the year flies.   It’s hard to believe another year’s choral performance is over.  I was really pleased with how the students performed and blended their voices.  The program had a nice variety, while keeping with a theme, and also kept audience interest.

This year, my concert was themed around “Dreams, Wishes, and Fairy Tales.”  I had three ensembles perform: the auditioned Orff Ensemble who rehearses after school, the 5th grade chorus, and the 6th grade chorus.  We did close out with all students singing a song together (which is always intentionally planned that way to help keep audience members and students through the entire concert.)

The Orff Ensemble performed the following:
Oh What a Day: A beautiful instrumental canon by Gagne about dreaming about the beauty in each day.
Heart and Soul:  Need I say more?
All the Pretty Little Horses, a gorgeous lullaby arranged by DeLelles and Kriske
In the Jungle: This fun tune can be heard in the fairy tale story of the Lion King
Ding, Dong: This canon comes from the Orff Volume 1
Rondo #31: This snazzy Rondo is very impressive and is in Orff Volume 1

5th grade chorus performed the following:
The Spirit of Adventure from Disney-Pixar’s Up: Giacchino/Arr. Shaw is a perky opener that talks about dreaming of adventures and travels.
Magical Kingdom by John Rutter is a beautiful piece that describes a magical kingdom of dreams and stories.
John Henry arranged by Dilworth tells the story of the folk tale about John Henry.  Students learn about John Henry in 5th grade at our school so this piece had some nice cross curricular opportunities.
We Can Plant a Forest by Papoulis and Greenly talks about dreaming of making the world a better place for the future, in a world music arrangement.  We used djembe with this piece.
Any Dream Will Do from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Rice and Webber and Arranged by Huff.  The kids loved it and had great energy. 

6th grade chorus performed the following:
Kusimama (Stand Tall) by Papoulis which talks about standing tall and believing in yourself.  Using two languages, this world piece sounds great with djembe.
Deep in the Meadow (Lullaby) by Collins, burnett and Arranged by Huff is from the Hunger Games.  The lulling tune is beautiful.  I told my kids to “make their momma’s cry” while they sang this one with heart. 
Dreams from the Triology of Dreams by Hughes and Dilworth was performed with violin accompaniment.  There are some tricky parts to fit together at the end of the piece.  The text encourages students hold fast to their dreams.
The Tailor of Gloucester Arranged by Geibler is a perky folk story tale of a tailor and the mouse.  Two partner songs occur in the middle and the lively tune is always a hit.
Over the Rainbow (with P/A CD) by Harburd, Arlen, Kamakawiwo’ole and arranged by Beck was a lovely way to end the 6th grade portion, when students were singing in our school concert for the last time in their elementary careers.  We used the P/A cd because the ukulele part was a bit too challenging for our students.  They kids loved this and provided them a great chance to practice legato singing with emotion. 

Together, to finish up, we sang:
When You Wish Upon a Star from Disney’s Pinocchio by Washington and Harline and arranged by Rhea is a simple arrangement that joyfully shares the famous tune in a manner that encourages everyone to dream of a better tomorrow.

This concert is over and now it’s time to start ordering music for next year already.  I’m already getting excited about what is to come next!

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