Jericho Singing Workshop Notes

Peter & Mary Alice Amidon
Jericho VT Singing Workshop
Mount Mansfield Unitarian Universalist Meeting House
195 Vermont Route 15, Jericho, VT
Saturday, March 17, 2018 • 10 am – 3 pm

Many thanks to Jean, Lynn and Doug for their thoughtful preparation and for all the work they did to gather such a great crowd of singers and set the tone for what was for us a great day of singing.

We made references to the By the People For the People – a Celebration of Community and Song concert I helped organize last November 11th.  Here is a video of the whole concert:
Each of the songs in the concert is up on its own Youtube.  If you search for “by the people latchis” in the Youtube search box you will find all the songs.


Here is a key to where the songs we did in the workshop can be found.

55 = 55 Anthems for the Small Church Choir

25 = 25 Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs

OCS = Sheet Music Downloads= purchase pdfs of Amidon arrangements.

Thousands or More traditional, from the Copper Family
The perfect pub song (Third Saturdays, 3-5 pm, McNeill’s Brewery, Elliot St., Brattleboro).

My Heart Is Ready by Cindy Kallet –25/OCS
This is a great instant four-part harmony song. We often teach this “paperless”, teaching the parts by ear, as we did with you.  Check out Cindy Kallet’s early recordings (you can hear them on Youtube). We especially love her album “Wings to Fly”.

All Night, All Day traditional, arr. by Ysaye Barnwell
We did not get to this one, but give it a try.  Ysaye Barnwell always teaches this by ear, but she gave me permission to transcribe the arrangement.  Use the written music only to learn this superb arrangement; it wants to be sung by memory.  We just added this to our Hallowell hospice singing repertoire.

Thanksgiving Eve  by Bob Franke – 55/OCS
Bob Franke is a prolific and gifted songwriter who lives in Eastern Massachusetts.  We love the lyrics to this song – (which don’t seem to have a lot to do with Thanksgiving) What can you do with your days but work and hope; let your dreams bind your work to your play. What can you do with each moment of your life, but love till you’ve loved it away.

Ripple by Jerry Garcia
This song just makes me smil, and be completely happy with whomever I’m singing it with.

Let Union Be traditional
We sang Andy Davis’s arrangement of this at our By the People November 11 concert; I realized today that I like his arrangement better than mine.  But really, just harmonize this by ear; it is a great pub song (3rd Saturday, 3-5 pm, McNeill’s Brewery on Elliot Street, Brattleboro).

Turn Turn Turn by Pete Seeger – 55
Paul Zollo, in his Songwriters on Songwriting quotes Pete Seeger:
I don’t read the Bible that often. I leaf through it occasionally and I’m amazed by the foolishness at times and the wisdom at other times. I call it the greatest book of folklore ever given. Not that there isn’t a lot of wisdom in it. You can trace the history of people poetically. I got a letter from my publisher, and he says, ‘Pete, I can’t sell these protest songs you write.’ And I was angry. I sat down with a tape recorder and said, ‘I can’t write the kind of songs you want. You gotta go to somebody else. This is the only kind of song I know how to write.’ I pulled out this slip of paper in my pocket and improvised a melody to it in fifteen minutes. And I sent it to him. And I got a letter from him the next week that said, ‘Wonderful! Just what I’m looking for.’ Within two months he’d sold it to the Limelighters and then to the Byrds. I liked the Byrds’ record very much, incidentally. All those clanging, steel guitars – they sound like bells.

Acres Grace  by Peter Amidon – 55/OCS
Written for the Stephen Stearns/Peter Amidon musical “Truth” performed by the New England Youth Theater teenage troup. In this musical the Acres were a singing family like the Watersons or the Trapp Family.


Crossing the Bar poem by Tennyson, music by Rani Arbo
We did the pub version of this.

Joy Shall Come by Mary Alice Amidon –25/OCS
Inspired by the line from Psalm 30: Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Bright Morning Stars  traditional –25/OCS
This a great song for group singing and harmonizing by ear.

Balm in Gilead traditional –25/OCS

Eli Eli words Hannah Szenes (1921 – 1944), music David Zehavi (1910 – 1977)
As I’m sure you could hear in our session, this works fine as an a cappella piece.

Peace Will Come by Tom Paxton
Just add a simple guitar accompaniment to the harmonization.

How Could Anyone by Libby Roderick – 25/OCS
Hallowell sings this at many a hospice sing.

Mary Alice and I thoroughly enjoyed our day with you. You are a wonderful group of singers!


Peter (and Mary Alice)