WVMEA Thursday Harmony Sing notes

West Virginia Music Educators Association • Peter & Mary Alice lead:
Harmony Group Sing at General Meeting
Thursday, March 8, 2018 • 2:25 – 2:55
Civic Center,  Charleston WV

The next section is a little about Mary Alice and me and our family.  That is followed by our  post-workshop notes.

MEET OUR BOYS & their ladies:

Stefan on percussion/vocals and his wife (red head) Zara Bode with their band the Sweetback Sisters

Zara singing with the By the People Choir.

Stefan is currently touring with The Devil Makes Three

Sam with the Australian Chamber Orchestra

Sam fiddling

Sam’s wife Beth Orton singing Leonard Cohen’s “Sisters of Mercy”

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Here is Mary Alice’s a cappella SATB setting of an Isaac Watts poem: “Sweet is the Day” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqJlBSrI5lQ

I am the co-director and Mary Alice a member two Southern Vermont choruses:
– Hallowell, an a cappella SATB hospice choir in Southeastern Vermont that has been the inspiriration for the formation scores of other hospice choirs across the United States. – http://hallowell-singers.org/
-Guilford Community Church, UCC Choir – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImeixO9swz0&t=16s

Our choral arrangements are available on our Online Choral Store and in our two book collections Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choir and Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs.

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25A = included in our collection “Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs”
OCS = included in our Online Choral Store (for downloading pdfs of the music scores)

 My Heart is Ready by Cindy Kallet – 25A/OCS
One of our favorite instant-harmony singalong songs.  The harmonies we taught were transcribed from our family quartet (Mary Alice and I with our sons Sam & Stefan) improvised harmonies.

Psalm of Life poem by Longfellow, tune from Lotus Dickey – 25A/OCS
The perfect marriage of poetry and melody. Lotus said that he set the poem to a melody he remembered his father singing in church.

 What’s in a Song by Lucy Picco Simpson – Here’s an SATB arrangement
A  gifted singer of ballads, spirituals and old hymns, Lucy collected 19th and early 20th century hymnals and put back out into the world gems that had been lost to obscurity. This is the only song we know that she wrote rather than collected.

I’m Gonna Lift My Sister Upby Faya Rose Touré (AKA Rose Sanders) – 25A/OCS
The first female African American judge in Alabama, Faya Rose Touré has devoted much of her life to educating local students (& writing songs with them) about their extraordinary history in her town of Selma Alabama.

How Could Anyone by Libby Roderick – 25A/OCS
Mary Alice and I learned this classic gem from storyteller/singer Eshu Bumpus when we performed it with him at the Country Dance & Song Society’s Pinewoods Family Camp.  Our improvised harmonies, Eshu on melody, Mary Alice above and me below, was the foundation of this arrangement.  We use this song a lot in our work with Hallowell, an a cappella SATB hospice singing group in southeastern Vermont.

We so enjoyed singing with you!


Peter & Mary Alice