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Mariah Sands

Repertoire Project
Amazing Grace arranged by Jeremy Fox
https://soundcloud.com/jeremyfox/01-amazing-grace - Level III piece.
Historical Perspective: the original piece, Amazing Grace, is very well known
regardless of a persons religious status. It was originally composed by John
Newton (1725-1807) in 1779 as a hymn for the Church of England. The hymn
was used during the Second Great Awakening in the 19th century in the
United States. It wasnt until 1835 that the text was paired to the tune that
we are most familiar with, New Britain. Its universal themes of being saved
and love have easily transferred to the secular genre and has been recorded
numerous times.
Technical Considerations:
- If students are unused to singing complex chords with numerous close
dissonances, this piece and really any jazz piece could be difficult. This
piece is not heavily swung, but the ornamentations could prove tricky.
Also, this piece has a lot of sliding between pitches that could be
difficult to do when singing in harmonies. The key change will not be
too difficult.
Stylistic Considerations:
- The composer has decided not to swing this piece, but it is jazz or bebop because of the chord structures, the sliding that is used, and the
inclusion of the rhythm section. Singers will not use any vibrato on this
piece unless he or she is the soloist. The soloist may use vibrato since
they are trying to stand out from the rest of the group, but the choir
may not since it is trying to blend and since that is the style of the
- A: Homophonic, unaccompanied
- B: Hey, hey hey staccato with a slide on the last hey, the rhythm
section is added.
- C: verse, sung originally by only the men accompanied by the rhythm
section. The women enter on the second half of the verse to provide
- C: soloist has the verse and the choir enters during the second half of
the verse to sing motives and harmonies.
- A: beginning material + drum set.
- C: The soloist has the verse again and the choir has different motives
and harmonies than before. Also a key change occurs at the beginning
of this verse.
- D: Soloist takes the verse and improvises with it over piano, guitar, and
drum set. During this, the soloist appears to end the song, but then
reenters and reclaims center stage.

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Repertoire Project

B: Choir reenters with earlier material and the soloist improvise over
the top.
Coda: All end together with the soloist adding his own flair.

Teaching Points:
- How the piece is still jazz even though it is not swung.
- Central concept: Text: How the additional text that Fox added
contributes to and changes the meaning of the piece; why the text has
been called universal and has appealed to so many different types of
people since its creation.
- Central concept: Harmonies: how the many dissonances are used to
create a jazz feeling and to express emotions.
- Central concept: Articulation: how it differs from classical singing due
to its style and the period in which it was written.
- Students will identify different influences on the hymn and how they
are culminated in this piece.
Summertime by George Gershwin, arranged by Mark Hayes
Historical Perspective:
The aria was written for the opera, Porgy and Bess in 1935 and has
since blossomed into one of Gershwins most iconic pieces. It has been
recorded over 25,000 times; many of these recordings were by idolized jazz
musicians such as Billie Holiday. Other popular versions include recordings by
Janis Joplin and Billy Stewart. Despite being a hit in pop music, this piece is
also revered in the music theatre genre as one of the best music theatre
pieces written. This was Gershwins only opera and it was unlike any opera
the world had ever seen. Even though the text seems to refer to happy
times, in the opera it is a sign that death is near. For instance, it was sung as
a lullaby to Claras baby before Clara died, it was heard as a counter-melody
to the craps game before another character dies.
Technical Considerations:
- There are three-part splits in both mens and womens parts. The top
voice in the womens parts can get high into the range (G5).
- Occasional sliding.
- Requires a free voice with vibrato.
- Close dissonances.
Stylistic Considerations:
- Sticking to the traditions of blues and jazz, the composer allows for a
moderately slow swung style. However, in accordance with the opera
traditions, the choir is treated like an opera chorus. The chorus is
allowed to sing in full voice with a free vibrato and often is

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project

Elements of African American spirituals can be seen in the call and

response sections as well as the slow, steady tempo.
The composer uses the piano as embellishment to the vocal line and to
establish the chord structure, but does not allow it to become

- Piano introduction
- First verse: homophonic choir and piano accompaniment; end of the
first verse the men and women split into a bit of call and response.
- Second verse: call and response between women and men at the
beginning, ending in homophony.
- Bridge
- Third verse: homophonic choir.
- Coda
Teaching Points:
- Central concept: Time: how does the swung rhythms attribute to the
feeling of the piece, or rather, the overall tone of the piece?
- Central concept: Expressive elements: the climax of the piece is
differentiated by a huge dynamic contrast with the other verses. How
do the other expressive elements portray the text?
- Central concept: Timbre: since this is originally from an opera, how
does the timbre of this piece compare to other works by Gershwin and
other jazz standards?
- Students will swing rhythms with confidence.
- Students will identify influences from other genres and styles. They will
also determine how the history behind these styles add meaning to the
People Got to Be Free by the Rascals, arranged by Jason Heald
Historical Perspective:
This piece was written in 1969 by the Rascals. In 1969, the world was
changing fast. Louis Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon,
the Vietnam war raged on, and Woodstock took place for the first time. This
piece undoubtedly reflects the anti-war movement by stating that everyone
should be free and giving inclinations to world peace.
Technical Considerations:
- Originally a rock tune: straight tone with no vibrato is necessary to
achieve the correct style implications.
- This arrangement is very consonant and an easier piece in general.
- Straight rhythms.
- An introduction into scat singing and accompanying a solo voice.

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project

The solo range is quite dramatic.

The arrangement switches between writing in Vox.1,2,3 and only
Vox.1,3. This would be accommodated for by analyzing the parts and
determining which voices should cover which parts. It provides another
level of difficulty since parts will have to be split.

Stylistic Considerations:
- The composer did not attempt to replicate the guitar or any instrument
through his writing, but instead appears to have focused on
maintaining chord structure. In addition, he appears to have added a
touch of jazz with the scat singing.
- A: verse with homophonic choir and Vox.3 singing do
- B: scat singing with occasional solo parts
- C: verse with Vox.1 singing on oo and Vox.3 singing do
- A
- B
- C: different lyrics than before
- A: Vox. 1, 2, and 3 with solo on top signing a verse. This is the first
time Vox. 2 has been present for the verse.
- B: Vox. 2 is added.
Teaching Points:
- How this piece is different from Jazz, but yet how it stemmed out of
jazz as a form of popular music.
- Central concept: Harmonies: how they are created during the verses in
contrast with the scat sections.
- Central concept: Time: changing meters
Charleston Alley by John Hendricks and Edgar Sampson arranged
by Meader
Historical Perspective:
First recorded by Charlie Barnet and his big band in 1958 on the album,
Cherokee. Charlie grew up in a wealthy family in New York City. He learned
to play the saxophone and led his first band on an ocean liner at the age of
16. With the Barnet Big Band, he broke house records at Harlems Apollo
Theatre. He was highly influenced by Count Basie and Duke Ellington.
Technical Considerations:
- Loads of chromatic motion in chords and in individual parts.
- Some difficult rhythms.
Stylistic Considerations:

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project

The composer has chosen to include piano and drum set.

A bebop base and swinging rhythm is used as is found in the original.

- A: first verse, female soloist backed up by the choir
- B: Chorus homophonic choir
- A: second verse, male soloist backed up by the choir. The choir has
words this verse.
- C: homophonic choir
- D: homophonic choir0
- C: 0000
- Bridge:
- A: third verse, homophonic choir supporting the soloist.
- Tag: Choir ends together.
Teaching Points:
- What the Charleston is and how it is reflected in this piece, if at all.
- Central Concept: Text: Cultural differences between now and the
1920s. Could use the lingo that is used in the song as a lead-in.
- Central Concept: harmonies: the chromatic motion identifying the
key, passing tones, upper and lower neighbor tones, etc.
Ive Got You Under My Skin arranged by Phil Mattson
Historical Perspective:
Written by Cole Porter in 1936 and introduced in the musical, Born to
Dance. It became a signature song for Frank Sinatra and has been a jazz
standard ever since.
Technical Considerations:
- Slides, heavy swing, and polyrhythms
- Close dissonances
- Non-classical pronunciations
- A: Verse, men singing the melody with women supporting, then the
roles switch
- A: women start and then the men enter and join them.
- B: Bridge different chordal structure than the verses and different
- C: rhythm section feature
- B: men and women switch off, then join, and the women finish after
the men sing half of the last bit.
Teaching Points:

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project

History of Cole Porter and the music traditions that he wrote in. For
example, the history of Tin Pan Alley.
Central Concept: Time: emphasis of beats two and four, swung
rhythms in comparison and adjacent to triplets.
Central Concept: Time: polyrhythms the layering of different rhythms
with different voices and how it creates a different effect.

When Sunny Gets Blue arranged by Paris Rutherford

Historical Perspective:
Written by Jack Segal and Marvin Fisher in 1956.
Technical Considerations:
- The piece is difficult because of the amount of listening that must
happen across the choir. The dissonances are very close and the
chords change frequently.
- Chromatic notes are everywhere!
- The tempo fluctuates often.
Stylistic Considerations:
- The ballad is very smooth and the rhythms are reminiscent of Nat King
Coles version.
- There is no walking bass, but instead, the bass of the chord is often in
the tenor line, if at all.
- Introduction
- A: verse 1, homophonic
- A: Verse 2, choir supports the soloist, the chord structures here are a
little more complex even, but are mostly the same.
- B: homophonic choir, chords rise in whole steps from C-G and back
down again.
- A: Verse 3: homophonic.
Teaching Points:
- Blending and how listening is integral to producing a cohesive sound.
- Even though this song is not swung, it is jazz nonetheless because of
the chords and style of writing.
- Central Concept: Pitch: how the harmonies are arranged in the voices
and how it changes the sound and aesthetic of the piece.
- Central Concept: Time: how time can be played with and stretched.
Beyond the Sea arranged by Peter Kiefer
Sung by Soundscape in the Fall of 2014.

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project
Historical Perspective:
Written in 1946 by Jack Lawrence. He was born in 1912 in Brookly and
created the piece as a response to the song, La mer by Charles Trenet. The
most popular recording was created by Bobby Darin in 1959. Since then, it
has been on many movies and television shows.
Technical Considerations:
- Each part must be able to stand on their own because each is very
- Rhythms are often very tricky and there is syncopation with a swing
- There is a lot going on in the accompanying parts and they need to
listen so they do not overpower the soloist.
- A walking bass line must keep a steady beat.
Stylistic Considerations:
- This song is very light and fun, the audience will be sure to be tapping
its foot along with the beat.
- A: Verse 1, choir supports the soloist with motives sung in scat.
- A: Verse 2, choir supports the soloist with motives sung with words.
- B: Verse 3, choir sings homophonically with a walking bass, in the key
of A major for six measures.
- B: rest of verse 3, F major.
- A: Verse 4
- Coda
Teaching Points:
- Central Concept: Texture: motivic writing that leads to a type of
polyphony versus homophonic writing.
- Central Concept: Timbre: the voices imitate instruments during the
scat sections.
Java Jive arranged by Ed Lojeski
Historical Perspective:
Published in 1940 by Ben Oakland and Milton Drake and was originally
recoded by The Ink Spots. There are many nonsensical lyrics that reflect the
slang of the 1940s such as Mr. Moto which refers to a fictional character in
a film spy. The Manhattan Transfer recorded a version of it in 1975.
Technical Considerations:
- This piece is not very difficult. The swung-eighth note rhythm is written
out as a dotted eighth note rhythm and for most of the piece, the choir

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project
is homophonic. When there is a split, it is typically between the male
and female sections, and serves as a call and response. The piece is
also accompanied by piano that supports the chord structure.
Stylistic Considerations:
- Originally this piece was accompanied by guitar, but for the sake of
what is available in high school choral ensembles, it has been written
as a piano accompaniment.
- A very laid-back style, even though al of the swung rhythms are written
- The arranger kept the original solos and stayed very true to the
original recording by the Ink Spots.
- A: homophonic choir, chorus
- B: choir supporting solo on verse 1
- A
- B: soloist supported by choir on verse 2
- Bridge
- A
- Coda
Teaching Points:
- Central Concept: Text: discuss the lingo in the song that reflects the
culture of the day. Also, how coffee was used as a reason to socialize.
- Central Concept: Form: this song has a very typical jazz standard form.
Harlem Nocturne arranged by Michele Weir
Historical Perspective:
Written by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers in1939 for the Ray Noble
Orchestra that both composers played in at the time. This piece has been
recorded by numerous artists and bands and was the theme song for the
television series, Mickey Spillanes Mike Hammer. In fact, there are over 40
versions of the piece!
Technical Considerations:
- Steady swing rhythm.
- Slides during the B section
- Its a very long song (approx. 5min)
Stylistic Considerations:

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project

The arranger chose to have a piano accompaniment rather than a

cappella jazz. This way, the bass part would not always have to sing
the root of the chord.

- A: monophonic
- A: homophonic, denser chords
- B: homophonic, new melodic material with slides at the end
- B: homophonic, new melodic material with slides at the end
- A: monophonic, but new text
- A: monophonic, scat singing
- A: homophonic, scat singing
- B: solos followed by choir sliding together
- B: new text
- A: monophonic
- Coda, ends on a beautiful Mm7th chord.
Teaching Points:
- Central Concept: form: this piece has a very extended from, but still
one that is is very predictable and typical to jazz pieces.
- Central Concept: texture: singing monophonically versus
homophonically aspects of both being harder/easier.
- Students will create the different types of dominant seventh chords
through notation.
Dream a Little Dream of Me arranged by Jay Althouse
Historical Perspective:
This song was originally copy-writed in 1931 and written by Fabian
Andre, Wilbur Schwandt, and Gus Kahn. Its first recording was made by Ozzie
Nelson and his orchestra, and since then more than sixty versions have been
made of this popular standard.
Technical Considerations:
- The alto section does not get the melody often, and in this piece, it is
given the melody for most of the song. Students, especially the
sopranos will have to listen carefully to balance the sound and to
adjust their ears to the different placement of the melody.
- The scat signing is not very difficult and is very short-lived.
- There is a lot of room for expressive elements within this piece.
Stylistic Considerations:
- A slow, smooth jazz piece written for SATB with piano and drum set.

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project

Even though it does not compare to the original orchestra in timbre,

Althouse did a fine job using the different voices to try and mimic the
original arrangement of this piece. For instance, in the beginning, the
basses and tenors support the womens parts with a dotted half note
slurred to a quarter note. This mimics the tenor saxophone in the
original recording as it supports a trumpet or coronet playing the
melody in its lower register. Even for the B section, Althouse puts the
melody in the Soprano section, and the original recording has the
clarinets and flutes playing the melody.

- A: alto section or solo, verse 1
- A: women sing two-part harmonies on the verse while the men
harmonically support the melody. The altos still have the melody, verse
- B: Sopranos take the melody on the bridge. Homophonic.
- A: tenors and altos are given the melody.
- A: rhythm section solo verse finished by the choir
- B
- A
- Coda: scat singing and end of the verse
Teaching Points:
- Central Concept: melody: how changing the placement of the melody
changes the timbre of the piece and how the choir must adjust to make
the melody audible.
- Central Concept: timbre: how the arranger took into consideration the
original recording and the instruments timbres.
Operator arranged by Kirby Shaw
Historical Perspective:
Composed by Sister Wynona Carr, who, according to
crossrhythms.com, was one of the best modern gospel composers and
performers of the 1950s. This piece didnt gain popularity until the
Manhattan Transfer used it in 1975 as the closing song for their CBS TV show.
Technical Considerations:
- Singing on a nasal N and how it is different than singing through
ones nose.
- The use of more vibrato since this is originally gospel music
Stylistic Considerations:
- The setting of text and the nasal consonants.

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project

Could be performed with a jazz band, not just a piano.

- Introduction: slow, no meter, conducted.
- A: soloist supported by homophonic choir
- A: different lyrics, but same idea as A
- B: piano solo, optional snapping on two and four by the choir.
- A: different lyrics and solo, but same chord structures and ideas as A
and A.
- Coda: the soloist is allowed to scat and improvise an ending while the
choir holds onto a single chord.
Teaching Points:
- History of gospel music and how it compares and contrasts with jazz
- Central Concept: time (beat): how this style of song compares to the
beat in jazz.
- Central concept: heart: the idea of longing for something that is not in
sight and how it is expressed in an unusually happy way in this gospel
Smack Dab in the Middle arranged by Darmon Meader
Historical Perspective:
Technical Considerations:
Stylistic Considerations:
Teaching Points:
- This piece would be a collaboration with the jazz band, giving the
students a new experience and teaching them how to work as a team
with bands.
The Christmas Song arranged by Kirby Shaw
Historical Perspective:
Technical Considerations:

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project
Stylistic Considerations:
Teaching Points:
The World For Christmas by Anders Edenroth
Historical Perspective:
Technical Considerations:
Stylistic Considerations:
Teaching Points:
A Child is Born by Michele Weir
Historical Perspective:
Technical Considerations:
Stylistic Considerations:
Teaching Points:
Christmas Time is Here arranged by Michele Weir
Historical Perspective:
Technical Considerations:
Stylistic Considerations:

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project
Teaching Points:
Perfect Christmas Night arranged by Greg Gilpin
Historical Perspective:
It was originally written by Paul ONeill, Robert Kinkel, and John OIiva
who were three members of the original creative team for the Trans-Siberian
Orchestra. The song, Perfect Christmas Night was a bonus track on their
debut album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, in 1996. It was also featured
on the live-action movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Technical Considerations:
- Singing swung rhythms with an upbeat tempo and tricky rhythms will
definitely be a challenge. Adding scat singing and its own style of
pronunciation for effect to this will be a challenge as well.
- Close dissonances and many accidentals
- Thankfully, the song repeats so there is not as much to do for learning
notes and rhythms, but that means that there will likely be problems
remembering text.
Stylistic Considerations:
- In the original piece from the movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas,
the melody is sung as a female solo and there is a male chorus backing
her up. In the choral piece, the idea of having the female voices lead is
kept, but it is not marked a solo. If this was the case, the rest of the
choir would have many rests to count.
- Overall, the song stays very true to the original, almost as though
Gilpin had transcribed the piece.
- A: scat singing
- B: verse 1, men and women call and response ending with
- A
- B: verse 2
- A
- A key change
- B: a cappella, just the women in three parts
- A
- Coda

Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project
Teaching Points:
- Central Concept: text: the special functions and features of this text to
create effects.
- Central Concept: Expressive elements: effects that the text creates as
well as how the addition of dynamics can make this repetitive piece
more interesting.
They Say Its Wonderful arranged by Jeremy Fox
Historical Perspective:
Technical Considerations:
Stylistic Considerations:
Teaching Points:
And Ill be There arranged by Jeremy Fox
Historical Perspective:
Written by Rosemary Clooney.
Technical Considerations:
Stylistic Considerations:
Teaching Points:
Moon River by Mercer and Mancini arr. Zegree
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skPNExSXkUQ (2:30)
Historical Perspective:
This piece was written for the movie, Breakfast at Tiffanys (1961).
Henry Mancini wrote the score, sent it off to Johnny Mercer, who then made
several prototypes of the text, and sent them all back to Mancini to choose
the final version. Much of the film score was never written down, but on June


Mariah Sands
Repertoire Project
12, 2015, a project to restore it by Justin Freer was culminated in a concert at
the Royal Albert Hall.
Technical Considerations:
- Blending will be essential in this piece since it is primarily homophonic.
- There is a lot of room for expressive elements and this piece is
- In this song especially, phrasing is important because the melodic line
is so exposed.
Stylistic Considerations:
- Its interesting that this song was created for an actor that did not
typically sing, Audrey Hepburn. Being such, this song has a lot of
stepwise, diatonic motion.
- Introduction
- A: first verse, melody in the soprano line; in the first part of the verse,
the melody is supported essentially by bell tones and then the whole
choir sings the text on their own parts.
- A: second verse, homophonic choir throughout the verse
- Bridge
- A: second verse, new harmonic progressions and arrangement of the
- Coda
Teaching Points:
- Central Concept: expressive elements
- Phrasing
- Students will connect to this pieces ideas of longing for a better place
as they finish one chapter of their lives, high school, and prepare to
start another one.