A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky is the closing poem of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The first letter of every line of text spells out the name Alice Pleasance Liddell, whom Carroll was (scandalously) very close to and was said to have inspired his book. The musical setting of the poem captures the wonder of childhood but also the dark nostalgia that accompanies the passage of time.

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Alleluia is part of the sacred mass tradition and is associated with praise and acclamations. This modern setting of the Alleluia text, commissioned by Choral Arts Initiative for the 2019 PREMIERE|Project Festival, opens with a fanfare-like piano solo. The choir then enters and slowly builds in excitement before reaching a climax. The B section of this piece explores different choral textures, using flowing lines and dynamic swells. After the flowing triplet section, the opening material returns and builds until the final joyous ending.

This bright Alleluia setting would fit well into any sacred service, especially Easter Sunday.

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The Skye Boat Song is a Scottish folk song that tells the story of how Prince Charlie escaped from a defeat in battle by disguising himself as a serving maid and sailing away on a boat. The lyrics describe the aftermath of his defeat in battle and refer to the Claymore, which is a Scottish sword, and Culloden’s Field, the battlefield where Prince Charlie’s defeat occurred in 1746.

Commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and Nova Vocal Ensemble, this arrangement reharmonizes the traditional folk song with a contemporary twist and features an SATB choir and featured Tenor solo. This arrangement would work well for any a cappella high school, college, or community choir looking for modern arrangements of traditional folk songs.

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Coventry Carol is a traditional English Christmas Carol written in the 1500s. It tells the somber story of how King Herod, feeling threatened upon hearing the news of Jesus’ birth, ordered that all young boys under the age of two in Bethlehem be killed. The “Coventry Carol” is a lullaby sung by the grieving mothers who have lost their children in this tragic massacre.

This arrangement, commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and Nova Vocal Ensemble, sets the traditional English melody with jazz-inspired harmonies and modal inflections. A powerful Baritone solo, representing King Herod, highlights the darkness of Herod’s decree. The arrangement also contains an original intro, interlude, and outro. This arrangement would be a great fit for any Festival of Lessons and Carols or sacred Christmas concert.

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