We are the Voices, commissioned by Dr. Kyle Weary and dedicated to the South Middleton School District Choirs, is an anthemic text that calls upon both the singer and the listener to sing: for ourselves, for those who have passed, and for the future we would like to create. This piece is full of rhythmic drive in the piano, creating an exciting bed for the singers.

This piece is also designed to use limited pitch and rhythmic materials in order to build singer confidence and solidify learned concepts. The melody only uses Major Pentascale (do-re-mi-fa-sol) and simple rhythms in simple meters (whole, dotted half, half, quarter, & paired eighth Notes, as well as whole, half, and quarter Rests).

A Guitar may accompany the Piano using the provided chord symbols. An optional Bongo Drum part has also been included and may be used or omitted as desired.

This piece is suitable for any Treble Choir looking for an accessible setting and anthemic text.

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The music and lyrics of Songs of Hope in Strange Times: In Times of Stasis was written during the COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020-onwards and was commissioned by Westminster High School, directed by Kelly Ann Self. The overall song cycle is five movements long, with each movement reflecting on how to find hope and meaning during strange and unknown times of life. In Times of Stasis, the third movement of this song cycle, represents the sense of stasis deep in the waiting period of the pandemic. Without being able to observe the normal markers of time passing, such as birthdays, school years, or holidays, time seemed to stand still as each day blended into the next. This sense of moving neither forward nor backward is reminiscent of walking in the ocean tide, where one wave is crashing on shore and another is receding, creating the sense one is simply standing still. While it can be hard to find meaning in these static times, perhaps just being alive and present in this moment is in itself enough.

This movement could be performed as a stand-alone piece or as part of the entire song cycle. See other movements:
II. In Times of Hibernation

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The music and lyrics of We Have a Choice were composed as a reaction to the COVID-19 crisis. The piece explores aleatoric and performer-based textures that can be sung remotely through video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, or in live settings. The text explores our ability to choose our own paths and reactions in every situation, hopefully ultimately choosing to embrace the story with love, joy, hope, and peace.

The piece alternates between mostly-unison chant-like textures and aleatoric branching textures, in which the performers may choose their own path.

This piece is suitable for any Treble-Voice Choir interested in exploring virtual singing and limited- aleatoric textures that give performers ownership of the material. The piece may be sung in virtual or live settings as circumstances allow.

Continue reading We Have a Choice (Treble Choir)

The music and lyrics of Songs of Hope in Strange Times: In Times of Hibernation was written during the COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020 and was commissioned by SACRA/PROFANA Choir. The overall song cycle is five movements long, with each movement reflecting on how to find hope and meaning during strange and unknown times of life. After the first scary and frenetic days in March, 2020 when the severity of COVID-19 started to become apparent in the USA, the world then seemed to enter a deeper state of hibernating and waiting, but it was not always clear exactly what was being waited for. In this second movement, In Times of Hibernation, the text asks whether we can find meaning in times of deep hibernation and seemingly-endless waiting. The answer may be that we have to simply wait and hold our breath along with time as the events unfold. It may be that the deepest meaning may be found during the quietest of times.

Commissioned & Remotely Recorded by: SACRA/PROFANA
Conductor: Juan Carlos Acosta
Audio & Video Editing by Rumley Music & Audio Production

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The music and lyrics of We Have a Choice were composed as a reaction to the COVID-19 crisis. The piece explores aleatoric and performer-based textures that can be sung remotely through video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom. The text explores our ability to choose our own paths and reactions in every situation, hopefully ultimately choosing to embrace the story with love, joy, hope, and peace.

The piece alternates between mostly-unison chant-like textures and aleatoric branching textures, in which the performers may choose their own path.

This piece is suitable for any Mixed-Voice Choir interested in exploring virtual singing and limited- aleatoric textures that give performers ownership of the material.

Continue reading We Have a Choice (SATB Choir)

Program Note: This simple melody was composed to inspire change through the art of singing. The melody can be sung completely in unison in any octave comfortable for the singers. It can also be performed as a  round, with each entrance 2 measures apart (see * for entrance points). Repeat as many times as desired. Feel free to close the round by all singing the melody in unison. There is an alternate verse that can be used  as a round to inspire people to create change through voting. Feel free to adjust the lyrics of  lines 1 and 4 to suit similar situations calling people to action.

Please report any performances or virtual choir broadcasts to amygordonmusic@gmail.com

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The music and lyrics of In the Morning began as an original song that Amy Gordon, the composer, wrote when she was 17 in 2004. It was then arranged for Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, & Piano for her undergraduate recital at Loyola Marymount University in 2008. In this arrangement, In the Morning has been adapted for SATB Choir & Piano. The hope is that this text about finding strength in the midst of hardship will bring some comfort during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis that has rattled the entire world, including the choral world.

This arrangement would be suitable for any level of SATB Choir and would fit well into a concert about hope and triumph in the midst of trying times.

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I Celebrate Life (the second and last movement of the Light Cycle suite), commissioned by Jennifer Gaderlund for the Graham Middle School Choirs, sets the beautiful poem by Rhoda Gordon, the composer’s late grandmother, for SATB (orig. SSA) Choir and Piano. The piece opens with an excited yet hushed ostinato in the Piano. The choir sings the first four lines of the poem by repeating the beginning line and adding the next line until it is complete, utilizing the modern technique of additive processes popular in Minimalism. In the more pensive middle section, the ostinato transforms into a more poignant texture as the Choir “realizes the joy of being through seeing the glorious creation” that they are a part of. The ostinato then speeds up and returns to the hushed excitement heard in the opening. The piece concludes with the Choir building up to the most important line of the text: “The most powerful light to celebrate by is love.”

This piece is suitable for any Mixed-Voice ensemble.

Continue reading I Celebrate Life (SATB Version)

I Celebrate Life (the second and last movement of the Light Cycle suite), commissioned by Jennifer Gaderlund for the Graham Middle School Choirs, sets the beautiful poem by Rhoda Gordon, the composer’s late grandmother, for SA (SSA divisi) Choir and Piano. The piece opens with an excited yet hushed ostinato in the Piano. The Choir sings the first four lines of the poem by repeating the beginning line and adding the next line un.l it is complete, utilizing the modern technique of additive processes popular in Minimalism. In the more pensive middle section, the ostinato transforms into a more poignant texture as the Choir “realizes the joy of being through seeing the glorious creation” they are a part of. The ostinato then speeds up and returns to the hushed excitement heard in the opening. The piece concludes with the Choir building up to the most important line of the text: “The most powerful light to celebrate by is love.”

This piece is suitable for any Treble-voiced ensemble. It may be performed as a stand-alone piece or paired with Light Up as the complete Light Cycle suite.

Light Cycle was premiered on December 12, 2019 by the Graham Middle School Choirs conducted by Jennifer Gaderlund in Mountain View, CA.

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Light Up (the first movement of the Light Cycle suite), commissioned by Jennifer Gaderlund for the Graham Middle School Choirs, sets the beautiful poem by Rhoda Gordon, the composer’s late grandmother, for SA (Opt. SSA) Choir and Piano. The Piano features a constant rhythmic motor, representing our hopefully constant dancing throughout life. The Sopranos and Altos begin in unison and then break into harmony as the texture unfolds. The middle section contains a round between the Sopranos and Altos, with the Altos offset by two beats. A third (optional) descant part sings above the round between the Sopranos and Altos. The opening material returns with the repeated text “Think light rays” but develops the material further with a few moments of divisi. The piece dramatically builds as the choir repeats the word “glow”, finally resolving with the call to “glow and dance”. The Piano’s rhythmic motor finally comes to a rest at the last measure.

This piece is suitable for any Treble-voiced ensemble. It may be performed as a stand-alone piece or paired with I Celebrate Life as the complete Light Cycle suite. The round in the middle section is a great way for any Treble-voiced ensemble to explore polyphony and part independence. The descant and divisi parts may be included or omitted depending on the needs of the ensemble.

Light Cycle will receive its premiere on December 12, 2019 by the Graham Middle School Choirs conducted by Jennifer Gaderlund in Mountain View, CA.

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