Adding Movement to Your
Choral Program By Sally K. Albrecht Director of School Choral & Classroom Music
Each year, Andy Beck and I film a DVD containing choreography ideas for your choirs. This year's Shine! choral movement DVD offers complete staging for eight new Alfred choral titles, appropriate for winter or spring concerts.
1. "We Dance" from the musical, Once On This Island, has more active choral movement that blossoms and grows as the song builds. A fabulous opening number to set the stage for an exciting event! Effective on larger platform risers or with singers spread around the stage area.
2. "Shout for Joy!" is an uplifting and rhythmic song of joy written in partner-song style, featuring handclaps plus optional trumpet and percussion. Excellent for a treble group trying movement for the first time. Also perfect for choirs who wear robes.
3. "Grandma's Feather Bed" is a novelty arrangement, including lots of silly "oinks," imitation banjo sounds, snoring, and country-style craziness. Grab lots of bright-colored quilts and bedspreads for the front row to pull up on the chorus each time. You'll also need some stuffed animals, including of course "the piggie we stole from the shed." Yee-haw! Click here andhere for photos.
4. "Esta Es el Tiempo" is a multicultural gem; part Spanish, part English. The staging for this one includes lots of easy arm movement, rhythmic claps, and "tummy walks." Incoporate live rhythm instruments for a great change of pace.
5. "Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" gets a fresh and funky treatment. The staging plays wiht the great lyrics throughout, "I wanna jump but I'm afraid I'll fall, I wanna holler but the joint's too small." Feature a few select couples doing the choreography out in front, with the rest of the ensemble joining in on the chorus/echo sections. A fun choice for your men, too!
6. "Joyful, Joyful" is a jubilant concert work which includes a refrain from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The movement for this one is energized and elegant, but still works great on choral risers.
7. "We Are One" is an uplifting song of unity, offering the timeless message, "We are one in music, we are one in song!" Enhance your performance using the sign language on the Shine! DVD. Feature select students to sign the verses, then everyone on the chorus.
8. "Shine a Little Light" is my favorite closer this year. It's got a bit of gospel, a bit of "This Little Light of Mine," and two small solos. The rousing number features great upper torso movement, snaps, and claps that work well on choral risers.
On all of our choreography DVDs, we demonstrate the choreography in three sections:
1. Complete performance with Sally and Andy facing the camera, mirroring your movements.
2. Instructional time, with explanations, descriptions, and options given as needed.
3. Exclusive "Double Shot" performance, with Sally and Andy facing a mirror: you see the movements both from behind and in the mirror.
Let us help make your choir "shine" in an upcoming concert!