This joyous arrangement of a South African greeting song ends our 2021 Holiday Concert on a high note. Soloists freely introduce the main melody while the choir slowly builds energy. Tenor and bass sections introduce rhythmic lines that drive the piece forward, all while accompanied by djembe and other auxiliary percussion. Characteristic of South African pieces, Hlohonolofatsa utilizes second-inversion chord planing, which is a compositional technique where the fifth of the chord is in the lowest voice and all voices move in parallel motion.
Prolific composer/arranger Mark Brymer’s setting of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Eddie Pola and George Wyle spices up a traditional holiday song with upbeat piano accompaniment. This composition was originally made famous by singer Andy Williams in 1963. The playfulness of the season is highlighted with the alternation between the upper and lower voices.
Sung at 2021 Holiday Concert in Tucson, Arizona.
This arrangement, adapted from a Spanish carol, brings the fun and joy of the season to our concert’s second half. Tom Cunningham sets his choral arrangement in two verses, each with varying accompaniments. Throughout the first verse, bass singers imitate the guitarrón as they vocalize string plucks, while altos and tenors fill in the chord with syncopated rhythms on the text “Alegría.” The second verse separates the treble and bass voices as each section takes half of the verse. Finally, auxiliary percussion joins the piece and brings excitement that pushes to a thrilling finale.
Recorded December 8, 2019 at our “Rejoice and Be Merry!” concert at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
“Bring Us in Good Ale,” by Gustav Holst “S’vivon B’sheva,” arranged by Robert Lopez-Hanshaw
Arizona Illustrated Host, Debi Mabie, interviews Music Director, Jeffry A. Jahn and artist, Sheryl Holland, also a 20-year veteran singer with ARS. Read more about Voices at an Exhibition, part of ARS’s 30th Anniversary Season.