Octavo of the
Month (3rd in a series)
Mike Walag, Iowa High School R&S Chair
Up, Shepherd, and Follow
arr. Fred Gramann
ECS Publishing, 5873
If you’re looking for a Christmas a cappella ballad with a featured soloist, this is your piece. The solo can be male or female (moderate range of an 11th—B to E), or it could be done by several or all of the 1st Sopranos. The harmonies of the SATB chorus are relatively simple with a choral jazz flavor; lots of passing tones make the inner parts and bass line interesting. The choral part alternates between being an accompaniment to the solo (neutral vowel) and singing the text (without soloist).
The American-born composer is the Director of Music for the American Church in Paris, but many of his choral works are published in the U.S. This piece is a new (2003) publication.