Octavo of the
Month (September 2004)
Mike Walag, Iowa High School R&S Chair
The Coventry Carol
English Melody, 1591,
arr. Steve Pilkington
GIA Publications (www.giamusic.com)
SATB/optional handbells (G-6102)
This piece would make a great a cappella musical contribution to your seasonal concerts. I think it would accessible to an average high school choir, albeit with some tuning challenges. There is divisii in the bass and soprano at cadences and frequent half-step dissonances that paint the text in a meaningful way and add harmonic interest.
The form is Refrain, 3 Verses, and Final Refrain, with each verse receiving its own unique harmonic and rhythmic treatment, i.e. “Herod, the King, in his Raging” is expressed through marcato open fifths at a forte dynamic. Overall, it is a great teaching tool for vowel matching, phrasing, dynamics, chromatics and harmonic tuning.
This piece can be found in your Summer (2004) Convention packet. (James Jordan session).