Iowa Choral Directors Association
R&S – High School Choirs

Octavo of the Month (November 2004)
Mike Walag, Iowa High School R&S Chair

Heleluyan

Traditional Muskogee (Creek) Indian; arr. Jerry Ulrich
World Praise Anthem Series; Abingdon Press (070252)

SATBB/a cappella

Duration: 2:00
Easy to Medium Difficulty

This Native American anthem, which works very well as a processional, is one of the best choral bargains around at a dollar a copy.  It has a well-defined and mesmerizing march-like melody that is intoned by a baritone soloist in the first verse, then unison men in the second verse.  The strophic form (5 verses) is perfectly suited to the harmonic thickening that Jerry Ulrich has added in each successive verse.

The third verse melody is taken over by the women, with the men providing traditional harmony.  Verse four has the melody in canon between the sopranos and tenors, with alto and bass providing harmony.  The last verse builds to a large climax by doubling the melody in octaves between various parts and taking sopranos and tenors into their upper range with dynamics following suit.

This is a very accessible piece to most choirs and easy to learn with the simple melody and very basic harmonies.  Range for sopranos (Bb) and tenors (G) in the last verse might be a consideration for some choirs.

A percussion arrangement for djembe, conga, tambourine, and large tom-tom is available (07035X) from the publisher.

This piece was in the Multicultural packet from the ’04 ICDA Summer convention.