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R & S: High School Choirs

Octavo of the Month (January 2005)
Mike Walag, Iowa High School R&S Chair

Give Us Hope

Jim Papoulis, 2003, arr. Francisco Nunez
Boosey & Hawkes M-051-47512-4
SATB/piano accomp.
Easy to Moderate, 3:10

Jim Papoulis has a mission to bring awareness and funding to programs supporting the empowerment of children throughout the world.  This piece is a part of his project “Sounds of a Better World = small voices calling”.

The style of his music has been characterized as combining classical and jazz with the influence of worldbeat, folk, and ethnic sounds.  Harmonically and rhythmically the piece is not difficult, except that the tessitura of the tenor part hovers around “f”.

With its syncopated rhythms, folk-like harmonies, handclaps, and modulation to a higher key, it follow a familiar formula, but, it does so with a little more substance.  Directors who have used this piece have found it to be very popular with the student performers as well as the audience.

The message in the composer’s mind is “how can we address the issues and various incidents around the world where children are subjected to adverse conditions”?  Papoulis gets his inspiration from children and the lyrics they write and he enthusiastically participates in Arts in the Schools programs.

This piece would make an excellent festival closer for 8th-10th grade choirs.  It also is available in 3-part treble.


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