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R&S: High School Choirs

Octavo of the Month (April 2006)
Mike Walag, ICDA High School R&S Chair

Nowhere Else

Denice Rippentrop
Beautiful Star Publ. BSP-177
SATB, a cappella
Difficult, 4:00

This piece was commissioned by Maple Grove High School, Minnesota in 2001.  The text queries about the nature of sound, i.e. it attracts, it cannot exist outside my mind or soul,  it holds my attention, it moves out of silence, etc.  Those questions are represented musically by a contemporary harmonic texture that seems to be suspended  and constant throughout the piece.  The rich harmonies are blended with text painting, tempo and dynamic contrasts, and even some whispering effects.  The last line of text, “and I become the song?” resolves to a unison choir tone on the last note.

This piece requires singers who can hold divisii parts in very close tonal structures, but I think you will find the artistic creativity of this piece very expressive and stunning.
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