Yesterday marked the last event for my Rockford Aces this school year – an end-of-the-year party. To celebrate a successful year with them, I’m sharing here our rep list from the year. The Aces endeavor to sing in as many musical styles as possible each year, with no discrimination except quality of music. In that spirit, the entire list is organized alphabetically, as in our folders (except music for Christmas, which goes at the end…)
I’ve provided links to audio/video and the publisher information wherever available.
(English Sea Shanty, Arr. Alice Parker & Robert Shaw) [Audio
Intermediate. Choral arrangement of the sea shanty. Written with piano/guitar accompaniment but can be done a cappella with minimal adjustment.
Advanced. Originally written for The Real Group, it’s a funky, fun 6-part that Edenroth adapted for the men’s choir Orphei Drangar. Several singers’ favorite piece this year.
Intermediate. 4-part canon by Mozart. The semi-exuprgated text, used here, translates in part, “Good night – you are as lovely as an ox…Rest well and stay perfectly rotund.” In my edition I have added a coda for live performance.
Eleanor Rigby – MANUSCRIPT (Lennon/McCartney, Arr. Mitchell Todd)
Intermediate. A fun arrangement. One of the first arrangements by Todd and the first time the Rockford Aces have premiered a piece by a current student.
Everything – MANUSCRIPT (Michael Bublé et al., Arr. Jed Scott) [Video
Intermediate. A smooth pop tune from Bublé, given the a cappella treatment. It appeared on our first album, Unaccompanied Minors.
Primary. An a cappella standard.
In Girum Imus Nocte – MANUSCRIPT (Anders Edenroth)
Advanced. This five part + solo piece is a remarkable setting of a Latin palindromic riddle. Some days my favorite part is the bass rhythmic pedal under changing harmonies above, and sometimes it is the nearly-two-octave melody that visits 11/12 chromatic notes (no D). In any case, it’s devilishly hard and remarkably crafted. Edenroth also wrote this for Orphei Drangar and we believe this was the North American premiere.
Primary/Intermediate. An a cappella standard.
Intermediate/Advanced. Stacey V. Gibbs wrote a barn-burner setting of this Spiritual – really fun writing to dig into.
Intermediate. We recorded this on the album that just came out. It’s a straight-up contemporary a cappella version by Deke Sharon. For our Aces concert we performed this with about 50 middle school students singing the melody. Fun!
Intermediate. The Aces sing this faithful transcription every year.
My Romance – MANUSCRIPT (Rodgers & Hart, Arr. Gene Puerling) [Video
Advanced. Gene Puerling, one of the greatest vocal writers of the 20th Century, wrote this amazing setting of the Rodgers & Hart song. It’s harmonically complex and oh-so-rewarding to sing.
Intermediate. A beautiful choral piece written in response to the Bosnian War in the mid-1990’s. Favorite piece for several Aces.
Runaround Sue – MANUSCRIPT (Maresca & DiMucci, Arr. Jed Scott) [Video
Intermediate. Also on our new album, a setting of the great Dion pop tune of 1961, with a few interpolations from Justin Bieber. Fun to sing and always brings the house down.
Runaway Baby – MANUSCRIPT (Bruno Mars et al., Arr. Jed Scott) [Video
Intermediate. Requires a virtuoso tenor soloist, and gives the guys a chance to dance a little a la Bruno Mars.
Stand By Me – MANUSCRIPT (Ben E. King, Arr. Jed Scott)
Intermediate. We always close our concerts with this Ben E. King standard, with our alums joining us onstage.
Two Coins – MANUSCRIPT (Dispatch, Arr. The Friars)
Primary. A mellow pop tune transcribed long ago from a U of M Friars album. Fun to sing and easy to learn.
Christmas Medley – MANUSCRIPT (Various, Arr. Richard Gregory – Manuscript) [Video
Advanced. An arrangement I wish I had written.
Intermediate/Advanced. A clever and effective interpolation of the classic carol into 7/8 time (mostly).
Intermediate. A Gospel/Jazz version of this Christmas tune. Sadly out of print now, but I bet Vijay
could help you get a copy.