Alabama All-State Women’s Chorus 2011, Jeff Clayton Conductor
Beginning to middle
Middle to ending
SSAA sacred song, piano accompaniment. Psalm 42 is the inspiration for this breathtaking work. Strong vocal lines coupled with an arresting piano accompaniment provide multiple opportunities for musical expression.
In As the Dear Pants, I imagined the biblical character David experiencing a dry, lonely time in his life–perhaps as Saul, Absalom or one of his other enemies pursued him. David is aware that his dryness is as much about his spiritual state as it is his physical location in one of the desert plains. The state of his soul is compared to a deer in desperate need of a lake or pond from which to quench his thirst. In David’s case, that pond is the very presence of God. In his desolation, David’s tears have served as nourishment, allowing David the much-needed release of feelings of frustration and loneliness. Everyone, he feels, has turned against him and taunts him, asking “Where is this God of yours who will rescue you?” (This is heard in the music as the accompaniment and voices take on a more agitated presentation.) But then, in a moment, David begins to remember. Yes, he remembers a time in which he danced in worship as a youth, or as he and the people brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem . Oh, what rejoicing there was! He led the procession. So much so, that he danced out of his clothes, with no shame as King! And, for that moment as he remembers, there is joy! (Hopefully, one can hear musical ideas of an Israeli dance in the accompaniment beginning at “these things I remember”) But, all too soon, David is brought back to the reality of his present state, one of loneliness, dryness, and thirst. In the end, David realizes that this thirsty state is the best place for him to be for this is what will keep the warrior and king humble, drawing close to the very heart of God as he serves others. And, after all, God has delivered him in the past; thus, He will do so again.
Performed by the Kansas CDA All-State Women’s Choir
SSAA, anthem, piano accompaniment.
The A section is the exhortation to worship. The B section is the act of worship. And, the brief return to A is the closing exhortation to depart in worship. The piano accompaniment, centered around the pitch c , with chords interspersed, should be played with rhythmic energy and drive. It was premiered by the Plymouth Music Ensemble and Orchestra under the direction of Philip Brunnelle. So, it may help for the pianist to imagine an orchestra. Of course, the piano is unable to provide the powerful accompaniment that would be provided by an orchestra. However, the piano accompaniment in the B section should set up the sense of awe and stirring waters by means of the tension created in the quick repetition of middle c . In this section, the voices should build until they climax on in the unison singing of “The voice of the Lord is POWERFUL!” Be sure to stress POWERFUL and MAJESTIC. This section is the climax of the piece. The release of tension (created in the B section) occurs at the return of the A section. The song then builds to a final climax with the repeat of WORSHIP HIM, each one more emphatic and louder than the preceding one. The final him should be as emphatic and dramatic as possible.
Note to the director: Let the final “HIM” hang in the air (in silence) before relaxing your arms and the choir.
Commissioned by the Sofia Chamber Choir “Vassil Arnaudov”-Bulgaria. This exciting SSAA acapella arrangement of the popular spiritual is sure to please!
SSAA, spiritual arr. A setting of the spiritual that is full of energy and excitement! It builds to a rousing, climactic ending! Not your ordinary song for women’s voices, it moves audiences as they witness the beauty and strength of women’s voices.
SSAA, Caribbean folk song arr., accompanied.This Caribbean folk song is an irresistible change of pace that makes light of woman’s inability to please a man. –Hal Leonard
SSA version arr. by William C. Powell
Demo: SATB version
SATB accompanied spiritual arr. (gospel-style piano). This spiritual arrangement includes a gospel-style piano accompaniment. Because of its homophonic texture, and strophic form, the choral parts are easy to learn. It includes a solo for medium low/high voice.
For SSAA choir, a cappella (SSAA A CAPPELLA). Shawnee Press. Sacred, Advent.
Commissioned by MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir, this song is full of the energy and drama associated with American slavery and the underground railroad. The haunting drums and repeated, emphatic “No”‘ will call you to keep your lamps trimmed and burning in Rosephanye Powell”s stirring arrangement of this spiritual. The slave is encouraged to stay awake through the night, being watchful for Harriet Tubman who would be sure to come at any time. The undoubtedly tired slave who has worked all day is cautioned against becoming weary in her waiting for the “time is drawing nigh”. This song is fun to learn and is sure to please any audience!
SSA or three-part treble, Caribbean folk song arr., acc. This traditional Caribbean folk song makes a wonderful showcase for treble choirs. Joyful rhythms, easy-to-sing layered harmony parts and optional percussion highlight this setting by Dr. Rosephanye Powell. Available: 3-Part Treble. Performance Time: Approx. 2:00.
Audio demo: satb version featuring VocalEssence, MN.
SATB, a capella, sacred, Latin, motet. The SATB setting of iNon Nobis Dominei has become one of Rosephanye Powell’s most celebratedworks. The driving energy and ostinato rhythms are classic elements from Rosephanye’s pen. Her husband William has adeptly revoiced this a cappella setting for SSAA –Fred Bock Music
SSA, a capella.
This new setting of the traditional Latin text is a perfect teaching piece for women’s choirs. The strong piano accompaniment combined with tender vocal lines creates much opportunity for musical expression. –Hal Leonard
SSAA, a cappella, Latin motet. “Rosephanye Powell’s “Sicut Cervus” is a powerful and ethereal setting of a timeless text. Structured loosely in a rondo form (ABACA), the A section is reminiscent of the mysticism and otherworldly quality associated with plainchant (although it is not monodic). The A sections alternate with increasingly powerful polyphonic sections, which explore the questions raised in the psalm text. The contemplative ending offers, in its final moment, a harmonic “ray” of hope. This selection is an ideal choice for medium to advanced women’s choirs.”
–Judith Willoughby, internationally-recognized choral conductor
SSAA, piano accompaniment; upbeat women’s message song in the gospel style. “This original song by Rosephanye Powell reminds us of her African-American roots with its Spiritual-like style. Commissioned by “Vox Femina,” one of the ensembles selected to perform at the ACDA National Convention, 2005, the piece has already received a rousing reception. The encouraging text and determined tune will assure this piece a staple for women’s choirs the world over.” –Fred Bock Music
From the composer:
Still I Rise was inspired by the poem of the same name by poet laureate Maya Angelou. It is a women’s anthem, saluting the strength of women to persevere through life’s difficulties–low self-esteem, physical and emotional abuse, rape, incest, prejudice, abandonment, and such like. In summary, though a woman’s life or past may be filled with tears and heartaches, with each day that she finds herself still living, she finds that she has grown stronger and risen a little higher because her circumstances have not overcome her. Thus, every new day can be one of hope and joy because regardless of the past, today, “still I rise”!