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CoverIPharadisi [level: Easy]
arr. Brad Richmond
NewIssue
voicing: SATB | catalog number: SBMP 1468 | price: $2.05
accompaniment: djembe

The short African text would have us all one day in paradise. The melodic and rhythmic song thus ends on a high note!

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CoverSisi ni moja (We Are One) [level: Medium]
Jacob Narverud
NewIssue
voicing: TBB | catalog number: SBMP 1481 | duration: 4:10 | price: $2.25
accompaniment: piano, djembe

Ever clever, composer Narverud came up with a highly rhythmic celebratory composition. The title translates “We are one”, the theme being that all human beings have much in common. The energetic djembe sets the tone, the piano adds its own rhythmic design, and the singers deliver the message, at times sounding as though there should be a campfire at the center of their circle. Great fun, a profound message, and an intriguing piece, this is a winner! Available Voicings: SA(T)B, SA, TBB

Sisi ni Moja - Composer Notes:
The original voicing of Sisi ni moja was commissioned in 2015 for the Michigan State University Children & Youth Choirs by their director, Kyle Zeuch, to celebrate unity and community through cultures.  This piece was written specifically for their world-music concert theme, “We are One.”  It was requested to be similar in style to my arrangement of the Kenyan song “Jambo,” and was commissioned by the director for SA(T)B choir, piano, and djembe.  The SA voicing was written two years later (2017) for the Lawrence Children’s Choir in Kansas, Carolyn Welch, Director, and a TBB voicing was requested by the publisher later that same year. 

I wanted to create an uplifting, hopeful song that had a modern, popular-style vibe and dealt with the choir’s theme of unity and one-ness.  Since the piece was intended to represent all people and all cultures, I sought to write a text that would reflect just that.  I was teaching high school at the time, and a student in one of my choirs was from Kenya.  I asked her to assist me with a Swahili phrase that I could combine with a new original text, which would translate specifically to “We are One.”  Though not a common Swahili phrase, we came up with “Sisi ni moja,” pronounced “Moh-Jah” with a hard “J”.  “Heja” (pronounced “hey-yah”) is a non-word with no literal meaning, and does not represent any specific culture.  It is given a more instrumental treatment in the chorus, acting as a joyful, declamatory backdrop to the song’s message of unity.  This “celebratory chant” mirrors the piano and djembe’s heavy rhythmic influence, energizing and driving the song forward.

When I wrote Sisi Ni Moja I specifically chose chord progressions that would be familiar to the ear of both the audience and the singers performing.  These popular music chord progressions, coupled with the speech driven rhythms and repetition in the piano, allow listeners to feel an instant connection to the music and focus on the message of the text.

-Jacob Narverud (2018)

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CoverTuti Tuti [level: Easy]
arr. Alex Gartner
NewIssue
voicing: SAB | catalog number: SBMP 1477 | price: $2.05
accompaniment: djembe

Singers will delight in this fun arrangement of an African song. The lyrics are nonsense syllables, the mood of the piece upbeat. Add a bit of movement, and this will be a program highlight.

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CoverUmi Sono AI [level: Easy]
Kousaku Dan, arr. Rachel Stenson | Randy and Rachel Stenson Choral Series
NewIssue
voicing: SA descant | catalog number: SBMP 1469 | price: $2.20
accompaniment: piano

A beautiful, beloved Japanese song, it tells of a man who goes to the ocean to reflect upon his life. In each wave he sees opportunity. Though the retreat of each wave may reflect his failures, a new wave of hope soon appears. It carries him, it lifts him, and sends him toward his destiny. Sing the song in the original Japanese, or in the English version provided by Randy Stenson.

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