Arranging World Music for High School Tenor-Bass Choirs

August 3, 2018 / By: Brandon Nordhues

The purpose of this project is to arrange standard SATB world music for limited range tenor-bass high school choirs.  The canon of choral music for this group of singers is underrepresented and often vocally inaccessible. An examination of the adolescent voice change provides insight into the arranging process.  Special focus will be given to contemporary research on the adolescent voice change and the implications for creating arrangements for students that are currently going or have recently gone through their voice change.   Many TTBB arrangements are scored for developed voices at the college level and above.  This project includes arrangements specifically designed for varying levels of high school tenor-bass choirs in terms of complexity and range flexibility.  Arrangements include editions of “Thixo Onothando,” a traditional isiXhosa song, “Idumea,” a Sacred Harp tune arranged by Richard Bjella, and “Naiman Sharag” a Mongolian piece by Se Enkhbayar.  Arranging published works to meet the vocal range needs of each choir requires written permission from the owner of the copyright.  This project also helps directors navigate the “how-tos” of obtaining copyright permissions.