It means the item was selected for one of our annual reading clinics, and comes highly recommended.
Dear Ray & Tom...
"... I want to thank you ever so much for the first-class service, assistance (and let's not forget the humour) that you provided to me when I was teaching choir… From music 'wild goose chases' to really helpful and needed suggestion and guidance, I thank you so very much."
- Karen Hughes, Victoria B.C.
Choral & Classroom Music Department
Welcome to the Choral Department, where we carry a wide selection of music and classroom resources from all major publishers (and most smaller publishers) from North America and Europe.
We are proud to be the Canadian distributor of the Music First Express catalogue from Hal Leonard Publishing, which has many of the latest materials, including musicals, for the elementary classroom.
If you require assistance in planning your next concert or finding the right materials for your classroom, our expert choral staff is here to help, and would love to hear from you. Remember, if it's in print, we can find it for you.
2012 Reading Sessions:
The Best of the Best
Northwest Music is pleased to offer our top picks for choral music in 2012!
Even with Christmas less than a month behind us, it's already time for Holy Week and Easter music again! As churches start gearing up for spring and all the exciting activities that come along with the turn of the season, let's take a peek at a few titles from our 2012 sacred summer reading session.
First, we have Two Anthems for Palm Sunday, by Lloyd Larson. Written for SAB voices with a moderate , comfortable range in all parts, this octavo is a quick piece to learn for the volunteer choir. The first anthem, Let the King Come In, has a natural text setting and an upbeat tempo. The second, Shadow of the Palms, rolls along at a moderate tempo with the foreshadowing text, "But in the shadow of the palms, evil hands lie in wait." Together, these two anthems provide a striking beginning for Holy Week.
The Lamb is Silent Now is a new piece by Douglas Nolan and David Angerman. The piano accompaniment departs from predictability while providing a solid base for the choir with a recurring pattern. A perfect addition to a Good Friday service, it accentuates the narrative of the Passion of the Christ. As an added bonus, the beautiful cello part is included in each octavo.
For Easter Sunday, Risen Today, arranged by Sheldon Curry, is a great option. This new spin on an old hymn favourite is fun but simple, and allows for full instrumentation (accompaniment pack & accompaniment CD available separately.) Inspiring and familiar, this arrangement is a must have on March 31st!
Chor Leoni's Adriatic Prowl
I'm following the tour blogs of the very fine Men's Choir Chor Leoni from Vancouver as they represent our city, the Province of British Columbia and Canada. They have been on the road since the end of June and they happen to be fortunate enough to have the choral department manager Ray Horst in their ranks. The store hasn't burned down in his absence (although there have been a few close calls).
This is what cultural exchanges are all about! They have already been to Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and are now slumming it in Italy. Can you feel the envy in my writing? This post should be written in green...
Honestly, I believe that music, especially a choir of human voices make such a personal and emotional connection. I am willing to bet that there are a whole slough of people up and down the Adriatic totally impressed and in love with a group of Canadian Lions!
Light and Gold
Never in my life have I seen a choral composer achieve rock star status like Eric Whitacre, who picked up a Grammy for best choral recording just a few weeks ago. When you sing Sleep or A Boy and a Girl you quickly realize why his music has become a worldwide sensation. His innovation in the creation of the virtual choir (view the first and second of these performances on YouTube) brought more than two thousand singers together from fifty-eight countries and has around three million views on YouTube.
The book Eric Whitacre - Selections from Light and Gold is a collection of pieces for mixed choir, suitable for advanced high school or community/university choirs. It is an economical way to purchase 9 songs which will undoubtedly become standard choral repertoire. A second collection, aptly entitled Eric Whitacre Collection, is also available. And if a collection is not in your budget, most of his music is available as separate octavos.
If you have not performed anything by Whitacre, it is time to find out first-hand what all the fuss is about.
Is Ray There?
What's the single most often asked question of the Choral department? I can safely answer without any thread of doubt that it would have to be:
"Hi, is Ray there?"
The question does make perfect sense considering Ray has devoted his life to choirs. He graduated from UBC with a Masters in clarinet performance before he saw the "choral light", and has been the staple of the Choral department at Northwest Music for over 20 years. He can be heard as a soloist singing and playing the clarinet on many CDs released by groups such as Chor Leoni Men's Choir, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, and the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir. Whenever Chor Leoni needed a stand-in conductor, it was Ray who got the call. His dedication to music was acknowledged in 2006 by the B.C. Choral Federation when he was given the Herbert Drost Award for distinguished service and support of choral music throughout the province.
I have the fortune to be a singer and librarian with the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Every spring the choir tours to a different part of Canada and does workshops and concerts with local choirs. Often when conductors hear that I work at Northwest Music, they tell me how much they enjoyed dealing with Ray.
So no, Ray, I'm not bitter. But I may have stolen your favourite pen...
Here are some of our most popular choral music and resource titles: