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Come Holy Ghost

Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
4 minutes
Modern classical music
Instrumental parts
Not available

Another piece written for use by a class. The class were looking at Avant Garde vocal music, listening to Stockhausen's 'Stimmung' and Jonathan Harvey's 'Come Holy Ghost', both of which provided inspiration for this version. There are instructions for performance on the score (though the tiff. file I've inserted is not very clear I'm afraid). It's important to warm your pupils/choir up properly for this one, not so much vocally but philosophically. Once my class stopped laughing at the "silly sounds" they were making they began to enjoy the odd sonority. Using a big acoustic certainly helps create a sonorous atmosphere - I used the school assembly hall. The overtone singing (listen to Stimmung) takes a bit of practice but, with your singers spaced out in a big acoustic, it can create a quite magical, calming effect. Listening is very important in making this style of music work, a skill many youngsters, even experienced orchestral players, find difficult. Though designed around a lesson, with some work (and, I suppose, bravery) this piece could be performed as a concert piece.

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