A latin-dance mixture of English and Spanish written for the Phoenix Middle School
Choir of Delavan, Wisconsin, whose members made sure the Spanish sounded like the
way they talked. Pianists comfortable with the style can customize the piano part;
there's plenty of room for latin percussion and a string bass sounds great doubling
the piano left hand. Since the school is named for the phoenix I thought it appropriate
to center the text around images of fire - the fire of destruction, of purification,
the fire of hot music and a glowing spirit. Manageable by a good middle school group,
but with plenty to offer an advanced ensemble, this piece aims for an atmosphere of
uplift and inspiration without forgetting the false passions and fool's gold that
can make the search for inspiration so difficult and sad. As the piece points out,
choir is one of the most positive community experiences a young person can have during
the search for inspiration, so this piece is suitable for assemblies or concerts that
consider the emotional and psychological health of choral singing.
is from an in-class rehearsal with part of the Kingswood-Oxford middle school choir. A
longer soundfile that includes string bass and percussion will be added later.
Thanks to Phoenix, the commissioning body, for their own recording of the piece, which
had fuzzy sound, alas, but also had the heart firmly in the right place.
DIVISI: In retrospect I realize that for many choirs it will be a help to have some more optional divisi in the baritone line.
1) m. 11 - first two notes, baritones can sing the E below the tenor C. See also m. 91.
2) m. 30-32 - at the word "face" baritones can sing the G# below the tenor C#. See also m. 110-112 on the word "bold".
3) m. 40-41 - at the words "no, no te de-jes", baritones can sing B, in unison with tenors, and then A, A, G, G. See also m. 120-121.
4) m. 46 - at the word "don't", baritones can sing the F# below the tenor C. See also m. 126 at the word "so".
5) m. 54 - baritones can sing A, G, F#, doubling the piano l.h. an octave above. See also m. 70, 138 and 154.
6) m. 134 - baritones can sing a half note G on "fire" (starting in unison with tenors) and then a quarter note G at the word "and".
7) m. 176 - baritones can sing a dotted half note F# below the tenor C.