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UCC Nat'l Musician's Conference - Practical Music Resources Reading Session

Peter & Mary Alice Amidon's part of the  UCC Musicians Association Conference Workshop
Practical Music Resources Reading Session
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - Boston, MA

Many thanks to Susan DeSelms who organize and led part of this workshop and invited us to share it with her (not to mention all the work Susan did on the whole Conference!)

* First some info that might be of interest, then the post-workshop notes.  The notes include links to recordings of most of the songs that we sang in the workshops.

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Come to a choral singing weekend on beautiful Star Island (off the coast of New Hampshire) with
Mary Cay Brass and Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, September 15 - 17:
Star Harmony

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Sign up on our email mailing list for approximately once-monthly notices about upcoming Amidon workshops and publications.  Just go to the Amidon website and sign up on the homepage:


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Mary Alice is a member of and I am a co-Choir Director of the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC "Nine o'Clock Choir".  Most of these anthems were first arranged or composed for the Guilford Church Choir to sing at Sunday morning services.

You can hear audio recordings of the songs by clickin on the titles.

Devotion - from the Sacred Harp, arr. P. Amidon
The Sacred Harp arrangement of Devotion is quite beautiful; one of my favorite songs in the Sacred Harp collection, and appropriate as it is to be used as an anthem for your choir.  This arrangement was inspired by our son Sam Amidon's reworking of the song: Sam Amidon's version.  Here is Devotion As sung at a traditional Sacred Harp sing, and here is a an a cappella singing group that includes our son Stefan (with glasses) and his wife Zara Bode (red hair) - Starry Mountain Singers singing Peter's arrangement

Here I Am, Lord- by Daniel L. Schutte, arr. P. Amidon
I arranged this for an ordination service of a friend of ours.

Corinthians- text adapted and music composed by P. Amidon
I originally composed for my Guilford (VT)  Community Church UCC Nine o'Clock Choir. My family (our boys, their wives, my brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces) sang this at my mother's funeral.  It is fine to omit the very last "Alleluia" from the piece if you have no one who can get it; it is the most challenging part of the piece.

Make Me a Channel- text adapted from St. Francis Prayer, music by P. Amidon
Originally composed for the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC Nine o'Clock Choir.

Take Me to the Water- traditional African American spiritual, arr. P. Amidon
Originally composed for the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC Nine o'Clock Choir. The the arrangement of the first two verses was inspired by a church choir's performance of the song; the arrangement after the piano comes in is inspired by Nina Simone's performance of the song.  Here is our church choir singing it a few months ago.

I'm Gonna Lift My Sister Up - by Faya Rose Touré, arr. by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon
We learned this from the singing of the great Springfield, MA based gospel singer Jane Sapp. Faya Rose TourĂ© was the first woman African American judge in Alabama.  Faya Rose is a lawyer and educator from Selma Alabama who does workshops with teenagers on stories and lessons from the Civil Rights movement.  I believe this song came out of one of those workshops.

So Far From Home- poem by Tom Mousin, music by P. Amidon
We did not get to this song in the workshop, but it is in the handout.  Tom Mousin is a minister who used to have a Methodist Church in Brattleboro. He composes and shares to folks on his email list an advent poem every year.  This is his 2015 poem which manages to be both about the story of Jesus' birth and about refugees.

 These and many other Amidon choral arrangements and compositions can be found in Mary Alice's and my two collections of our choral arrangements:

Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choir


Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs

and in our

Online Choral Store


Peter (& Mary Alice) Amidon
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