The very lovely Phos Hilaron, by composer Stephen Sturk

I worked with composer Stephen Sturk for a few years back in the 1980s when I was a soloist at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York. I was fortunate enough to be in the evensong choir that recorded his beautiful Evening Service, of which the Phos Hilaron (O Gracious Light) is the first part. I still have the original cassette tape with him conducting. I’ll post it here at some point so you can hear it.

It was originally composed for ATB (alto, tenor, bass) but Carol has done a lovely job of rewriting it for SAB. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Download PDF of complete score here for printing.

Audio – All 3 Parts

Audio – Soprano Part

Audio – Alto Part

Audio – Bass Part

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Ralph Kramden teaches chest resonance

Here is the Ralph Kramden chest resonance demonstration that I mentioned at the last session.  For those of you who missed out, this is what happens when you use low abdominal support and keep a fine chest resonance.

This is a clip I created and uploaded from an episode of The Honeymooners called The Bensonhurst Bomber.

Enjoy! And please don’t take it too seriously. 😉

For those of you who must see the entire episode now, it is available here.

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Name that Tune #4

For those of you waiting with bated breath, and for those of you who couldn’t make it to our last session, here is Name That Tune #4.  We will go through this at our next session and have a bit of fun.

For those of you who haven’t done one of these before, the idea is to improve your sight-reading.  So, no cheating!  Don’t play it on the piano.  Give yourself a starting pitch and sing the intervals and rhythms as best you can to determine what the songs are.

Name That Tune #4 – Download PDF


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Placido é il mar from Mozart’s opera, Idomeneo.


The beautiful Placido é il mar from Mozart’s opera, Idomeneo.  Keep the breath steady and supported, clear consonants and long vowels.





Placido é il mar – 3 Parts Audio


Placido é il mar – Soprano Audio


Placido é il mar – Alto Audio


Placido é il mar – Bass Audio


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Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” in a new SAB arrangement!

George & Ira Gershwin

George & Ira Gershwin

So, we start of the new term with a snappy arrangement of George and Ira’s song, I Got Rhythm, long famous as a jazzman’s standard.

Listen to the click in the empty bars to help you keep tracks of the beats.

The rhythm in a song like this is not straight, but swung.  So quavers (or 8th notes) together are actually done like this:




I Got Rhythm – All 3 SAB Parts


I Got Rhythm – Soprano Part


I Got Rhythm – Alto Part


I Got Rhythm – Bass Part


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My own version of Nero’s Expedition

Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth

Well, what can I say?  I was so taken with it I had to record my own version.  Hope you enjoy it.  Thanks to Moondog for writing such an interesting and unusual song.


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Nero’s Expedition redux

To those of you whom we had the pleasure of hosting last night, here is Moondog singing Nero’s Expedition. As you may notice, we got it wrong––the round starts after 4 bars, not 3. So, now we’ll have to drag it out next meeting and get it right. Not such a bad thing. I’m really fond of it.

And for those with inquisitive minds, here is Moondog’s Wikipedia page.

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Sure on this Shining Night (Samuel Barber)

Samuel Barber

Samuel Barber

So, now that we have a pretty good grip on this piece already, here are the parts for further study.

You can read more about Samuel Barber here on his Wiki page.






3-Part SAB Audio

Sure on this Shining Night_3part_P1
Sure on this Shining Night_3part_P2

Soprano part audio

Sure on this Shining Night_Sop

Alto part audio

Sure on this Shining Night_Alto

Baritone part audio

Sure on this Shining Night_Bass

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20 Golden Rules for Singing Opera

opera ladyI’m posting a link to these Golden Rules for Singing Opera from Sophie Rennert‘s site. Please have them learned by heart for Thursday night as there will be a short aural exam.

20 Golden Rules for Singing Opera

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Fun with Greg Felton

Wonderful stuff. Not to be taken seriously. 😉

Posted in Vocal Technique | 3 Comments