I've been writing Christmas songs for a certain Mr. Brecken. Julie knows what I'm talking about. I have three songs ready, fourth on its way. This fourth one got to be a song for a mixed choir and a piano. Mr. Brecken has written the lyrics for the song and I can't show the lyrics without his permission, but I thought I'd share my music with you. If Mr. Brecken agrees, I would nominate this song as the next song for the Virtual Choir to record.

So much can I reveal that it's a Christmas song, praising Father, Son, Holy Ghost and Saint Mary.

There's no time table yet for it. No occasion where it should be played for public.

The attached soundtrack consists of an uncompleted choir part played by piano, which you hear slightly panned to the left, and an equally unfinnished accompanying piano slightly to the right. The piano drops away soon after the beginning, but should follow in a similar way the rest of the piece.

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My needs are simple.

A good click track that each individual or group can sing to and record there voice to. All the audio files in a folder where I can pull them in to the mixing stage as required. Minimal background noise is so helpful although I know it's not always possible but please make every effort towards this goal.


I'm in! Bass, preferably 2nd. And don't expect my song to be ready for recording yet. It needs a 2nd verse yet. Though I'm not sure whether the lyricist wants to rewrite it.

Ok, we are set with the minimum.  More to join I hope.  I will work on getting a score and click track uploaded this week.  The main problem is there are two sections to this piece and the first is very "Gregorian-esque"  My first notation of it was using the old style notation for that, however a choir that tried it were completely confused.  So I renotated it in a more usual metric fashion however I feel it rather "free-style."  This may be completely defeated by singers trying to match a click track.  But we live in the modern world.  I will make performance suggestions further when I post the score and click track.

Thanks Ray and Johan and Julie.  Lets see if we can get some momentum going for the choir again. 

How exciting!   B, let's work backwards - when will you need the final track from the Virtual Choir?  This time we'll have the leisure of giving our singers plenty of time in advance!   As I'm recruiting folks, that deadline will be a determining factor I'm sure.  My next concert won't be until April, so your deadline probably comes before mine.  We are having a concert early November, but it's a Halloween Special - not the right setting for your piece!!!

So B, when you get the score ready and a click track, why don't you start a new forum entitled "Virtual Choir - XXX" where XXX will be the working title you'd like us to use in our discussions and postings.  It doesn't have to be the full name as it would appear on programs!   That's all up to you - but the main thing is that we should have a separate thread just for your piece.

Johan, your piece will be worth waiting for, from what I heard before.  I know you're waiting for lyrics ... sigh.   Hopefully we'll have a group in place when you're ready.

Yipppeee!!!   It will fun for all of us to work together again!

Well, ideally we'd have a sound file I can give to other musicians by end of November.  I will have sent them the score and a synthetic audio file earlier in November but would like to follow up with our VC recording.  I would expect however that we should assemble this so that it will be dual purpose -- ready for your use as you wish in the spring as a performance piece at your concert as well as a support for the live singers for summer of 2014.

So that would give us the rest of October (assuming I get the needed files up here) and 2 weeks into November (5-6 weeks) should be a decent lead time for it.  Yes?

Earlier would be better but I'm trying to be realistic.  If we were to take 3 weeks and have this by early November that would be "peachy."  But that may very well be too soon.

Ray will also need some lead time to put the files together - Ray how long will you need?   When we can determine all these times, I'll set a cut-off date for uploading the files.  As we saw last time, a lot of folks waited until the last minute anyway.  I'll go ahead and start putting the word out on Monday.  So, B, we'll just wait until you start a new forum discussion for this piece and upload a click track.  But I'll start looking for singers in the meantime.  We can keep discussing in this thread until the new one is ready.   One thing that would help is if I knew the range of each of the four parts to let tentative singers know.

The voices are fairly standard and not an extended range --q uite moderate as modern works can go.  Its quite tonal. The only area that might represent a challenge is in some close harmonies and because it is rather exposed in areas without accompaniment in the 2nd half where there are no instrument playing along to back up the singers.  However I will be including a synthetic "backup" track to sound the 4 parts as support for learning in those sections.

I don't see it nearly as hard as I've seen some other modern vocal/choral works. 

The range is moderate.  Sopranos go from Middle C (C4) to E5,  Altos: G3 to C5; Tenors D3 to G4 --actual pitch, Bass A2 up to D4 (one note above middle C)

More to come. 

My song is ready, too. I have a 2nd verse for it. But let's concentrate on Bettina's song now. Unless you want to record two songs while you have your equipment set up.

Johan, that is very exciting, that your piece is finished!   You saw that we are postponing the recording of B's piece until Valentine's Day, since the premiere won't be until April or early May.   Your piece is a Christmas piece, so I wonder if it would be a good idea to gear up the Virtual Choir for your piece for Christmas and then B's piece for Valentine's Day?

What do you two composers think would be the best schedule that would inspire our singers to participate in both wonderful new pieces?   I'm working on a piece that might be a possibility for summer, so maybe we could just keep a continuous flow of new music!   Let's brainstorm about possibilities ...

Sounds like a good plan however we would need the music ASAP if done in time for Christmas. And assuming we have singers available in next 2 weeks or so
I have a major concert next weekend but after that can do.

Right now I'm waiting for green light from the lyricist, who is the main producer. He might want to save the song for a later first performance, or not. If he lets us do the recording but forbid us to freely expose the recording, I guess it would drain out the motivation to participate. I would understand him, however. It's a project with 15ish songs and a thing he tries to keep together.

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