20-20: A Choral Suite “4: Kindergarten”…Slow-going!

I’m early…this movement is nowhere near completion, and I have yet to post anything listenable. Hats off to my UK composition professor Patrick Valentino for providing a lot of thoughtful input into this process. I have homework!

In stark contrast to movement “3: Social,” I didn’t have anything like a complete lyric set going into this one. I’m pretty close now (you can read the progress in the movement’s “stub” page by clicking here), but my class of kindergarteners will provide a lot of variation, and humor, to the tail end of each verse. I still have work to do there. Since the narrator of the movement is the class teacher, her vocal line will be, well, tuneful. Not so much the kids. As I work, the movement gets longer and longer to allow time for the class to, uh, well, shall we say, devolve.

The hardest part is getting four adult choir voices to sound like a class of kids. This movement is based on real events. All three of the verses actually happened in my basement under the supervision of me and wife Dee (mostly her), as the pandemic closed down face-to-face classes and went virtual through Zoom. But just because we were there doesn’t mean I’m particularly good at reproducing the voices and words we heard those days. So the end result will, needless to say, take some artistic liberties with the portrayal — kids’ words will be sung by adults, and all events will happen in sequence over on brief period rather than several days. And, to add insult to injury, I will not be able to induce my “virtual singers” to reproduce it all, so even when I have something for you to listen to, it will sound even more divorced from the actual performance, much less the real events of last year.

All the more reason to get this music into the hands of real singers!

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