3 sisters, Maggie, Terre & Suzzy Roche – known collectively as The Roches.
This contemporary folk group has wowed audiences for years with their vocal harmonies and unique songs. When you think of Handel’s MESSIAH you may think hundred voice chorus and orchestra. And no doubt you have some favorite recording of the entire piece. But the Hallelujah Chorus is by far one of the most popular and reproduced songs from that master work.
The Roches decided to take a wild leap of faith and record the Hallelujah Chorus not only a Cappella but also as a trio. It is was first released on a more experimental (for them) album KEEP ON DOING (1982). That album was produced by none other than Robert Fripp, of King Crimson fame, who also contributed his unique guitar textures to several tracks. Ironically the song would NOT be reprised on their Christmas album WE THREE KINGS (1990).
The Roches continued to perform until Margaret (Maggie) passed away in 2017.
And in case you think, "there's no way that can be done live".....
Well, prepare to eat your words.... LOL
(advance apologies for the occasional dropouts the sound)
Today it’s Ladies Choice for Barbershop Harmony. Within 10 years after Men started singing Barbershop Harmony women wanted to take part in harmonic action. They formed their own organization Sweet Adelines International 75 years ago for the encouragement and singing of barbershop harmony for women. Since most of the song in the catalog of mens barbershop singing are “about” women (evidenced by song title that provide the source for the Sweet Adelines) the Sweet Adelines have always been more open to contemporary songs and diversity. Today I want to present some of the many Sweet Adelines.
The 2019 Chorus Champions (also champions in 2018) – The Scottsdale Chorus with their winning performance
Continuing the festivities this next selection is by the Rönninge Show Chorus from Sweden under the direction of the woman who is credited with first bringing barbershop harmony singing to Sweden. Enjoy this performance highlighting music penned by Swedish composers.
2019 Quartet Champions – Class Ring with their “Swan Song Set”. (the Swan Song set is the performance they give after they win the Championship as part of an “all star show”.
From the 2015 Quartet Finals enjoy this performance by Windsor
… when COVID-19 will be a memory and better – a footnote in history.
I came across this YouTube channel by accident. It’s simply called CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR! and they have a whole bunch of videos where large groups of people gather and learn backups or whole songs from contemporary/popular performers. Imagine a time when people will sing and perform popular works from the 20/21st century in the same way that we still perform popular works from the 17th/18th century. There’s something incredibly inspiring about this and a GREAT tribute to the creators of popular song. When music becomes a part of the cultural lexicon and practice of the common man it truly is timeless.
I’m going to include four favorites. First is a song by Patti Smith that I have always loved and have found it inspiring and strength building. Enjoy PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER.
Next is an unexpected nice rendition of Aerosmith’s, I DON’T WANNA MISS A THING
And since we are coming up on the 4th anniversary of Prince’s death here is a 1,999 voice cover of WHEN DOVES CRY
And lastly David Bowie’s SPACE ODDITY. There is something both heartening, refreshing and enlightening about popular music in this context.