CLaS Assessment Level: 2.8
The Winds of Africa is a great production piece to feature all of your choirs as it is easily accessible for most voices. The open harmonies and haunting melodic line provide an outstanding base for a mass choir selection.
The lyric line is simple and speaks of the never ending winds of Africa. This would be a great opportunity to include an improvised African drum part. You could also use various shakers or castanets to add some flare. The tune lends itself well to individualized expression and we would encourage you to "make it your own!"
The piano accompaniment part is challenging and adds a special spice to the ensemble. This would create an excellent opportunity for either a student piano player to showcase their talent, if not a teacher or parent. As always the pre-recorded version can be used in absence of a piano player.
In terms of tempo, this is really up to you. If you are using a piano player, you could speed the song up or slow it down depending the mood you want to set. We've heard it both ways!
Type of ensemble: Voicing is SAB and depends on all three parts to make it sound properly. The baritone part is copying the melody much of the time so it’s quite easy.
Technique teaching points: Sections of the song go from smooth legato lines to powerful accented phrases so there is a wide variety tonal techniques to cover.
Story line: The lyrics refer to a broad overview of Africa with it’s majestic and mysterious winds that continually sweep over the continent and it’s people.
Program placement: This would be an excellent piece to close your concert. It could also be a selection to have all your choirs learn and have a mass production at the end. It would be easy to add percussion parts to enhance the effect of the total performance.
Product Includes: Sheet Music * Lyric Sheet * Soprano MP3 * Alto MP3* Baritone MP3 * Piano MP3 * FullMix MP3
Below is a clip of Eisenhower Middle School along with the Everett Choral in Washington State. Their combined efforts to learn the piece on their own and perform together is demonstration of a massive success. They only had one dress rehearsal where they sung the piece together. We were amazed how wonderful the performance turned out...Bravo guys! Thanks for sharing.