Chorus & Advanced Chorus Practice Links and Concert Videos

Movement videos:

Other songs:
·         When I Rise Up Text by Wendell Berry
·         Pala Pala Argentinian dance song
·         Dance of the Nations
·         Nobody Liked her But Me, based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
·         Cirandiero Portuguese folk song/dance
·         Allunde Alluia Swahili lullabye
The Time of My Life by David Cook (5th graders featured)

INTERESTED in Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus Fri/Sat, Feb. 17-18 in Athens
Ms. Turgeon can register up to 5 singers to participate in this two day workshop and performance. Singers will rehearse with a nationally known Chorus clinician and perform with some of the best elementary singers in the state of Georgia! Let Ms. Turgeon know if your child is interested! Registration is $40, and you must transport your child (or arrange carpool) to Athens for the rehearsals and event.

   àAC will be rescheduled

LGPE Feb 28- March 3 (during school field trip for adjudicated performance)
LGPE is our yearly Large Group Performance Evaluation. Advanced Chorus has participated in LGPE for the past 3 years, and have earned Superior ratings each year. This year Ms. Turgeon would like to include Chorus in this event. Students will learn two very challenging choral works and demonstrate their sight-singing abilities.
AC  (permission slip required)

Our 2017 performance! Great job, singers! You worked very hard!

LGPE Repertoire:

1. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning arranged by Greg Gilpin

 Keep Your Lamps is about being ready to take action. 

"Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning"  click for a PDF of the music

Although there is little historical evidence to support this idea, Spirituals such as “Keep Your Lamps!” may have been used by the Underground Railroad to conceal secret codes or messages.  In this context, a slave has to maintain vigilance and watch for a conductor (a person in the Underground Railroad, who moves people to new locations).  “Children, don’t get weary ‘til your work is done,” could refer to the arduous work involved in abolishing slavery, or towards the long journey and frequent stops at safe-houses that a runaway slave would endure while traveling to a free state.  “Christian journey soon be over,” might be a reference to heaven, or to the sentiment that even death would be a welcome deliverance from slavery.

2. The Owls click for audio
click for pdf of the music

The Owls is about an owl hunting for prey for his babies to eat.

"The Owls"

In the moonlit wood where the old tree stood
With its trunk all hollow and its twisted limbs
Alone i crept with the sky all swept
By the flying clouds with their silver rims;
On velvet wings i saw him glide,
And with a haunted voice he cried:


From a tree nearby with its arms in the sky
As i looked for his mate in the woody dark,
Tiny squeaks from hungry beaks
Betray'd the nest deep in the bark.
An answer came from the leafy hide,
As with a haunted voice she cried:


The murder foul, the hunting owl
Then swoop'd and snatch'd his furry prey;
Rose in the air and flew to where
His mate was still and silver grey.
The young were fed and the owls with pride
Triumphantly together cried:

To whoo------------
To whoo-----------------------

Dreams has poetry by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.

by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is like a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

The Little Birch Tree is a folk song that honors birch trees through creating musical instruments from the branches--three silver flutes and a balalaika.

Little Birch Tree

See the little birch in the meadow,
see the leaves all dancing when the wind blows. 
Loo-lee-loo, when the wind blows,
Loo-lee-loo, when the wind blows.

From the little tree take 3 branches,
make three silver flutes from silver branches.
Loo-lee-loo,silver branches,
Loo-lee-loo, silver branches.

See the leaves all dancing
see the leaves all dancing now!

From the branch I'll carve a balalaika
with my flute I'll play my balalaika.
Loo-lee-loo, balalaika,
Loo-lee-loo, balalaika.

As I play my tingling balalaika,
I will think of you, my little birch tree.
Loo-lee-loo, little birch tree,
Loo-lee-loo, little birch tree.

Ms. Turgeon's perpetual comments;
  • looooonnnnng phrases
  • ending consonants
  • show the music on your face
  • tall mouth (ever heard that one before?)
  • pay attention to your sound placement in your head (forward? up? back?)
  • mean what you sing
  • sight sing with hand signals and subdividing the beat (try out the examples Caroline gave you)
  • watch out for treachery (dotted rhythms, half notes, skips then steps or steps then skips, rests get full duration)
  • I'm so, so lucky to be your teacher. Y'all are amazing. 

Sunday, March 12 Canadian Anthem at the Gladiators 
ALL Chorus, AC, and 4th and 5th Graders are invited to sing the English/French version of "O, Canada" at the Gladiators game! This is a fundraiser for the Chorus and AC, so the more fans we bring the more money we earn! Bring your friends (who know the song)!
AC and Chorus expected, ALL 4th and 5th graders are invited

O Canada!
Our home and native land
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, (car tohn bwa say por-tay luh pay-uh)
Il sait porter la croix! (eel say por-tay la cwah)
Ton histoire est une épopée (ton his-twah ayt un ay-puh-pay-uh)
Des plus brillants exploits. (day plooh brill-yan zex-pwah)
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

March 10  5th TBD Grade Basketball Challenge 
Third, Fourth, and Fifth graders are invited to sing our National Anthem before this exciting students vs teachers game!
All singers are welcome!

Star Spangled Banner Solfege Practice for harmony

Melody (starting at "And the rockets' red glare"):
F M RD T-- LT D M Fi S
SS D R M F S---- D R M F R D

Harmony (starting at "And the rockets' red glare"):
DD D R M M-- RD T D R R--
R D SS S   SF M M Fi S
SS M, S D R M----- L Fi S L F M

Tuesday, May 16 Chorus and AC's Spring Concert Movement TBD
It will either be in the SPARK Gym 
All AC and Chorus are expected to perform

How we can improve for Chorus/AC? Kids' answers

1.       Practice lyrics
2.       Blend voices together (make your voice match in the group, don’t sing too loud or soft)
3.       Make sure the melody and harmony is balanced.
4.       Use head voice instead of chest voice
5.       Unify choreography and posture
6.       Vertical mouth instead of horizontal mouth
8.       Suppress coughs when possible
9.       Be sure you practice correct pitches and rhythms until they are perfect

Ms. Turgeon's perpetual comments;
  • looooonnnnng phrases
  • TALL Mouth
  • ending consonants
  • show the music on your face
  • tall mouth (ever heard that one before?)
  • pay attention to your sound placement in your head (forward? up? back?)
  • mean what you sing
  • sight sing with hand signals and subdividing the beat 
  • watch out for treachery (dotted rhythms, half notes, skips then steps or steps then skips, rests get full duration)
  • I'm so, so lucky to be your teacher. Y'all are amazing. 

Nobody Liked Her But Me  Indianapolis Children's Choir conducted by Ruth Dwyer


Past LGPE performances (there is an example of what the sight-singing will be like at the end):

All performances by Music@SPARK's Chorus & AC (I think):

All LGPE performances from 2013, 2914, 2015, and 2016

Our concert from 12/3/2015 at Grady!

Grady Cluster Fall Friendship Festival 2015

Virginia Highland Civic Association 2014

  • Wade/Motherless ( MAYBE we can get it together--see below for the tunes, not choreography, but I like their energy)

Audio files and videos--downloadable practice tracks for 
Merry Modal Christmas
I Vow to You My Country
Mimo L'oluwa

Download Civil and Human Rights Song Lyrics HERE

Learn the guitar/ukulele chords here

Shumayela (with dance explained) from B Unis on Vimeo.

CCHR 2015 Practice videos

March on Washington songs

Singabahambayo with harmony

LGPE 2014 Tips from Daniel and Caroline:


  • keep nice tall, clear Latin vowels (ah, eh, ee, oh, oo) and make s tiny. Ellide=connect the s to the next word: e-is requiem=  eh-eee   sRE-qui-em

PEE-eh YEH-soo DOh-mee neh 
DOh-nah  EH ee  sREH-quee-ehm

SEhm-pee-TEh-nam  REH-quee-ehm 

....and so on

  • Quiet or light singing should not be breathy or weak (put in more energy)
  • Loo Loo parts-->light and energetic and in tune (did you notice the piano plays your exact same pitches??)  Let Zoie be heard. Yay, Zoie!
  • support your sound with breath and keep the inside of your mouth tall


  • Beach ball for pitch and breathing
  • breathe in through the vowel you're going to sing
  • don't slide into a pitch  (end of Pie Jesu--"re-qui-em")
  • sing as a group, not as an individual
  • TALL inside your mouth sound
  • sing the meaning of the words. Love the words and express them.
  • consonants can make things better (STorm, shaKe, Can, keeP) or worse (haRRmony)
  • No pirate choir (minimize R)
  • every long note should have a shape (baby iguana breath)

Pie Jesu Audio for practicing 

Dear Queen of Chorus, 
Here you go!
The Benevolent Dictator of Chorus

Parents! Please make sure your singer is practicing and ready for the next events!! I improved the layout of this page so things are easier to find! All Chorus/AC performances from any year at SPARK are on a playlist near the bottom of this page!

Gigs Coming soon!
Thursday, September 22 6:30pm (Call time 5:45pm)
Perform for the Virginia Highland Civic Association Annual Meeting at Inman MS
Thursday, September 29  (Warm up learning, playing 4-6pm) Concert at 6pm: 
Grady Cluster's Elementary Chorus Fall Friendship Festival at Grady High School 
The main reason for the Fall Friendship Festival is for our elementary Chorus members to get to know some kids from our sister schools and see the ensembles they could participate in at Inman and Grady.  Chorus members from Hope/Hill, Mary Lin, Morningside, and SPARK will meet to play games, learn some songs together.

    Virginia Highland Set:

    • Star Spangled Banner
    • Lift Every Voice
    • Allunde Alluya
    • Cirandeiro if everyone practices so it looks and sounds good great
    • Lady, Lady
    • When I Rise Up
    • Nobody Liked Her But Me Rhythm worksheet HERE 

    Friendship Fest Set:
    • Nobody Liked Her But Me
    • Cirandeiro
    • This Pretty Planet by Tom Chapin
    • I Can Tell that We are Going to be Friends
    • One Voice by the Wailin' Jennys
    Concert Videos from 
    Virginia Highland Civic Association Meeting and 
    Grady Cluster Friendship Festival

    Thursday, October 20 Family STEAM Night (schedule coming soon)
    Do you love Science? Do you love to sing? Be part of 
    Family STEAM Night Performances on October 20!
    Students will perform sets throughout the night, so students will be able to go to sessions and choose which times they’d like to perform.

    REHEARSAL: On Thursday, October 6 Ms. Turgeon will host any 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who wish to learn songs to perform during Family STEAM Night!  3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will be called to the Music room after dismissal on Thursday.

    Post-rehearsal pickup will be at the Briarcliff lot:
    ·         3rd graders will be released at 3:30pm
    ·         4th & 5th graders will be released at 4:30pm

    Be sure to send a note/email to your child’s homeroom teacher and Ms. Turgeon for your transportation change!

    Igneous, Metamorphic, Sedimentary

    STEAM Night Lyric Sheet

    Practice videos:

    Fri/Sat Oct 28-29 5th District Elementary Honor Chorus
    Ms. Turgeon can register up to 5 singers to participate in this two day workshop and performance. Singers will rehearse with a regionally known Chorus clinician and perform with some of the best elementary singers in the Atlanta area! Let Ms. Turgeon know if your child is interested! Registration is $40, and you must transport your child (or arrange carpool) to the venue for the rehearsals and event.
    Wednesday, November 16 “Lift Every Voice and Sing” program collaboration with APS, Emory, and the Atlanta Music Festival (   The student performance of the song is a recreation of the historic way the first performance was presented with 500 school children. The program is at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue from 10 am to noon,  time away from school will be 9 am – 1 pm.
    5th Grade Chorus and AC membec. rs

    Lift Ev'ry Voice sheet music, info, and history

    Thursday, December 1 time TBA--either 6pm or 7pm call time 1 1/2 hours before performance time SPARK and Grady High School's Winter Chorus Concert
    Come hear our wonderful SPARK Chorus and AC and stay to hear the fantastic Choruses from Grady High School, directed by Mr. Kevin Hill!
    All AC and Chorus are expected to perform

    I Hear Those Jingle Bells (click and play the video to see MES 2008's performance)

    Mimo L'oluwa
    Christmas Time is Here
    S'Vivon AC Harmony
    Lady, Lady AC
    I Hear Those Jingle Bells
    Open the Window
    Allunde Alluyia

    Downloadable practice files

    Open the window, children
    Open the window, now
    Open the window children
    Open the window, let the dove fly in
    1)Mama and Papa are fighting like snakes
    2) Baby is a-cryin' like her heart will break
    3) Neighbors lock their doors build fences so high
    4) Don't see what's to discover on the other side

    5) There're borders 'round the countries, borders 'round the skies
    6) The only border close you in is the border 'round your mind!
    7) Some people have money some people have none
    8) What use is having money if your heart's gone numb?

    9)This big old world's in a great big mess

    ALL) Let's open the window, find peace and rest

     Saturday, Dec 3 1-3pm  Caroling for Virginia Highland's Tour of Homes
    Our SPARK Chorus and AC has been invited to go caroling during the Virginia Highland's Tour of Homes. We'll choose an hour or two to help spread some musical holiday cheer and sing some festive tunes for the guests! Please let me know your child's availability on that Saturday between 10am-5pm!
    AC & Chorus invited

    CHORUS/AC Wednesday, Dec 7 6pm in the SPARK Gym Community Sing-a-Long with Atlanta Young Singers  An informal festive holiday event featuring songs for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and wintertime. Students who can play chords on guitar or ukulele are welcome to bring your instruments or small (reasonably quiet) percussion instruments to play along. We’ll play songs in D, G, C, mostly. Ms. Turgeon will have chord charts available by Dec 2.


    1. Ms.Turgeon can you put any LGPE music on the blog for me?
      The Queen of Chorus

      1. Done! I'll be adding to the LGPE playlist as I find good examples of recordings. Thank you for checking! You're awesome! <3

    2. Are regular performing chorus (not AC) members invited to do the caroling on Dec 5? If so, can you provide information on when and where to show up?

      Chloe Whitney-Harris' mom

      1. YES! I will have a sheet of info for any interested kids tomorrow (Thursday), but basically we'll be in front of an establishment on Virginia. I'd love for Chloe to come! And bring friends!

    3. Hello, this is Lauren. I love you as a teacher, and I know that I have missed or left a few rehearsals, but I just want you to know that I hope you don't think of me as a member of AC and Chorus that I don't want to be there. I love Chorus, and I want to stay. Forever. It makes me a better singer, with your help. Thank you for having me.

      1. Hi Lauren, I can't tell you how much your note means to me, and I'm sure your AC team appreciates your dedication. I am grateful for your hard work and your dedication to AC, and I'm so lucky to have you as a student. Together we will continue to make lovely, exciting, fulfiling music!

    4. Hey Ms.Turgeon, How's the year going? Do you miss me? ;)

      1. Of course I miss you. You are such a great, funny, talented person. I'm so glad you're still making music with Ms. Smith and Ms. Mobley. But yeah, I miss you. Come visit!