Published by Yelton Rhodes.
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Setting: SATB, Optional drum, bells
Length: 4 minutes
Difficulty: 3 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)

Set in simple, accessible harmonies and imitative style, Alleluia uses optional bells and hand-held percussion to celebrate spiritual joy.

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Ave Pudendum

Setting: SSAA, Solo Coloratura Soprano, Trio
Poet: Naomi Stephan
Length: ca 5 minutes
Difficulty: 4 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)

We in the Western world are taught that holiness is only the preserve of deities, and that to celebrate our sexuality in whatever way we choose - whether between women, between a man and a woman, or between men should be a hush hush affair. When we pray for the sensual in our lives, it is as valid a wish as the desire for peace. But not everyone feels this way - especially in Muslim countries.

Female genitalia, specifically the vagina, still are the great mystery. Furthermore, the clitoris, the area of greatest sensuality in women, is regularly, brutally, and systematically cut from young girls in Africa and other countries. (About 100 million women have experienced a clitoridectomy.) After this horrible act, females are unable to experience any sexual feeling at all.

Too much violence has occurred under the guise of shame about our genitalia. This piece is as joyful in expression of our sensuous selves, as we are in praising our spiritual sources. Holiness is not the purview of Palestrina and God/Goddess alone. Ave Pudendum celebrates our need for a healthy, active sexual life if we so choose, without interference from others. Ave Pudendum also celebrates the power of female sexuality to transform our lives. Dona nobis voluptatem!

Ave pudendum
O magnum mysterium
In clitoride altimissima
Cum linguis manibusque
Chorus dildonum
Te salutat
Dona nobis voluptatem,
Nunc et semper, amen.

Hail genitalia
O great mystery
In the highest clitoris
With tongues and hands
A chorus of dildos
Salutes (greets) you
Give us voluptuousness,
Now and forever, amen.

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Death Be Not Proud

Setting: TTBB
Poet: John Donne (1572-1631)

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

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Setting: SSAA, SATB, SAB, and optional hand held percussion
Length: 3.5 minutes
Difficulty: 3 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)

A joyous, energetic piece for any occasion with modal harmonies and fugues. Awarded a prize in the Ojai International Choral Competition

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Setting: SSATB
Poet: Hildegard von Bingen
Length: 7 minutes
Difficulty: 5 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)

Hodie depicts the (musical) battle between woman and the serpent. The battle is resolved in a lively section at the end with vigorous rhythmic play between sections. Demanding musically, Hodie explores lower ranges of the Bass (or Alto II) and the high range of Sopranos. Contains fugal and imitative music, and is neo-medieval in style.

Hodie aperuit nobis
clausa port
quod serpens in muliere
unde lucit in aurora flos
de Virgine Maria.

Today a closed portal
has opened to us the door
(which) the serpent slammed
on a woman
the flower of the maiden
Mary gleams in the dawn.

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Setting: SSAA + Vib. and Mba
Poet: Hildegard of Bingen
Length: 8 minutes
Difficulty: 3 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)

Set in three movements, Ideo uses the beauty of high and low female voices to dramatize the beauty of the female form. Set with an unusual combination of marimba and vibraphone. Occasional passages with split parts for richer harmonies. Ideo is taken from a larger poem of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), "On the Blessed Mary: Antiphon"

I relate to the boldness of Hildegard's vision, her view of women, and her glorification of the Virgin Mary who here, embodies that which all women strive to be. The chorus should have a strong Alto II section.

1.ideo est summa benedictio feminea forma
3.prae omni creatura

1. thus the highest blessing
2. is found in female form,
3. rather than in any other creature

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Liebst Du um Schönheit

Setting: SSAA, Obligato Soprano or Oboe
Poet: Friedrich Rückert
Length: 5+ minutes
Difficulty: 4 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)
Description: Arr. of a song by Clara Schumann

Liebst du um Schönheit, o nicht mich liebe!
Liebe die Sonne, sie trägt ein goldnes Haar!
Liebst du um Jugend, o nicht mich liebe!
Liebe den Frühling, der jung ist jedes Jahr!
Liebst du um Schätze, o nicht mich liebe!
Liebe die Meerfrau, sie hat viel Perlen klar!
Liebst du um Liebe, o ja mich liebe!
Dich lieb' ich immer dar!

If you love for beauty, oh, do not love me!
Love the sun, she has golden hair!
If you love for youth, oh, do not love me!
Love the spring, it is young every year!
If you love for treasures, oh, do not love me!
Love the mermaid, she has many clear pearls!
If you love for love, oh yes, (then) do love me!
Love me ever, (and) I'll love you (for)evermore!

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Our Promised Land

Setting: SSAA
Poet: Sue Carroll Moore
Length: 3-4min
Difficulty: 3 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)

Set accessibly for four part women's voices, Our Promised Land in hauntingly imitative and intense rhythms, explores the poet's commentary on her poem: "Our Promised Land" Like the Wandering Jew, we often feel set apart, search over hill and dale for home and safety, a land which while not geographically located, we nevertheless find in community--safety, acceptance, tranquility, security. In the words of Steven Sondheim, "There's a place for us, a time and place for us. . ."

I love you well
As well as myself
But the well of loneliness is deep
and I have promises to keep.

My right hand is my free hand
And my left hand is my holding hand
I can't keep you with my holding hand
I have to keep myself.

But if you follow my right hand
My hand which is my free hand
I will show you to
Our promised land.

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Spring Song

Listen to Clip:
Spring Song (Real Audio Format)
Performed by I Cantori

Setting: SSA
Poet: Sue Carroll Moore
Length: 6:45
Difficulty: 4 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)

Spring Song is one of Naomi's most popular pieces, it has been recorded several different times on CD's and a Cassette. Beautiful, lyrical and dissonant exploration of the emotions and sounds of spring and sadness which turns into hope at the end.

Green wind
green clouds
green thunder
the green bandages of spring
are wrapped around
my old black wounds
and I am tender inside.

Nothing is forever
forever is the shape of nothing
nothing is the shape of forever
no nothing is forever
not even love
not even me
not even the sea
the milky fluorescent sea
mother of sands
mother of pearl
mother of me
who takes one away
but gives back another
no nothing's forever
not even the warm luminous sea
rain swollen and rolling under
green wind green clouds green thunder

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