Shenandoah: Songs of the American Spirit

Shenandoah: Songs of the American Spirit

by John Alexander Singers


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Here's a release for those who enjoy American choral singing of the old school, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for example. The music consists of what are known as folk songs, and in fact the arrangement of "Cindy" (track 10) by Mack Wilberg is close to the one he made for the Mormon choristers. The charm of the program, however, lies in the variety of the arrangements, which are all by different composers and range from simple harmonizations to dense jazz-harmony and African-American spiritual treatments, including settings influenced by art song, pop, the British choral tradition (John Rutter's version of "Sourwood Mountain" may be annoying for some, but it's undeniably arresting), and more. The John Alexander Singers are a 24-member subgroup of the larger Pacific Chorale, a Southern California ensemble. Its style may seem overly cute by this time, but it's fresh, technically spot-on, and genuinely enthusiastic: when the group breaks into shouts to introduce a percussive quasi-dance passage, it doesn't come off as forced or rehearsed. Whether called on to execute gospel-style slides or unadorned intervals, the singers adjust seamlessly and stay on top of the music's shifting styles. The booklet notes explain something of the history of each song and don't shy away from the darker or raunchier aspects present in their histories, although the performances themselves would not suggest those. Generally a well-executed collection of traditional American music.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2009
Label: Gothic Records
UPC: 0000334926328
catalogNumber: 49263
Rank: 171700

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Alexander Singers   Primary Artist,Choir, Chorus
Tim Emmons   Bass
Artie Barsamian Orchestra   Baritone (Vocal)
Robert Slack   Percussion,Drums
David Montoya   Harmonica
Carver Cossey   Bass (Vocal)
Laura Harrison   Alto (Vocal)
Daniel Cardwell   Tenor (Vocal)
Aram Barsamian   Baritone (Vocal)
Kellee King   Soprano (Vocal)
David Clemensen   Piano
Mindy Ball   Harp
David Montoya   Harmonica
Thomas Ringland   Bass (Vocal)
I-Chin Feinblatt   Alto (Vocal)
Daniel Babcock   Tenor (Vocal)
James M. Schaeffer   Baritone (Vocal)
Dennis Houser   Bass (Vocal)
Zanaida Robles   Soprano (Vocal)
Lisa Sylvester   Piano
Katharin Rundus   Soprano (Vocal)
James Garafalo   Bass
Aaron Mosley   Tenor (Vocal)
Nicholas Preston   Tenor (Vocal)
Lorraine Joy Welling   Soprano (Vocal)
Robert Slack   Percussion,Drums
David Montoya   Harmonica
David Clemenson   Piano
Lisa Sylvester   Piano
David Clemensen   Piano
Mindy Ball   Harp
Jeff Morris   Tenor (Vocal)
John Alexander   Conductor

Technical Credits

Stephen Foster   Composer
John Rutter   Arranger
Pete Seeger   Text Adaptation
Jackson Berkey   Composer
Norman Luboff   Arranger
Robert DeCormier   Arranger
Mark Hayes   Arranger
Fred Vogler   Engineer
David Frazer   Cover Image
Robert Lowry   Text
Ron Nelson   Arranger
Alice Parker   Arranger
James Erb   Arranger
Philip Lawson   Arranger
Traditional   Composer
Brewster M. Higley   Text
Scott Sedillo   Engineer
Gordon Paine   Liner Notes
Kelly Ruggirello   Contributor
Ryan McSweeney   Arranger
Emma Lou Diemer   Arranger
William Whiteman Fosdick   Text
Robert Fountain   Arranger
Julie Bussell   Producer
Robert Shaw   Arranger
Ralph Hunter   Arranger
Mack Wilberg   Arranger
John Alexander   Arranger,Artistic Director

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