Here is a contemporary-style version of two of America’s beloved texts, “America the Beautiful” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” The syncopated 12/8 meter accompaniment is an unexpected start to the traditional march hymn of “America.” Unison men sing the introduction, repeating the title word to lead into the first stanza of unison women. Two-part mixed voices sing the refrain followed by a choral response, which we see again at the end. “The Star Spangled Banner” is an optional solo with all voices entering midway.
The vocal parts sit low, especially the solo. The syncopated pattern is repetitive and easily taught. The accompanist music be rhythmically solid; duple and triple rhythms are freely intermixed.
PERFORMANCE OPTIONS include the use of tutti voices or a small ensemble on the optional solo. Optional instruments include guitar, bass, and drums. Guitar chords are in the score and the bass reads the left hand of the piano part. You may play the introduction omitting the choral part and begin singing at measure 7. The same holds true for the interlude at measures 24-30 and at measure 65 to the end. This is also one of five selections on a rehearsal/accompaniment CD (Item No. 0687080932, $10.00).
APPROPRIATE DAYS: Worship theme on God and country; 4th of July.
AGE APPROPRIATENESS: Older youth through adult
VOCAL DIFFICULTY: Average
ACCOMPANIMENT DIFFICULTY: Moderately difficult (because of rhythms)