Reply To: HELP! Elementary/Band person, now full-time MS chorus!
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I love Activate, too. But for middle school choir you want at least two-part pieces with plenty of energy and inspiration. My favorite source is Sheet Music Plus: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/ensembles/Choir-2-Part/46 You can browse by title. Be forewarned, though, there’s a required minimum # of scores for most selections. You can browse selections for various combos, voices and types of groups.
You can take simple folk songs from (older) books like 150 American Folk Songs to sing, read and play: http://www.amazon.com/150-American-Folk-Songs-Sing/dp/0913932043/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1342729028&sr=8-4&keywords=american+folk+songs and make your own arrangement. Repeat sections, add body percussion, add harmonies and auxiliary instruments, give solos. And just like some pop songs, when in doubt modulate up a step and repeat the song!!
Re: specific songs: Actually, my middle schoolers loved a piece from Activate magazine from about 3 years ago called Joy Inside by Wolfe White. It includes clapping sections — and includes a modulation!!