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Making a Better World Through Choral Composition and Performance March 2, 2019

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This was a contest I recently held through a grant from the Gifford K8 PTA.  Three Winners were selected and all three pieces will be performed by choirs of Children’s Choir of the Internet.  The pieces were to use a text on bringing people together or peace.  They were to use multiple languages.

1st Place Jennifer Wagner “We are the Children.” Jen’s piece is for SSA with an SA descant.  She met the language requirement by using a Latin text about peace for the descant and English for the choir.  Her piece will be premiered by the Gifford Children’s Choir (Auditioned choir of Children’s Choir of teh Internet) on May 21, 2019.  We are looking at using it as a combined finale piece with Middle and High School as well.

2nd Place Jonathan Byram “When I Hear You.” Jonathan’s piece is for SA and piano.  He met the language requirement by regularly mixing English and Arabic in his text.   This piece will be premiered on May 21, 2019 by the Gifford Children’s Choir (Auditioned choir of Children’s Choir of teh Internet)

3rd Place Jose Angulo “Together.”  Jose really nailed the language idea for the competition and the purpose of the contest.  His text begins as if Angels are singing to a child who can not sleep for fear caused by the 50 year war in Colombia, the composer’s home country.  The piece ends with a wish for peace sung in English, Spanish, Zulu and French.

Videos of the performances will uploaded to the Joinchoir channel on YouTube and shared here as well.


Jack Senzig


Blog Repurposed November 11, 2017

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It has been more than two years since I put up an entry on this blog.  The original idea didn’t pan out.  So I am going to take the convenient storage of choir videos separated by voicing and throw out the hope that choir directors would take time to share what they have done with us.  Stay tuned…  I am hopeful.

Calling Writers, Composers, Lyricists, Poets and Conductors July 13, 2015

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Creative People in the Choral Arts,

Are you looking for some excitement? Let’s be creative together! Composers, Lyricists and Conductors are invited to participate in the Showcase Dare on ChoralNet.com, August 1-9, 2015.


Do you have what it takes as a composer? The Composers of Choral Music Community on ChoralNet and Our Musical Life Inc. challenge you to a Composition Jam August 1-9. You are invited to participate in this creative kick-in-the-pants.

Composers will be given a “spark” to ignite the process and then have 9 days to write the rough draft of a future masterpiece.   The “spark” will be a few words that may be interpreted freely to lead you to a text, a rhythm, a harmonic progression or any other piece of raw brain juice to launch you into composing mode. Check out the Community pages here:

There is no fee.

Lyricists and Poets are sought for a supporting role. We need you to offer your previously written works or to write new texts on the spot that relate to the “spark”. No one knows what the “spark” will be until 12:01 AM August 1. Then composers will desperately need your help. You can hammer out financial arrangements with the composers. Typical agreements range from 50/50 share of profits to free use. Imagine thousands of people singing your words!

Conductors are needed to judge the competition and to recognize the start of new works you may be interested in coaxing to fruition. The ultimate goal here is to get conductors to partner with composers and lyricists to find and create repertoire worth performing.

What Do I Win? 

This is a contest more about sparking creativity than any physical award.  The principal reward is that composers will have a rough draft of a work they may be able to get performed, lyricists will get their words set to music and conductors will help create new works tailored for them. We encourage composers to include a note in their Bio that shows they won for example:  Winner of the Gold Award for Text Setting in the August 2015 Showcase Dare If you upload the pieces to the Composition Showcase on ChoralNet (free) these awards can also be listed.

How Do I Win?

This is the first year of the contest. It is a composer’s contest with support from writers and conductors. We expand this to award writers and conductors before this is over.

ChoralNet users, other contestants and a panel of judges will rate your piece on up to 5 criterion.

Spark: Evident in concept or work 1 2 3 4 5

Performability: Viral Quality/Overall Likability/ Uniqueness 1 2 3 4 5

Elemental Mechanics: Harmonic, Rhythmic, Form, Dynamics, Counterpoint etc: 1 2 3 4 5

Text Setting: Prosody,Word Painting,Choice of Text 1 2 3 4 5

Singability: Voice Leading, Range, Tessitura 1 2 3 4 5

The pieces with the three highest average scores in a category win Gold, Silver and Bronze in that category.  You may win Gold in Text Setting and Bronze in Singability. The three pieces with an average score of 4 or more in “Spark” and that received the highest overall average scores will be Overall Winners of Gold, Silver or Bronze.

You really win when conductors see your work and talk to you about performing it.  Good Luck!

How Do I Sign Up?

Join ChoralNet.com for free (always free) by going here: http://choralnet.org/new/user

Then go here and click on “Join this community”: http://choralnet.org/list/page/469189

Conductors, lyricists and poets can follow the Blog, Forum and look through composer pages to see who needs what. The “Spark” will be announced in the forum.

Composers that want to participate can sign up free by reading and agreeing to the terms and conditions found on the Rules page: http://choralnet.org/469200

All are welcome to introduce themselves in the forum or to individual contestants. Critique is encouraged on the composer’s contestant pages.

Added Value:

This contest is also designed to honor the primary creator of ChoralNet Dr. James Feiszli. Dr. Feiszli will provide the “spark.” An Article about Dr. Feiszli will appear on the front page of ChoralNet.com on Sunday either July 21 or 28.

Get Something Written!!!

Jack Senzig

ChoralNet Composers of Choral Music Community

Owner/Executive Editor


Our Musical Life Inc.

Executive Director


Kids Choir Covers Cloud Cult’s Transistor Radio May 11, 2015

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Here is half of the Gifford Children’s Choir covering Transistor Radio by Cloud Cult.  Using modern instruments to accompany a choir can have a really cool effect.  In this one Jeremy Peters of Solar Plexus plays with the choir on Electric Guitar.

Nearer My God To Thee BYU Vocal Point August 6, 2014

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Delightful to see and hear so many men singing.



Children’s Choir of teh Internet and Doctor Who January 17, 2014

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The Children’s Choir of teh Internet performed a tribute to their beloved Doctor, Matt Smith.  The choir was joined by the Evanston Teen Choir from Etc. Music School and is an ensemble of Our Musical Life inc. Bard College.  Could it get any geekier than this?

Cup Song Parody Elementary Choir December 20, 2013

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It has been a while since I have posted here but I just had to share this video.  It is of kids singing in unison to a parody they wrote about truancy.  We do not always have to shoot for great harmony to put out a good and meaningful product.  This is sure to make you smile!


Mondnacht by the Cascadian Chorale April 3, 2013

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One of the most forward thinking choral ensembles in the US is the Cascadian Chorale under the direction of Gary Cannon.   At a recent performance they premiered Mondnacht by composer Joy DeCoursey-Porter.

This is a beautiful work and hot off the press.  Check it out!

Working With A Rock Band- Cloud Cult March 7, 2013

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Children’s Choir of teh Internet had a great opportunity to work with the band Cloud Cult last summer.  The culmination of that work has just been released by the band.  Their new album “LOVE” includes the choir on the closing track “The Show Starts Now.”

As a choir director this was a unique experience for me.  I have not done much recording with the choir and it was an adventure to figure out an economical way to make the recordings.  FInding a way for the kids to listen to the accompanying track and still be able to hear themselves sing was a challenge.  There was some bleed over from the dollar store head phones which I had worried would ruin the recordings but it all turned out terrific.

Cloud Cult is an unusual band in that their messages are very positive.  They are environmentally conscious and try to leave as small a carbon footprint as they can.  Listen to the album a couple of times and it will work it’s way into your heart and life.  You can hear the album on NPR’s First Listen: http://www.npr.org/2013/02/24/172490177/first-listen-cloud-cult-love

It is available on iTunes and the band’s website: http://www.cloudcult.com/love.cfm

Here’s an article on American Songwriter about the band and the album: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2013/03/recording-cloud-cults-latest-album/

Directors, we can’t be afraid to think out of the box.  This has been an incredible chance for my kids and I.  I used the opportunity to launch a new community music program called Our Musical Life Inc.  which will do a lot of good in my city.  Check us out at OurMusicalLife.org The project also lead to our “6 Days of Minecraft” video and a Radiohead cover due out soon.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxl8jrUlEJ0

6 Days of Minecraft, Children’s Choir of teh Internet February 13, 2013

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If you are a gamer and a choral musician you are going to love this!

9 Cutest Things That Ever Happened February 9, 2013

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Finally a choir that understands YouTube and the value of a visual performance!  Congratulations to Australian Voices.  Bravo!!

Ave Maria by Efrem Podgaits January 31, 2013

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It Gets Better “Testimony” by Stephen Schwartz January 20, 2013

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Wether a church choir or gay men’s chorus, singing brings people together. There is nothing quite like the friendship and understanding that being part of a singing community brings. This piece has the added benefit of providing an important message to young people struggling with who they are and how they are perceived. It does get better.

Title: Testimony
Composer: Stephen Schwartz
Voicing TTBB a cappella
Choir: San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
Director: Dr. Timothy Seelig

Directors, Who Follows You Matters January 19, 2013

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When leaving a position, it is always difficult worrying about the singers you leave behind. High school directors know it is difficult to replace someone who did a great job as the kids will usually revolt. I left my elementary school two years and was followed by a tremendously talented teacher and director. Keith Griffin has raised the bar. Listen to the singing ability of these children. It is an honor to have had such an amazing director step up. Thanks Keith!

Title:River Song
Composer: Roger Emerson
Choir: Gifford Accent Choir
Director: Keith Griffin
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Available: JWPepper http://www.jwpepper.com/3144631.item

“Moon Man” A Christmas Choral Adventure December 14, 2012

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Christmas is choir time.  A few lines from holiday songs always stick in my mind from Thanksgiving on.  “Sweet sining in the choir”,  “baby it’s cold outside” and being from Wisconsin, “Faithful friends who are near to us, gather deer to us once more.” Moon Man by Greg Bartholomew will also be a new Wisconsin Christmas favorite with this text “Now the man in the moon sends us cheese before noon because he thinks it’s Christmas Day.”

Here is a frolicking performance by the unparalleled Cascadian Chorale under the direction of Gary Cannon.

British Military Wives Choir September 1, 2012

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There are so many ways that that music can bring a community together.  I found this particularly moving.

Will.i.am and Children’s Choir Sing from Mars August 29, 2012

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Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am worked with a S.T.E.M. school and many other musicians to make  a recording to be broadcast from Mars.  He and those children are the first human voices to sing from the surface of another planet.   This is an amazing opportunity for all involved and really highlights the need for music programs to be involved in the community.  The name of the school and choir has been omitted from early press releases about this, but having NASA and Will.i.am as partners certainly gave these kids an educational experience they will never forget.

Here’s the article.  Unfortunately it is currently blocked from embedding.  http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/hip-hop-media-training/am-teams-nasa-premiere-reach-stars-mars-220744171.html

Need a Hit for Your Next Concert? June 20, 2012

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There are some songs that you just know will be a hit. Imagine this song with kids voices or even being sung by your community or college choir. I hope to cover it myself but I would love to see dozens of choirs spreading the news about this incredible song writer. I scour the pop charts and alternative music sources for songs that I think my kids will sound great on and that appeal to me. It is difficult to find music that is appropriate for children yet moving for adults. Craig Minowa of the band Cloud Cult writes song after song that fits the bill. I may use this blog for a series of posts about him as I prep for a more formal article on ChoralNet.

Warning: Have a box of Kleenex.

Transistor Radio by Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult

This is from the album Advice From the Happy Hippopotamus available on the band’s website or iTunes. As an album, their most recent release Light Chasers is more solid but every songs like that above plant a seed in your soul that makes everything else they perform beautiful. If you haven’t checked out Cloud Cult in the past, do your musical palette a favor and sample some.
Running With the Wolves
Unexplainable Stories This song opens the album Light Chasers. A related song There’s So Much Energy In Us closes it.
Everybody Here is a Cloud

Sh*t Choristers Say June 19, 2012

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This video link was sent to us in response to the viral video definition post. I think everyone will be shaking their head saying “Yep, I’ve said that.”

Definition of a Viral Video June 16, 2012

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Here is the updated definition of “Viral Video”:

A video is considered to have gone viral if it is on track to receive 10,000 or more views in the span of 30 days. Therefore a video that receives at least 333 views in one day is viral. Unless a viral video is at least “moderately viral” (see below), using the term viral to describe it is purely academic.

There are levels of viral:
A video is considered mildly viral if it is on track to receive 10,000 views in 30 days.(333 views/day)
A video is considered somewhat viral if it is on track to receive 300,000 views in 30 days.(10,000 views/day)
A video is considered moderately viral if it is on track to receive 1,000,000 views in 30 days. (33,333 views/day)
A video is considered fully viral if it is on track to receive 3,000,000 views in 30 days. (100,000 views/day) Once a video reaches this level or higher adverbs describing degrees of viral are redundant.

It is likely that most viral videos do not sustain the daily view counts for the entire 30 days. A video may be viral for one or more days without actually achieving 10,000 views. The monthly counts are most useful for talking about what has happened in the past. You can say “last March the video went moderately viral, receiving 1,200,000 views.” Of course you can just say “viral” without the adverb. One can talk about a video that receives more than 333 views in consecutive days as “continuing to go viral” or continuing to go fully viral if it continues to receive daily view counts over 100,000.

This definition is based on looking at view counts of videos such as Double Rainbow, the Anton Dodson video and hundreds of others.

This is a website for choral musicians. There are few videos of choirs that receive 333 views in a single day. There are few ensembles that have ever achieved 100,000 views in one day.

This is an incomplete list of amateur choirs who have achieved viral status without singing with a celebrity or on a TV show and using an actual video of the choir (no slide shows or stills):
PS22 Chorus (Repeatedly have gone viral)
Perpetuum Jazzile
Kearsney College Choir
Unknown Choir
UC Men’s Octet
Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
Soweto Gospel Choir
Miami U. Cheezies
Innsbruck Capellknabe
Military Wives Choir
DaCadence U.C. Berkley NSFW
Ambassadors of Harmony
Scala NSFW
Russian Red Army Choir
Straight No Chaser
Liberty University Choir
Gifford Children’s Choir
On The Rocks University of Oregon
Voices of Heaven Gospel Choir

St. Thomas Boys Choir
Helsinki Complaints Choir

Add your choir by commenting below with link and view count within time frame. Self-promotion and corrections welcome.