Listen Up partsWell, the next phase of the Listen Up! project has come to a end: the composing and arranging is done. After three months’ work, sorting though 97 melodies to find what fit together into a 25-minute piece and arranging it all for a youth choir and the Gryphon Trio, the sheet music has been delivered internetically to the teachers in Yellowknife, Norman Wells, Inuvik, Hay River, Fort Smith and Fort Simpson, the scores are on their way to conductor Rob Kapilow, and the parts (really clean and pretty parts, may I say) are in a big expedited parcel to the Gryphons.

If you’ve been following along as this project progressed, you know I was a bit worried about how few melodies I’d actually be able to squeeze in. In the end, I managed to get in more melodies than I’d expected given how the first couple of movements unfolded. I thought I’d be able to include at most 20 pieces, but it turned into 26, just over a quarter of the total. So each community is represented by a minimum of four pieces. It was painful to have to whittle some really nice work out of the mix, but if I hadn’t done it, the piece would have been 90 minutes long! As it is, the students from each community, who will be convening in Yellowknife in May at NACC to form the youth choir, have a lot of music to learn and memorise. And there’s a processional, so they have to speak in rhythm and walk at the same time. I’ve seen professionals trip up trying to walk to a beat!

Listen Up papersEarth sample

Six movements: Opening (with processional), Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Finale. I’ve already heard that the singers in Yellowknife have been working on it and found it “rhythmic and fun”, which pleases me. It can be hard work to learn new music, but in the end I want us all have a good time making music together!

It is so satisfying that 26 young people have their compositions as part of this big piece. And that 70 young people from across the Northwest Territories will come together to perform it. What a great thing for us all to have been part of this, thanks to NACC, the Gryphon Trio, and all the teachers and sponsoring partners!

It all comes together in Yellowknife May 27-29 with the big show at NACC on May 30!