Category:   TTBB CHOIRS
Composer:   Abbie Betinis
Arranger:   
Publisher:   Abbie Betinis Music Company
Edition:   AB-061-01
Voicing:   TTBB
Setting:   Accompanied

Reviewer:   

Michael Culloton
Concordia College – Moorhead
R&R Chair TTBB Choirs

This score has strong Minnesota roots as it was written for the Minnesota All-State Men’s Choir and premiered in 2009 under the baton of David Mennicke. Abbie Betinis has become well-known around the country and we are proud to call her one of our own as well! The music is evocative and effectively captures the word-painting suggested by the Vachel Lindsay. Though the notes and rhythms are somewhat tricky, the piece is in a modified ABA form, so all your work on the first major section is rewarded when similar music returns near the end. The snare drum helps to bring out the drama in this piece and should not be omitted from performances. The piano part is an independent one that doesn’t only serve to provide the harmonic foundation of the piece but also to enhance the mood. The tessituras are all very singable for each of the voice parts, so you shouldn’t have any battles in that regard. Lastly, when I was studying the piece for how to best approach it with the choir, I realized that slow and steady is the name of the game. You can have a day where you only look at some of the music from the two A sections, or focus only on the B section for a couple of days. Regardless, patience will serve you and your singers well as you prepare this marvelous work.