Category:   ETHNIC MUSIC
Composer:   Brent Michael Davids
Arranger:   NA
Edition:   NA
Voicing:   Unison
Setting:   Accompanied


Kathy Romey
University of Minnesota 2001
R&R Chair Ethnic Music

Grandmother Song was commissioned by the American Composer Forum and was premiered and recorded at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2000. In the words of composer Brent Michael Davids, “Grandmother Song is a celebration of the indigenous residents of the world… It introduces the long-standing tradition of Native American singing styles and traditional wood flute songs, arranged into a band format… Sung syllables that Native Americans call vocables form an intertribal way of communicating feelings in songs. By singing these vocables within the written band music, Grandmother Song performers are introduced to the ‘sound’ of Native American songs, while remaining challenged with good contemporary band composition.” Although the work is conceived for wind band with vocal lines written into various band parts, the vocal lines can also be excerpted and sung in unison chorus. This strengthens the overall timbre and allows school ensembles an opportunity to collaborate.