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Nick VanErpChoirMr. Neisen12 January, 2018Dr. Jeffrey Ames Dr. Jeffery Ames was born on May 19, 1969 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His parents names were Therman E. Ames Sr., and Erma L. Ames. Ames had grown up around music his whole childhood, Dr. Ames said in an email he sent me that he can remember hearing gospel in the mornings as his parents began to get ready for work. Ames said that his church was very influential on his future in music, and his church was only 8 houses away and began serving as the choir director and organist at age 12. Dr. Ames only does his composing as a side job, and is the Director of Choral Activities at Belmont University and has been their for 10 years, and had previously worked at Baylor University. He has nearly 20 other published songs that he has written and most are of sacred texts, or songs that are inspired by Bible verses, usually of the book of Psalms. He also has four other pieces that he has ready to send to a publisher. He has been married for 20 years and has three children ages 13, 10, and 7. He loves to do various activities that include conducting, traveling, hiking, and his Lord. One of Dr. Ames choral pieces that he wrote is called In Remembrance.  He wrote that song in response to two students at the school he was teaching at had died in a car accident over Christmas break.  The two students, an older brother and a younger sister had moved to the school only that year, and neither of them had many friends.  But the sister would hug her brother every day when she saw him during school.  When Christmas break was over and kids were coming back to school, word had gotten around that the the two siblings had passed away during a fatal car accident during the break.  Dr. Ames wrote the song In Remembrance for the two student whose lives had been lost.  I chose this piece because I have performed it in Carnegie Hall and here in Battle Lake. I know the background of the story when Mrs. Peterson told us what the song was written for and what it was about.  This song is written in SSAATTBB according to JWPepper.  That means that the song has two soprano parts, two alto parts, two tenor parts, and two bass parts.  I sang bass 2 during the performance of this song, and I really enjoyed singing it because it built up and up and up and then it sounded super duper freaking cool because we were so loud and sounded so good. The song has a french horn accompaniment that sounds really cool when played with the choir.  It’s kind of a sad slow song that hits you right in the feels if you get what I mean, I remember seeing many moms in the audience cry at our concert because the song was so full of meaning that even people who did not know the actual meaning of the the song were crying. The second piece I chose to write about is called Gloria Fanfare. I chose to this song because it stuck out to me a lot because it sounds like In Remembrance kind of and I really like that song. The song is sung in SATB so there is one soprano part, along with one alto part, with one tenor part, and one bass part. It starts off slow and slowly build up and gets louder and more full. I do not whatsoever think we could sing that song because no one would actually go and look up the lyrics outside of school because we all are busy after school and then have to go home and do other homework and other things. So I really don’t think we should sing this song even though you probably never planned on it so that’s good. This song reminds me of on Home Alone when Kevin is at the church before his battle with the Steve and Marve, he’s talking to his neighbor who he was told was scary by his older brother Buzz and to stay away from him. But Kevin starts talking to him and realizes he’s and that bad of a guy but just needs someone to be with and talk to because he’s lonely and wants to see his family. While they’re talking the choir made of kids is practicing a song that is one of those super high sung songs and sounds like angels singing. This song is kind of like that if you’ve ever seen that movie and know what I’m talking about. The final piece I want to write about is called Let Everything That Hath Breath.  I chose this one because it seemed like a good song Dr. Ames had wrote, was Bible related, and was also one of the few I could actually find that he had composed.  But the song can be sung in SATB so their is one soprano part, one alto part, one tenor part, and one bass part. So all of the sections would be singing together in four part harmony.  This song is a peppy song that sitting in church would get all the old church ladies singing and dancing, something I wish would happen at my boring church.  All the ladies there do not even like move or even sing good because they are actually pretty bad. But if we got the right people singing during church everyone would like it a lot.  The starting words of the song are “Sing unto the Lord a new song” which just right away shows that when Ames wrote this song he was feeling his faith flowing through him since this passage is also from the Bible (Psalm 96:1). The song only seems to have a piano accompaniment with it from the video I watched ( ) I think that the music I chose to dig into a bit and to write about all have different characteristics in how they were written, why they were written, and who they were written for.  Some were sad, slow, and gonna make Jimmies grandma cry in the back of the auditorium when it is being sung.  While the others were more peppy and got people moving around and sounded like the kind of Harlem church choir with all the super “Praise The Lord” ladies all clapping and yelling and shouting and having fun.  I remember working under Dr. Ames while in New York and he made those boring as all heck four hour long rehearsals actually enjoyable because he was always smiling, kept things interesting, and I sat next to my boy Graesen from Texas who was a super chill dude.  All in all I like Dr. Ames works and I kind of hope we would sing one of his songs sometime.

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