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Why I Sing

A sweet and funny ode to song, for singers and their trusty pitch pipes
Elizabeth Alexander

"Why do I sing?"

Choir members at Endicott College answered this question in a variety of ways.  Their responses became the lyric of this choral montage, by turns sentimental, offbeat, soulful, jazzy, lyrical and gloriously harmonic.

Accompanied by 6 pitch pipe and peppered with vocal sound effects, this lighthearted song offers moments of surprise, humor and "gusto for song."

Performance Note: You'll need six stalwart pitch pipe players with strong rhythmic skills.  For performances in smaller recital halls, amplification should not be needed for the pitch pipes.  For larger spaces, it's recommended that mics be provided.

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Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Delivery Method Price Quantity SATB, 6 pitch pipes - Conductor's Score
6'00 M SEA-089-00 Sheet Music
$12.00 SATB, 6 pitch pipes - Conductor's Score
6'00" M SEA-089-00D Licensed PDF
SATB, 6 pitch pipes - Choral Part
6'00" M SEA-089-01 Sheet Music
SATB, 6 pitch pipes - Choral Part
6'00" M SEA-089-01D Licensed PDF
SATB, 6 pitch pipes - Pitch Pipe Parts
6'00" M SEA-089-02 Sheet Music
SATB, 6 pitch pipes - Pitch Pipe Parts
6'00" M SEA-089-02D Licensed PDF

Why I Sing

Lyrics by Elizabeth Alexander, with students at Endicott College

I sing!

I sing to express my feelings,
I sing for there’s a song in my heart,
I sing to describe love for the hundredth time —
That’s why I sing.

I sing to escape, I sing to be free,
I sing to relax, I sing to be me.
I sing when I’m angry, I sing when I’m sad,
I sing when I’m frustrated, and I sing when I’m glad,
I sing to remember, I sing to forget,
I sing of happiness, I sing of regret —
That’s why I sing.

I sing because I have a song that wants to be heard,
Nobody listens when I speak,
So I sing to get my point across.

Why do I sing?
I started singing because girls are suckers for songs,
But it turns out girls don’t like the songs that I sing...unfortunately.
(But that's why I sing!)

Why do I sing?
Canto para expressar lo que no puedo decir,
Canto para dar voz al verdadero yo,
Canto porque et ritmo no lo puedo contener. *

Why do I sing?
Nothing in the world can make me feel so whole
As music flowing freely from my soul —
The rhythm and my heart keep beating perfect time —
There’s joy in every breath I take:
That’s why I sing!

* Translation:

I sing to express what I cannot say,
I sing to give voice to the true me,
I sing because I can no longer hold back the rhythm.

Composer's Note: 

It took me several days to decide what instruments would best accompany this song.  I considered woodwinds...and strings...and percussion...but I didn't want the singers to be upstaged.  After all, this song is about singing!

One morning while lying in bed, I remembered those humble little friends of singers everywhere:  pitch pipes!  (I laughed so hard I woke up my husband.)


Endicott College Singers  - Becca Kenneally, conductor ~ Endicott College (Beverly, MA)   * Premiere





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