Gwyneth Walker

How Can I Keep From Singing?

for SA(T)B Chorus and Piano (1995)
SSA Chorus and Piano (1999)
TTBB Chorus and Piano (2004)
or any above version with chamber orchestra or any above version with brass, percussion, and piano

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Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work (SSA version) by the Children's Chorus of Washington, DC, Joan Gregoryk, conductor.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work (SSA version) by the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus, Emily Ellsworth, conductor.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work (SATB version) by Desert Voices, Keith A. Koster, conductor.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work (SATB version) by Westridge High School Glee Club, Paul Stephenson, conductor.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work (TTBB version) by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Jon Bailey, conductor.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work (TTBB and orchestra) by the Orpheus Male Chorus, Joseph Eunkwan Choi, conductor.
(a CD recording is available on "Abbondanza!" from Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus)
(a CD recording is available from Westridge High School Glee Club)

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SSA, brass, percussion, and piano) by Bella Voce (VT), Dawn Willis, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (TTBB version) by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Jon Bailey, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (TTBB and orchestra) by the Orpheus Male Chorus, Joseph Eunkwan Choi, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB and orchestra) by the Hamburg High School Concert Chorale and members of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Norman Zogaib, conductor.

View a video presentation of a performance of this work (SATB brass, percussion, and piano) by the Thetford Chamber Singers, the Colchester Community Chorus, and the Heritage Brass Quintet, Valerie Miller, conductor.

Download a PDF file of the score (orchestra version) of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the score (brass, piano, percussion)of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.

Download a PDF file of text used in this work as text for printing in concert programs.



Cover

Original version of this work commissioned by the Thetford Chamber Singers, Thetford, Vermont. SA(T)B version commissioned by the Sedgwick Middle School, West Hartford, Connecticut. SSA version written for the Children's Chorus of Washington, DC. TTBB version written for the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, AZ.

This song is an old Quaker hymn dating back to the 1800's in the United States. References to the persecution of Friends may be heard in the lyrics. Yet faith and courage prevail. This new arrangement emphasizes the celebratory and life-affirming aspects of the song.

Notes by composer

Additional thoughts about this work:

As the program notes explain, this is an old Quaker song, dating back to the early 1800s. The reference to prison cells, dungeon dark, etc., refer to Quaker (Friends) who were often imprisoned -- for refusing to worship the King of England, then refusing to bear arms.

I have always liked this song, so I decided to make my own arrangement. In doing so, I changed the original, triple meter into a duple meter, for the extra strength and triumph that would come with the duple meter. I also added quite a few lyrics!