Shenandoah: Songs of the American Spirit

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Here's a release for those who enjoy American choral singing of the old school, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for example. The music consists of what are known as folk songs, and in fact the arrangement of "Cindy" track 10 by Mack Wilberg is close to the one he made for the Mormon choristers. The charm of the program, however, lies in the variety of the arrangements, which are all by different composers and range from simple harmonizations to dense jazz-harmony and African-American spiritual treatments, including settings influenced by art song, pop, the British choral tradition John Rutter's version of "Sourwood Mountain" may be annoying for some, but it's undeniably ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Here's a release for those who enjoy American choral singing of the old school, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for example. The music consists of what are known as folk songs, and in fact the arrangement of "Cindy" track 10 by Mack Wilberg is close to the one he made for the Mormon choristers. The charm of the program, however, lies in the variety of the arrangements, which are all by different composers and range from simple harmonizations to dense jazz-harmony and African-American spiritual treatments, including settings influenced by art song, pop, the British choral tradition John Rutter's version of "Sourwood Mountain" may be annoying for some, but it's undeniably arresting, and more. The John Alexander Singers are a 24-member subgroup of the larger Pacific Chorale, a Southern California ensemble. Its style may seem overly cute by this time, but it's fresh, technically spot-on, and genuinely enthusiastic: when the group breaks into shouts to introduce a percussive quasi-dance passage, it doesn't come off as forced or rehearsed. Whether called on to execute gospel-style slides or unadorned intervals, the singers adjust seamlessly and stay on top of the music's shifting styles. The booklet notes explain something of the history of each song and don't shy away from the darker or raunchier aspects present in their histories, although the performances themselves would not suggest those. Generally a well-executed collection of traditional American music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/10/2009
  • Label: Gothic Records
  • UPC: 000334926328
  • Catalog Number: 49263
  • Sales rank: 186,815

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Alexander Singers Primary Artist, Choir, Chorus
Tim Emmons Bass
Artie Barsamian Orchestra Baritone (Vocal)
Robert Slack Percussion, Drums
David Montoya Harmonica
Carver Cossey Bass (Vocal)
Laura Harrison Alto (Vocal)
Daniel Cardwell Tenor (Vocal)
Aram Barsamian Baritone (Vocal)
Kellee King Soprano (Vocal)
David Clemensen Piano
Mindy Ball Harp
David Montoya Harmonica
Thomas Ringland Bass (Vocal)
I-Chin Feinblatt Alto (Vocal)
Daniel Babcock Tenor (Vocal)
James M. Schaeffer Baritone (Vocal)
Dennis Houser Bass (Vocal)
Zanaida Robles Soprano (Vocal)
Lisa Sylvester Piano
Katharin Rundus Soprano (Vocal)
James Garafalo Bass
Aaron Mosley Tenor (Vocal)
Nicholas Preston Tenor (Vocal)
Lorraine Joy Welling Soprano (Vocal)
Robert Slack Percussion, Drums
David Montoya Harmonica
David Clemenson Piano
Lisa Sylvester Piano
David Clemensen Piano
Mindy Ball Harp
Jeff Morris Tenor (Vocal)
John Alexander Conductor
Technical Credits
Stephen Foster Composer
John Rutter Arranger
Pete Seeger Text Adaptation
Jackson Berky Composer
Norman Luboff Arranger
Robert DeCormier Arranger
Mark Hayes Arranger
Fred Vogler Engineer
David Frazer Cover Image
Robert Lowry Text
Ron Nelson Arranger
Ralph Hunter Arranger
Alice Parker Arranger
James Erb Arranger
Philip Lawson Arranger
Traditional Composer
Brewster M. Higley Text
Scott Sedillo Engineer, Mastering
Gordon Paine Liner Notes
Kelly Ruggirello Contributor
Ryan McSweeney Arranger
Emma Lou Diemer Arranger
William Whiteman Fosdick Text
Robert Fountain Arranger
Julie Bussell Producer
Robert Shaw Arranger
Mack Wilberg Arranger
John Alexander Arranger, Artistic Director
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