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Native American

Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 14:49:22 -0500
From: BartB7(a)
Subject: Native American compilation

Sorry this has taken so long.

The original post requested Native American choral/vocal music based on
actual Native American melodies. I know some of the following replies
definitely do not fit the bill, therefore you will have to determine
authenticity on your own.


Ancient Mother Bart Bradfield
Moon of Hope
Black Elk's Prayer Harry Stone
Chief Seattle's Psalm Daniel Moe
Carl Fischer
Desert Voices Steven Sametz
Halleluyan Jerry Ulrich
Hosanna Rene Clausen
Native American Ambiences Jackson Berkey
Native American Spring Songs
Mark Foster
Native American Suite Brent Michael Davids
Now I Walk in Beauty Gregg Smith
Shoshone Love Song Emerson
Songs of the Salish Chief
Songs From the Paiute Halsey Stevens Mark
This We Know

Two Native American Songs B. Sletto
The Willows By the Waterside Kreutz
Within Seasons Bengt Lundin

Nina Gilbert also sent an extensive list of resources.
(Nina, would you mind sending that again as "Native American Compilation 2

Thank you to those who responded: Daniel Craig, Bob Peskin, Steve Weber,
Andre DeQuadros, David Griggs-Janower, Ross Bernhardt, Gregg Goldenstein,
Sarah Meredith, and Nina Gilbert.

Thanks again!

Bart Bradfield

Director of Choral Ensembles Artistic Director
Lake Forest College The James Chorale

Dear Members,
Here are the responses to my query about Native American choral works.
Since many requested a compilation, I decided to send it to the entire list.

As always, thanks for your help!

Kevin Kellim
Topeka, KS


You should contact Brent Michael David in Minneapolis. He's a native
American who's written a number of choral pieces for the likes of Dale
Warland and Chanticleer. I've sung several of his works, and they're most
effective. You can reach him at: BrentMD(a) Feel free to tell him I
sent you.


Frank Albinder
Music Director
Washington Men's Camerata
Woodley Ensemble
(202) 986-5867


Definately check out the music of Brent Michael Davids. I know that you
will find exactly what you are looking for! You may discover his music and
get in touch with him at His music is

Most sincerely,
Amy Scurria

"Cedar House Songs" by Gregory Youtz for SSAA, narrator, piano, flute and two
percussionists (including native instruments). These are three songs from
Youtz' opera "Songs of the Cedar House," which was premiered in February,
1991, as part of Pacific Lutheran University's centennial celebration. These
songs were arranged by the composer in 1997 for the Tahoma Girls' Choir, and
were premiered that June. The songs are entitled "Calling the Spirit," "The
Changer," and "Weaving the World." They are in print but not published
commercially. If you would like, I could help you contact Dr. Youtz.

Greg Vancil, Artistic Director/Conductor
Tahoma Girls' Choir, Tacoma, WA
"Empowering young women to develop their artistic and intellectual gifts,
cultivating confidence and personal growth through the pursuit of choral

Greetings from the U of Montana. We premiered the first movement of Requiem
for Native America this last year with SATB choir, baritone solo, orchestra
and a Drum from the Sioux Indian reservation called the Tatanka Oyate
Singers. It's an original piece using the text of several Sioux Chiefs and
an authentic drum and singing. Let me know if you are interested in the

Gary Funk
Director of Choral Activities
U of Montana

There are several good pieces by Mohican composer
Brent Michael Davids (yes, there are still Mohicans).
"Native American Suite" and "Mohican Soup" come to
mind. Not sure of the publisher - they might be

Ross C. Bernhardt, D.M.A.
Chair, Dept. of Music/Director of Choral Activities
Lambuth University
705 Lambuth Blvd.
Jackson, TN 38301
bernhard(a) OR chormeister2000(a)

Kevin...Send me your mailing address, and I will send you a copy of my
recent Eastern Division Troubador article re/ this subject. It
includes listings. Sharon Gratto

Try EARTH IS OUR MOTHER based on the words of Chief Seattle. Music
by Dave Brubeck: a good job of evoking the sounds and feeling of native
American music.
Roy Redman

You might be interested in several of my pieces which use Native American
texts. Grandfather, Great Spirit (Sioux prayer) is for treble chorus,
alto flute, windchimes, piano, hand drum, suspended cymbal and rattles.
In the Beauty Way (Leo Platero) is for children's voices with adult
chorus (unison women/ unison men) and piano in English, with chanted
Navajo text. I See the Universe (High Eagle, Osage/Cherokee Tribes) is
for SATB with piano. My Heart Soars (Chief Dan George) is for 2-part
treble voices with piano and flute. Song of the Earth Spirit (SATB
with piano) and Eagle Poem (Joy Harjo) (SATB, piano and oboe) should be
out this year. All are published by Boosey & Hawkes.

If you'd like, I could send you single copies of whatever sounds
interesting to you.

Best wishes in your search.

David Brunner

Carl Strommen's "Spirit Eternal" (Carl Fischer Publishing) is exactly what
you're describing!'s wonderful music, too.

CM8621 $1.60


David Giardiniere, PhD
Choral Music Editor
J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc.
Phone: 1-800-345-6296
Email: dgiardin(a)

I'd be very interested in the compilation. Kenneth Jennings, former
conductor of St. Olaf Choir had a set of Native American texts, and I don't
recall if he set them to his own music or used Native American tunes.
Sorry, I can't recall publisher.

Harvey D. Huiner, Coordinator
Music Program, School of Communication and the Arts
Lynchburg College, 1501 Lakeside Drive
Lynchburg, VA 24501-3199
fax: 434/544-8499

Some suggestions:
"Heleluyan," arr. Jerry Ulrich. this is a fine setting of a Muskogee
"Native Circles" (I think) is a 10-minute work, employing Native
American poetry, by James McCray, commissioned by Central Michigan
University. It employs a large drum, flute, oboe, soloists, and
movement by the singers, who hold egg shakers. We performed it at an
MENC convention. It is very interesting, and I do not believe it has
been published.
There is a set of three native American pieces by Brent Pierce for
choir and percussion. Published by Walton. Can't remember the name of
the set.
"Crying for a Dream" by Rene Clausen, for choir, piano, flute, and
narrators. 3 movements, about 25 minutes in length.
Ron Jeffers' work, on Chief Seattle's text about "We belong to the
earth, the earth does not belong to us...", is published by Earthsongs
in several languages. Ron lent me slides to project behind the choir as
we were singing it. Very effective, and simple.
I would be very interested in receiving a copy of a compilation of
suggestions. I would love to use more native american texts in my
choral concerts.
Nina Nash-Robertson
Central Michigan University

You may want to consider Crying For A Dream by Rene Clausen. Though not
written in the Native American musical style, it does incorporate Native
American texts. You may purchase a recording at:

The Choral Music of René Clausen (Volume I)

Crying For A Dream
1. I. Hear Me, I Will Live
2. II. War Song
3. III. How Can You Buy The Sky (paraphrased from Chief Seattle)

It is written for two pianos, rain stick, ocean drum and I believe limited
triangle and drum.

Hope this helps.


I would be grateful to receive your compilation once completed. Thanks.

Here are a few suggestions of works about Native Americans. Both are
accessible and enjoyable to rehearse and perform.

Native American Ambiance's? Jackson Berkey ?printer

Songs from the Paiute Halsey Stevens Mark Foster

John Erwin
Director of Choral Music Music
University of Central Arkansas Arkansas Chamber
201 South Donaghey
Conway, AR 72035
501 450 5757

"Earth, Sky, Spirit" by Alice Parker (1986), for children's choir and
orchestra. Native American texts.

Information from Alice Parker, alice(a)

Happy hunting,
Nick Jones
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

I would highly recommend two works by Tom Benjamin: Mother Earth, Father Sky
and The Sacred Hoop. Both are available through Yelton Rhodes Music

Jason Shelton
Director of Music
First Unitarian Universalist
Church of Nashville, TN

on August 15, 2002 10:00pm
Where can I order any so called world music from the U.S. and Canadaj?
on June 3, 2004 10:00pm
These are some more song ideas that I received from a Choral list query. David

Crying for a Dream- Rene Clausen

You might contact Dr. Edith Copley, Dir. of Choral Studies at Northern AZ
University. I remember singing a new suite of Native American Music with
her a few years ago. I don't know whether or not it is published, but she
could tell you. This suite is not arranged, but original, using N A themes.
You can contact Edie at She may be in Europe on tour
right now, but should be back by end of May (I think).

Doug Benton
Dir. of Music Ministries
Gold Canyon UMC, AZ

I have found settings of Native
American (Amerindian) texts but
settings of music is another issue.

I assume you know the Huron Indian Carol ('Twas in the Moon",) which is
really a French

Bob Sabourin
Midland, MI

Here I Am- from the Movie Spirit of the Cimeron
SATB. Beautiful

Heather Hargett

My arrangement of "Ancient Mother" is published by Moon of Hope Publishing.

It is for SATB / piano and can be easily adapted for SAB or SSA.

Bart Bradfield

Nukapianguaq arr. by Stephen Hatfield
Two Native American Songs arr. by Barbara Sletto
A Native American Prayer by Nolan Schmit (not authentic Native American music, but uses influences---text is WONDERFUL!)
Requiem by Eleanor Daley (another Native American text set beautifully to music, not necessarily "Native American music" though)
Hozhonji Song --can't remember the editor--Boosey & Hawkes CME Series

There is a piece I have gotten from JWPepper's Eprint called "Spirit
Eternal". I am not sure if it is an authentic Native American piece or just
"written in the style of". I haven't performed it yet, but it seems to be
wonderful. We are doing a mass choir at my church this fall and using this
as we combine the preschool choirs up to the adult choirs. There is also a
wonderful 7/8 dance section in the middle.

Tiffany DePriest
NWG Director
Hendersonville, TN

I recommend "Native American Ambiances" by Jackson Berkey; a wonderful
work for mixed chorus, tenor and soprano solos, Native American flute,
and prerecorded percussion and natural environment sounds. It is
published by SDG Press.
It will be very interesting to see the compilation

Gary Anderson
Transylvania University
Lexington, Kentucky

Brett Michael Davids, a native American composer, has a number of fine

If you include your parameters to include aboriginal Canadian works, there
are several that I know of. A friend of mine is in the process of compiling
just such a list for a presentation.

- Ian Loepky

Take a look at Brent Michael Davids' work
( Also, I have a piece entitled
"Navajo Blessing" which is a setting of a traditional blessing chant.
The music is original, though.

David Moore

This past fall, I made a four-part arrangement of a Muscogee (Creek)
Indian tune, "Heleluyan". My choir did it at a state festival
recently and it was well received by the judges. If you're
interested, send me your address and I'll drop a copy in the mail.
I'd also love to see a compilation of the responses you receive.

Margaret Anne

Watane arr. by Mark Sirett B&H ssaa
This is a wonderful setting of an Iroquois lullaby that starts with
fragments of the lullaby and builds to a 5-part setting with descant. It
uses rainstick, chimes, shaker and frame drum.

Linda A. Beaupr