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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

"Stars" Theme Elementary Choral Program

I don't do themes for my concerts very often- I find it too restrictive most of the time for me to get the perfect songs for my elementary choirs- but I just did a winter concert with the theme of "stars" and I was so happy with it I had to share! If you are looking for a chorus program for your elementary choirs, or just some good selections to add to your concert, these are great options!

I got the idea to do a stars theme because I found a couple of songs that referenced stars that I liked for my groups, and got excited about the possibility of tying into our school's PBIS theme of STAR behavior (safe, trustworthy, accountable, respectful). I think this theme is a great one for anyone to use, though, and could work any time of year as well! 

For context, I have 2 elective pullout choir classes that meet during the school day for 30 minutes once a week. One is a combined 5th and 6th grade chorus, and the other is a 4th grade chorus. This year I had around 45 in each group. I focus on beginning choral pieces with canon and partner singing with 4th grade, and more parallel harmony, a capella singing, solo opportunities, and a mix of traditional choral and pop arrangements with 5th and 6th grade. Here are the songs I used for our concert (plus a couple of bonus songs I considered but didn't end up using)

4th grade chorus:

Hushabye, Nanita Nana

Catch a Falling Star (I had them repeat the lyrics for the first verse in place of the second verse)

5th and 6th grade chorus:

Shooting Star

White Winter Hymnal (this was the only one that didn't fit the theme specifically)

4th, 5th, and 6th grade combined chorus:

Dancing in the Dark (4th grade learned the melody, 5th and 6th grade added an upper harmony on the chorus and had soloists for verse 2)

other songs I considered:

A Sky Full of Stars

We Are Stars

We Are All the Stars

Ad Astra

The students and I all enjoyed learning the songs, and it was the perfect level of challenge for my groups with only having about 10 rehearsals to put it all together (since our concert was at the beginning of December)! I will definitely be pulling some of these songs out again in a few years. 

If you want to read more about how and why I use pop songs in elementary chorus, here are two posts on that (with a running list of all the songs I have done):

If you want to read my teaching process for canon singing and partner singing in 3rd and 4th grade, here are my posts on that:

And you can catch up on all my posts related to all things elementary choir here! I hope this is helpful for anyone looking for selections for their next concert!

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