TEACHING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THE BEST CHORAL REPERTOIRE FROM THE GREAT COMPOSERS: MASTERWORKS AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE, FREE ACCESS FROM THE CHORAL PUBLIC DOMAIN LIBRARY
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Studying the choral works of the great composers of the past is always a worthy endeavor. For those aspiring to create an excellent high school choral program, it is critical to a student's musical foundation and heritage. Choral educators who teach high school are often bombarded with the most recently published new choral works, when they have a trove of excellent pieces right at their fingertips through websites like the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL), all available at no cost. This project will explore the pedagogical reasons why this canon of public domain choral music should be taught at the high school level. A thorough guide to CPDL and an anthology of 200 works available on CPDL will provide the conductor with resources for programming this music. Though choral music in the public domain is free to all, publishers still publish this music and adhere copyright claims. This can create mistrust of legitimate editions on CPDL; why are they available at no cost when publishers are claiming copyright on similar editions? These issues will be thoroughly discussed in this project. For any given work on CPDL, there may be multiple editions available on the site. Choosing the right edition requires knowledge about basic editorial principles, especially for works written during the Renaissance period. A detailed discussion of these principles will provide the conductor with the tools needed to choose the best edition for his or her ensemble.