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SuggestionsforyourPAAPerformance

Aperformancecantakeanumberofdifferentforms:

Extractfromamusical
Anextractofthecorrectdurationcanbetakenfromanexistingmusicalwithminormodificationsto
suitcastsize,age,genderandthegradeyouareenteringyourstudentsfor.Ifyouareusingthefull
scoreyoumayneedtosimplifythings(eg.removesomeharmonylines,orperhapstransposeintoa
moresuitablekey).Ifyouareworkingfromavocalselection(highlightsofthemusicalina
songbook)withascriptyoumayneedtoaddadditionalmusicandharmoniestorecreatethefeelof
theoriginal.
Fullvocalscoresarenotalwaysreadilyavailableormaycostasmuchas50formanyrecent
musicals.OlderclassicmusicalssuchasMyFairLadyarereadilyavailableinmanyformatsand
arefairlyinexpensive(usuallyaround15forafullvocalscore). Thesameistrueofthescriptsor
librettos.
Belowarejustafewexamplesofmusicalsthatsuitableextractscouldbetakenfrom.Amore
extensivelistofsongsuggestionscanbefoundlateron:
BugsyMaloneFatSamsgangsceneleadingintoBadguysGrades13
LittleShowofHorrorsProloguemovingintoopeningscenewithSkidRownumberGrades48
MyFairLadyFlowermarketsceneincorporatingthesongWouldntitbeloverlythisscene
offersachanceformultipleperformerstotakeonlinesGrades15
AnnieAct1,Scene1,OrphanagesceneincorporatingMaybeLittleGirlsandItsaHardKnock
LifeGrades13
OliverExcerptfromopeningWorkHousesceneincorporatingFoodGloriousFoodandOliver!
Grades13
JesusChristSuperstarAct2,Scene1,(Thelastsupperscene)wouldbeachallengeforGrade68
candidates.

Ashortenedversionofamusical
Itispossibletocreateashortenedorabridgedversionofyourchosenmusicalusingtheimportant
narrativemoments.
Asastartingpointyouwillneedtoknowthestoryand,usingthesongbook,identifythekeymusical
momentsyouwouldliketouse.Rememberyouwillneedtofeatureacting,movement/danceand
singingatanappropriatelevelforthegradebeingundertaken.
Dialogueforkeyscenescaneitherbescriptedordevelopedthroughimprovisation.Largesectionsof
actioncanbe(andwillneedtobe)entirelyomitted.Whenyouhavearrangedthematerialyoumay
needtoconnectittogetherwithsomeadditionalnarration,whichcanbesplitamongstanumberof
performers.
Keepthestructureassimpleaspossible!

Example
Thebriefistocreateashortperformancelastingbetween1012minutesforGradeOnebasedon
TheWizardofOz
Firstly,choosethesongsandmusicusingthevocalselectionbook.Agoodselectionwouldbe:
OvertheRainbowAslowballadthatshowsanabilitytosinglongheldphrasesintune.Youcould
perhapstransposethesongdowntobringthetopnotecomfortablywithintherangeofyounger
voices.Itsimportantthatitiswellsung.Withouttherepeatthesonglastslessthantwominutes.
DingDong!TheWitchisDeadUptemponumberwithlotsofscopeforsimplemovement.Youcan
cuttheverseandrepeatforashorterversion.Duration1minute.
TheJitterbugCouldbeafeatureddanceusingarecordingoftheoriginalfilmtrack.Cuttheverse
andanyrepeats.Duration2minutes.
WereofftoseetheWizardUptemposongwithwordylyricsandmovement.Thiscouldbe
reprisedinashortenedversiontoconnectscenes.Duration2minutes.
Themusic(includingfeatureddance)shouldlastforaroundtwothirdsofthetotalperformance
time.
Thenextstepistodevelopthescenesandlinkingdialogueasfollows:
Summarisethestoryinitsmostbasicformasasingleparagraph.Ifyoucantremembertheplot
anditcannotbefoundinthesongbookyoushouldbeabletofinditonline.Thereareanumberof
waysthatthestorycanbedeveloped.Forexample:
Condensethestoryintothesmallestnumberofimagesortableaux(uptoaroundadozenatmost).
Eachoftheseimageswillformthebasisofaveryshortscene.
Acoupleofexamples:
Tableau1TheTornado.WeseeDorothysuckedupandtransportedtotheLandofOz.
Tableau2DorothymeetstheTinMan,ScarecrowandLionforthefirsttime.

Theseimagescouldbedevelopedworkingwiththeperformersintheirdramasessionsintoavery
simplescene.
Finallyarunningordercanbeestablishedwithadditionallinkingnarration.Dependingonthe
numberofscenesyoumayneedtorepriseportionsofmusicandlinksomeofthescenestogether.
Makesurethatyourfinalpiecedoesntoverrunontime(ifitstoolongyouwillneedtotrimitback,
ifitstooshortitmaybeanideatoreprisesomeofthemusic).

Aperformancearoundatheme
Findanumberofmusicalitems,poemsordramaticideasalllinkedbyacommontheme.Thetheme
canbeasabstractorasconcreteasyoulike.
AnabstractthememightbeTimeandamoreconcretethemecouldbetheBrothersGrimmFairy
Tales

OriginalIdea
Trytodeviseaverysimpleideaforaminimusical.Makesurethatthecontextandsettinglend
themselvestothecastmembersyouhaveavailable.Developthisideaintoanumberofveryshort
scenesinvolvingmultiplecharacters.Placesongsbetweenthescenesthatcreateopportunitiesfor
movementand/ordanceandsingingthatisappropriatetothegradeyouareenteringfor.
HeresanexampleofanideathatcouldworkatGrade8.
ThelocationandtimeThepresentday.
TheactiontakesplaceatthestudiosofafailingAmericanTVstation.
WeseethestationatworkThenews,theweather,abadAmericansoapopera,aJeremyKyletype
daytimechatshow.
ThebossfromtheNetworkturnsupandtellsthestationthatiftheyhaventdoubledtheirratingsin
oneweekthestationwillclose.
Someonecomesupwithabrilliantideatosavethestation.

Inthiscaseitisimportantthattheplotissimpleanddoesntrevolvearoundoneperson.
Allthatremainsistofindsongsthatwillworkwithinthecontextofthepiece.(Forexamplethe
abovemusicalwouldworkverywellwithDollyPartonsNinetoFiveastheopeningnumber).
BeingaGrade8piecethemusicalstandardwouldneedtobeveryhighwithharmonyworkand
plentyofmovementdemonstratingthecastsabilitytosingenergeticallyanddanceatthesame
time.
Onlytakeonthisoptionifyouarealreadyexperiencedatputtingtogetherpresentationsand
shortperformances.RememberitMUSTmeetthecriteriaforthegradeyouareentering.

Suggested Songs for Group Grade Exams

Title

Show

Grade

Notes

Where to find?

Suggested format

I Don't Need Anything


but you

Annie

Energetic number. Good opportunity for basic dance.

Vocal selections

Duet plus ensemble. Try and use indicated


harmony in thirds.

Over the Rainbow

Wizard of
OZ

Useful song for emphasis on tone quality.

The Wizard of Oz:


Vocal Selections

Split intomany short solos or perform as


ensemble. May require transposing down!

It's a Hard Knock Life

Annie

Useful for emphasising diction, some choreography


desirable.

Vocal selections

Ensemble piece.

I Whistle a Happy tune

The King
and I

Simple, effective song requiring choregraphed movement.

Vocal score
available

Ensemble.

Bigger isn't better

Barnum

Wordy character song for young performers. A good


alternative to 'Little People' from Les Miserables.

Vocal selections
from Barnum

Ensemble

Any Dream Will Do

Joseph

Aim for a good tone and basic use of dynamics.

Vocal Selections

Ensemble with optional solos. Add simple


harmonies as required for the chorus moments.

Colonel Hathi's march

The Jungle
Book

Wordy song for young voices with choreographed


movement.

Lots of versions
available

Ensemble with optional solos.

Hushaby Mountain

Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang

Useful for showcasing long phrases.

Vocal Selections
(Updated edition)

Ensemble or split into several solos. Consider


transposing down or creating a lower harmony
line if too high.

Food Glorious Food

Oliver!

Fair diction, sustained energy and choreographed


movement/dance desirable.

Vocal Selections

Ensemble. Add simple harmonies to higher


sections if required or transpose down slightly.

You're Never Fully


Dressed Without a
Smile

Annie

Energised vocal parts. Choreographed movement/dance


desirable.

Vocal selections

Ensemble number, may require slight downward


transposition.

Maybe

Annie

Concentrate on quality of tone.

Vocal selections

Ensemble number with opportunity for soloists.

Hakuna Matata

The Lion
King

Plenty of energy and basic characterisation desirable.

A variety of
versions are
available

Ensemble with optional solos in opening verses.

Toot Sweets

Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang

High energy and fair diction required. Choreographed


movement/dance desirable.

Vocal Selections
(Updated edition)

Ensemble or split into several solos. Consider


transposing down or creating a lower harmony
line if too high.

Vocal Selections
('Our Singing
School' backing CD
also available)

Ensemble.

Fat Sam's Grand Slam

Bugsy

Energetic, wordy song with choreographed


movement/dance

Castle on a Cloud

Les
Miserables

Good opportunity to feature young performers. Focus on


a bright clear sound with good diction.

Piano/Vocal
selections

Ensemble or broken into a number of short


solos.

Little People

Les
Miserables

Good opportunity to feature young performers with


plenty of character.

The legendary
musicals of Boublil
and Schonberg

Ensemble or broken into a number of short


solos.

No one is Alone

Into the
Woods

Encourages performers to sing long phrases and think


about tone.

Vocal selections

Focus on quality of sound and full long phrases.

Not while I'm around

Sweeney
Todd

Useful for exhibiting longer phrases and a good tone.

Vocal selections

Ensemble with optional solos.

The bare necessities

The Jungle
Book

Wordy song that needs a good level of energy and some


choregraphed movement.

Lots of versions
available

Ensemble with optional solos.

Do Re Me

The Sound
of Music

A wordy song requiring clear diction and high energy.

Vocal Selections

Can be split in a two part ensemble.

Whistle
Whistle down the Wind down the
wind

Long sustained phrases required with good tone.

Numerous versions
available

Ensemble with optional solos. Consider


transposing down slightly if necessary.

Into the Woods

Into the
Woods

Wordy song with melodic moments.

Vocal selections

Create a chorus of 'Little Red Riding Hoods' to


make this an ensemble number.

Circle of Life

The Lion
King

Long sustained phases desirable.

A variety of
versions are
available

Transpose down or create lower harmony part if


too high. Ensemble with optional solos.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang

High energy and good diction required. Choreographed


movement/dance desirable.

Vocal Selections
(Updated edition)

Ensemble with optional solos.

Flash, Bang, Wallop

Half a
Sixpence

A fun, wordy song, choregraphed movement desirable.

Vocal score
available

Ensemble.

The Lonely Goatheard

The Sound
of Music

Very wordy. Clear diction and plenty of energy required to


sustain this song.

Vocal Selections

Can be adapted as ensemble piece.

Feed the birds

Mary
Poppins

Concentrate on good tone and well-sutained phrases

Piano/Vocal
Selection

Simplify Choir harmonies into one line.

Mcavity

Cats

Wordy song with choreographed movement.

Cats: Vocal
Selections

Ensemble

We're off to the see


the Wizard

Wizard of
OZ

Good diction and breath control desirable.

The Wizard of Oz:


Vocal Selections

Ideal ensemble number.

Wouldn't it be lovely

My Fair
Lady

Great for basic characterisation and opportunity for


accent.

Vocal score and


vocal selection
available

Ensemble or split into solos with multiple 'Elisa's.

Consider Yourself

Oliver!

Solid diction, sustained energy and choreographed


movement/dance desirable.

Vocal Selections

Perform as ensemble number without solos.

Doll on a Music Box

Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang

Strong diction required and choreographed movement


desirable.

Vocal Selections
(Updated edition)

Ensemble number.

Tomorrow

Annie

Concentrate on quality of tone.

Vocal selections

Ensemble or multiple solos. Use indicated


harmony in thirds if possible.

Ensemble.

Sing as ensemble number with optional solos.

Bad Guys

Bugsy

Character song that lends itself to basic movement.

Vocal Selections
('Our Singing
School' backing CD
also available)

When a fella's not


engaged

Pirates of
Penzance

The famous 'Policeman's Chorus'.

Original score and


Junior Versions
readily available

Can you Feel the Love


Tonight?

The Lion
King

Dancing Queen

Mamma
Mia

I Have a Dream

Mamma
Mia

Thank you for the


Music

Mamma
Mia

Get me to the Church


on Time

Tricky syncopated rhythms to be mastered in main vocal.

High energy song with dance.

A variety of
versions are
available

Works well with several solos plus ensemble.


Tranpose down or create lower harmony if too
high.

Abba Gold or
Ensemble number with opportunity for soloists.
Mamma Mia Try to incorparate elements of simple harmony
highlights from the
with more able groups.
movie (SSA)

Focus on quality of sound and long, sustained phrases.

Abba Gold or
Mamma Mia highlights from the
movie (SSA)

Focus on quality of sound and long, sustained phrases.

Abba Gold or
Emsemble with solos. Verses should be sung an
Mamma Mia octave lower than written! E or F major would
highlights from the
be better keys.
movie (SSA)

My Fair
Lady

Requires sustained singing and energy whilst dancing.

Vocal score and


vocal selection
available

Ensemble with solo. Incorporate simple


harmonies for more able groups.

What I did for love

A Chorus
line

A great song for slightly older girls.

Vocal selection

Ensemble with optional multiple solos.

One Brick at a Time

Barnum

An excellent song for intermediate level performers.

Vocal selections
from Barnum

Two part ensemble. Consider substituting the


word 'guts' for the american term 'spunk' to
avoid sniggering!

The Ballad of Sweeney


Todd

Sweeney
Todd

Requires strong diction and intensity, intermediate


choreographed movement desirable.

Vocal selections

Ensemble with scope for optional solos and


simple harmony work.

Ensemble with optional solos. Sing an octave


lower than written! Try to incorporate the
suggested thirds harmonies in piano part. C
major might be an alternative key if too low.

Go Go Joseph

Joseph

A scene within a song! Useful for multiple characters

Vocal Selections

Ensemble with multiple musical characters. Add


simple harmonies if required in chorus sections.

I don't know how to


love him

Jesus Christ
Superstar

Long sustained phrases, good tone and plenty of


dynamics needed.

Vocal Selections

Ensemble with optional solos.

Pick a pocket or two

Oliver!

Character song that lends itself to movement.

Vocal Selection/Full
Piano Score

Replace solos with 2 or more groups.

Eidelweiss

The Sound
of Music

Concentrate on quality of tone and attractive, long


phrases.

Vocal Selections

Ensemble with optional solos.

Makes a great opening number to a revue.

Many version
available include
download.

Ensemble with optional solos.

Comedy tonight

A Funny
Thing
Happened
on the Way
to the
Forum

Timewarp

Rocky
Horror

High energy song with need for choreography.

Vocal Selections

Ensemble with optional solos. Add simple


harmonies for the chorus moments.

Razzle Dazzle

Chicago

Precise diction. Movement desirable.

Chicago: The
Musical (Vocal
Selections)

Perform as ensemble (optional solos) - may need


transposing to a lower key.

We Go Together

Grease

Lots of energy, strong diction and choreographed


dance/movement recommended.

Vocal Selections
(Updated edition)

Ensemble. Try adding some simple harmony


under main vocal in middle section.

At the End of the Day

Les
Miserables

Requires great diction and intensity with some


choregraphed movement.

Piano/Vocal
selections

Ensemble number. Try adding some simple


harmonies in thirds or sixths in the middle
section for additional effect.

Luck be a Lady

Guys and
Dolls

Energised 'sotto voce' singing required in opening


sections. Make good use of dynamics and choreographed
movement.

Summer Nights

Grease

Lots of character and energy required from everyone.


Choreographed movement needed.

Mamma Mia

Mamma
Mia

High energy song with dance.

Cabaret

Cabaret

Lots of energy, excellent diction and choreographed


dance/movement desirable.

Somebody to Love

We will
Rock You
(Queen)

High energy. Requires choregraphed movement.

Seasons of Love

Rent

Very wordy song that requires great musical accuracy.

Guys and Dolls


Works well for two ensemble groups with
(Vocal Score) and
separate vocal parts.
Vocal selections
Many versions
available including Redistribute some solo lines amongst ensemble school version
some harmony in evidence
(stageplays.com)
Abba Gold or
Ensemble number with opportunity for soloists.
Mamma Mia Try to incorparate elements of simple harmony
highlights from the
with more able groups. F major would be a
movie (SSA)
better key.
Vocal selection and
full piano score
Ensemble with opportunities for solos.
available
Lots of versions
Best simplified and performed split between two
available - inlcuding
groups.
Glee

Vocal Selections:
Rent

Two part ensemble with optional solos.

Glee version
Ensemble with solo rappers. Simplify harmonies
available as sheet
as required.
music or downlaod

Empire State of Mind

Glee

Opportunity for rapping with backing vocals.

Let's go fly a kite

Mary
Poppins

High energy number requiring choreographed movement.

Mack the Knife

The
Threepenny
Opera

Try to recreate the 'menace' of the original version rather Kurt Weill: Berlin to
than the better known Frank Sinatra cover.
Broadway

Anything Goes

Anything
Goes

Classic Cole Porter song requiring great diction and lots of


class.

Cole Porter
Songbook

Ensemble.

Tell me it's not true

Blood
Brothers

Focus on quality of sound and long, sustained phrases.

Blood Brothers:
Vocal Selections

Ensemble with optional solos.

Mr Mistoffelees

Cats

Wordy, energetic song for with need for lots of


choreographed movement.

Cats: Vocal
Selections

Ensemble with option solos

Great diction and breath control desirable (often whilst


dancing).

Hairspray: Vocal
Selections

Perform as ensemble (optional solos).

You Can't Stop the Beat Hairspray

Piano/Vocal
Selection

The vocal selections book contains full


harmonies. Simplify as required.

Ensemble with solos.

Good Morning
Baltimore

Hairspray

High energy number with choreographed movement.

Hairspray: Vocal
Selections

Ensemble with optional solos in opening verses.

Master of the House

Les
Miserables

The emphasis should be on performing with great


character and energy. Gesture and movement should also
be incorporated.

Piano/Vocal
selections

Several solos with ensemble in the 'choruses'.

Bright New Day

Blood
Brothers

Action driven song - ideal for adaptation into an ensemble


piece.

Blood Brothers:
Vocal Selections

Money Money Money

Mamma
Mia

High energy song with dance.

Prologue

Little Shop
of Horrors

Requires high energy, diction and choregraphed


movement

Benjamin Capypso

Joseph

High energy Calypso number with dance.

I am the very model.

Pirates of
Penzance

Patter song requiring energy and stamina.

Greased Lightnin'

Grease

High energy ensemble number with dance.

America

West Side
Story

Strong characterisation and diction a must. Opportunity


for use of accent.

Full score and vocal


selections available

Ensemble with lots of solos.

Bohemian Rhapsody

We will
Rock You
(Queen)

Many different moods and styles of singing covered in


one song. Opportunity for interesting choreography.

(showtrax backing
available) Arranged
by Mark Brymer

Use the excellent two-part version that is


already cut and available with backing CD.

Who will buy?

Oliver!

Good diction, sustained energy and choreographed


movement/dance required.

Vocal
Selection/Choral
Selections (SSA)

Perform full show version with solos and


harmonies.

Supercalifragilisticexpia
lidocious

Mary
Poppins

Tongue twister requiring choreographed


movement/dance.

The saga of Jenny

Lady in the
Dark

Narrative song requiring lots of expressive use of the


voice.

Ensemble with optional solos.

Abba Gold or
Ensemble number with opportunity for soloists.
Mamma Mia Try to incorparate elements of simple harmony
highlights from the
with more able groups.
movie (SSA)
Perform as an ensemble or keep the orginal
Vocal selections
three part motown style (the harmonies can be
recreated from the piano part).
Full vocal score (not Ensemble with optional solos. Add harmonies in
in vocal selections)
chorus as required.
Original score and
Junior Versions
readily available
Many versions
available including
school version

Ensemble piece that could be split bewtween


multiple 'Major Generals'.
Ensemble. Try adding some harmonies in sixths
for a fuller sound.

Piano/Vocal
Find a version appropirate to your group - from
Selection - (full
a simple two part arrangement to published
harmonies available
version with full production harmonies.
here)
Kurt Weill: Berlin to
Broadway

Ensemble with solos.

This is the Moment

Jeckyl and
Hyde

Long sustained phrases required with good tone.

Vocal Selections

Ensemble with optional solos. Consider


transposing down slightly if necessary.

Me and my Baby

Chicago

Crisp diction and varied dynamics recommended.


Choreography a must.

Chicago: The
Musical (Vocal
Selections)

Perform as ensemble (with optional solos).

Sit Down you're Rockin'


the Boat

Guys and
Dolls

Strong sustained singing whilst performing strong


choreographed movement required.

Guys and Dolls


(Vocal Score) and
Vocal selections

If using original score consider downward


transposition and simplification of harmonies.

Officer Krupke

West Side
Story

Strong characterisation and diction a must. Opportunity


for comedy and use of accent.

Full score and vocal


selections available

Ensemble with lots of solos.

With cat-like tread

Pirates of
Penzance

High energy number requiring choreographed movement.

Original score and


Junior Versions
readily available

May require transposing into a lower key.

I Know Where I've


Been

Hairspray

Long sustained phrases with very low notes in opening


verses.

Hairspray: Vocal
Selections

Perform as two part ensemble with many solo


opportunities in first half of song.

Freddie my Love

No-one Mourns the


Wicked

Grease

Wicked

Great number for older candidates with strong voices.

Many versions
available including
Try staging with a number of girls all writing
school version
letters to their boyfriends. Ensemble with solos.
(stageplays.com)

Requires great intensity and accurate singing.

Piano/Vocal
Ensemble number (if using basic vocal selections
selection available
try introducing some simple harmonies in 3rds
and Chorul
or 6ths on the higher sections).
highlights (SSA)

Piano/Vocal
Accuarate singing of syncopations required. Aim for good selection available
tone on long sustained phrases in chorus.
and Chorul
highlights (SSA)

Ensemble with optional solos. Incorporate


simple harmonies on chorus for more able
groups.

Defying Gravity

Wicked

Step in time

Mary
Poppins

Big dance number with complex harmony.

Piano/Vocal
Selection

The vocal selections book contains full


harmonies. Simplify as required.

Easy Terms

Blood
Brothers

Narrative song.

Blood Brothers:
Vocal Selections

Split into multiple solos.

Gus the Theatre Cat

Cats

Narrative song with many verses.

Cats: Vocal
Selections

Multiple solos and ensemble

One

A Chorus
line

Excellent diction and musical accuracy required with


dance or choreographed movement.

Vocal selection

Splits into two groups in the middle. Only put


musically adept students on the "She walks into
the room" part.

Skid Row

Little Shop
of Horrors

Narrative song with lots of interplay and harmonies

Vocal selections

Two part ensemble with solos. In the middle


section add some lower thirds to bring some of
the higher lines in everyone's range.

Fine, Fine Line

Avenue Q

Suitable for older girls due to content concerning


relationships.

Avenue Q: Vocal
Selections

Can be split into multiple solos.

Don't Stop Believin

Glee

An American 'Power Ballad' requiring lots of sustained


singing in the higher part of register. Choreographed
movement desirable.

Glee version
Ensemble with solo rappers. Simplify harmonies
available as sheet
as required.
music or download

Climbing over Rocky


Mountains

Pirates of
Penzance

High energy number for girls requiring choreographed


movement.

Original score and


Junior Versions
readily available

May require transposing into a lower key.

All that Jazz

Chicago

Long sustained phrases a challenge. Choreography a must.

Chicago: The
Musical (Vocal
Selections)

Perform as ensemble split into two vocal parts


(optional solos).

One Day More

Les
Miserables

A musically challenging number featuring muliptle melody CM Schonberg lines and narratives.
One Day More (SSA)

Splits into three ensemble groups.

Piano/Vocal
selection available
An advanced song, but in a good key for older candidates.
and Chorul
highlights (SSA)

Written as duet. Split into two part ensemble


with featured solos.

For Good

Wicked

Everything's Alright

Jesus Christ
Superstar

Challenging musically due to various different time


signatures and syncopations.

Vocal Selections

Ensemble with optional solos.

Do you Hear the


People Sing?

Les
Miserables

Good diction, energy and movement are required in this


number. Uses a wide vocal range.

Piano/Vocal
selections

Mainly ensemble with optional solos on verses.


Try adding harmony in thirds or sixths under the
main vocal in the higher sections to avoid
straining lower voices.