I recently composed an arrangement of the famous Louis Armstrong song “What A Wonderful World” while student teaching at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, NC. Sound, the bass ensemble, was asked to perform at the school district’s Teacher of the Year celebration, and the organizers of the event requested that they perform “What A Wonderful World.” When Ms. Beth Philemon, who teaches at Sanderson, and I set out to look for an arrangement, we were unable to find something that could be sung by the group’s nine members and didn’t call for complicated divisi or a mixed-voice ensemble. I eventually set out to write a new arrangement for the occasion.
As of today, that arrangement is available digitally from Sheet Music Plus through their ArrangeMe program. I’ve written a cappella arrangements in the past, but it was a special treat to work to make this arrangement interesting to listen to while easily within the grasp of a small ensemble and limited parts. I also made an effort to make the notation and voice ranges accessible to ensembles of any combination of voices. Any music director or conductor programming this arrangement should feel free to assign the parts however they believe sounds best; I promise it will work no matter what. My special thanks go out to Beth Philemon and Sanderson for allowing me to work with their choirs and for encouraging me to publish my work.
Below is a recording of the arrangement I made with the wonderful Julie Gaulke. Look forward to an upcoming blog post where I explain my process for making choral demos like this one.