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Six Months at Seven-Eleven
This piece was inspired by my experiences working at 7-Eleven while I was in college. Each movement is a tone poem about a fellow employee of mine (except Officer Peer, a West Virginia State Trooper who often came to the store when the police were called), and each person is represented by a solo wind instrument. Prior to rehearsal, it may be prudent to assign parts in all 2, 3, and 4 way splits to avoid confusion later on.
1. Sandy (Bassoon): This movement is based on an incident that occurred late one night when a customer threw a cup of nacho cheese at Sandy, and her response was to call the police. In the first three measures, the middle tenor drifts between G sharp and G natural. Don't worry about getting it perfectly in tune (in fact, it's better if it's not). The letter 'a' in the syllables 'Bap' and 'Wah' should be pronounced like 'fat' or 'cat', and the more nasal the better. Note the piano cluster in measure 28. At measure 30, the choir will have to figure out their notes from the bassoon part. The tenor glissando in measures 34 and 35 is not aiming for any particular bottom note. It should just be a nice long fall, and if it gets out of tune, that's fine. The entrance of the Horn represents Officer Peer's arrival at the store to take statements from Sandy and myself regarding the crime.
2. Jane (Alto Sax): This movement has swung eighths throughout. It should be fun and bouncy. Think: the Andrews Sisters, or the Manhattan Transfer. As opposed to their pronunciation in Sandy, the syllables 'Wah' and 'Nah' should be smooth and dark. Because of its closed nature, the 'dl' syllable in scoodly should sound like a ghost note. The same goes for 'd' in 'place-'d'. In the last measure, the sax and piano should really take their time.
3. Rhonda (Euphonium): Rhonda was the manager of the store. The minimalist style of this movement represents the day-in, day-out, unending, unchanging, boring drudgery of this kind of work. Resist the temptation to hurry through it. There is no specifically correct tempo at measure 35, just as long as it is more than twice as fast as the beginning section. The eighth note should remain constant through all meter changes. In measure 68, only basses who can really sing it should attempt the low note. Also, be reminded that accidentals only apply to the measure in which they appear.
4. Officer Peer (F Horn): Careful attention must be paid to the split thirds which appear frequently throughout. The parking lot at my 7-Eleven had a one-way traffic flow which customers consistently ignored. Some of the text is taken from the ingredients of Fun Dip, and some is just made up of nonsense phrases.
5. Sylvia (Clarinet): In measures 8 and 9, the top soprano part may be sung by just one person if so desired. Starting with the pickups to measure 25, the altos and tenors should blend together to achieve as androgynous a sound as possible. The ending should be soft and sweet.
*Full Set includes 20 vocal scores and all wind parts.
Copyright 2012 Peter Hopkins