© 2019 by Yuri Woodstock
(828) 489 4240
Celo, North Carolina

Practice Tracks

~A note on cultural appropriation~

•Recordings are for your ears only! Do not disseminate.  For real.  It's illegal.•

•And bare with me on some of these, they're quite imperfect.  Sometimes its flat by the end of the recording, or my voice is straining.  But I hope these rough cuts get the basic parts across!•

•There will be a growing number of tracks on here as the season progresses. I suggest 

                                   1.  Create a shortcut to his page on your desktop
                                   2. Use the search function to find the song you're looking                                          for.  ctrl. + F or cmmd. + F 

Darkness is Good - Baka/M'Buti & Ysaye Barnwell
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Singing Ourselves Home - Sophia Efthimiou
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The big hit by Natural Voice Network's Sophia Efthimiou that welcomes and challenges us to be home in our bodies and in our unique and present song.  Here is a ted talk where she teaches part of it, where you can get a taste of her energy.  Finding home, at every level, I believe is one of the biggest challenges of our era.


Teaching Tracks

This is home, where I belong
In this breath, in this heart
This is home, where I belong
In this Voice, in this song!

This Song shows us, very viscerally, how we can merge into an entity that is greater than the sum of its parts!  Overtones emerge and new melodies are discovered when we weave into this tight round.  Here is a video of Ysaye Barnwell teaching it. Great warm up!


I've Got a Feeling - Arnae Batson
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An upbeat gospel song by my fellow CCLT director and friend, Arnae Batson.


Teaching Tracks

I've Got a Feelin', That everything's gonna be alright...
Woah ooh ohh ~~
I've Got a Feelin', That everything's gonna be alright...x2
Be alright, be alright, be alright

This Sky - Laurence Cole
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This can be a fun and joyous reminder to keep afloat in a world that runs on love.  The recording is more subdued to convey the notes and timing.


Part 1  (3 Part Round) : "This Sky Where we live is no place to lose our wings, so love, love love.
Part 2: "The Beating, The beating, the beating of my wings completes me, completes me ... and carries me across the sea of separation, to the land of deep connection."


Noyana - Shona -
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A song in the Shona language that means "will you get there?" implying, to heaven, though I apply its meaning to many things when I sing it.


Teaching Tracks

Noyana, Noyana
Noyana Noyana
Nitini, Noyana
Noyana, Pe-Sulu

Love that you were Here with me - Ali Burns
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A beautiful and heartfelt song of gratitude and parting.  This is a great one to learn a few of the parts of with a few friends, such that when somebody departs, you could break into this layered caress as they leave, singing our friends in and out of our days and lives...  I have all six parts, but I find that combinations of three or four work best. And All parts can be sung the octave down for lower voices!


Teaching Tracks

Love that you were here with me,
Love that you were with me
In my waking, and in my sleeping,
love that you were with me.

Serenity - Karly Loveling
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This three part chant can help us carry the famous serenity prayer, originally written by  theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.  Great insta-song that I greatly encourage you to learn all the parts of and try teaching!


Teaching Tracks

-Grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change
-Give me courage to change the things I can
-Wisdom, be mine, that I may know the difference

Let the Way Be open - Abigail McBride Arr. Pamela Blevins-Hinkle
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Can we get out of our own ways? This is a constant question for me.  I love the way this song addressed that, allowing creative forces of the world through!  This is a newer arrangement of a classic community song that takes it to new realms of choral possibility.  I added the chant at the end. 


Teaching Tracks

Sing Through my voice,
play through my hands
let the way be open

Sun Arise - Helen Yeomans
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A powerful and chilling ode to the Winter Solstice, death and rebirth. Another one from the Natural Voice Network and one of my favorite composers ever.


Teaching Tracks

Sun arise, sun arise
As the earth Turns 'round, 
all is still, without sound
hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah 

Kumbaya - Traditional, Contrmporary Arr.
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I usually begin teaching this song with a noticeable chuckle from the group. To "sing Kumbaya" has come to imply useless gestures at unification and bridge building, a normalized snarkiness that seems to assume the inevitability of divisiveness between people.  Perhaps the song was overused in the sixties and seventies and thus became a stereotype.  But this song, in its time, as a part of the powerful civil rights movement and so many movements that have permanently changed the consciousness of this country, it shouldn't be overlooked.  
     The story often goes that Missionaries in Angola taught the words "come by here" to natives, and their accent/pronunciation stuck, with the song arriving back in the states as "Kumbaya".  But this story is most likely erroneous and seems to come from a single pastor who liked the story.  There are recordings from the twenties, and it surely comes from even earlier times, amongst Gulla peoples, and also from Tennessee. It's important to know that there are varying opinions of how this song should be sung.  I've heard an account of Ysaye Barnwell insisting that it is a lament, and shouldn't ever be sung as a light or joyous song. It was passed to me by a Pastor at Village Fire who I believe made this arrangement, and he encouraged its use as a community prayer.   Here is an article with more on this song.


Oh the Places you'll go - Sandage, Robinsong, Filipino, Rockne
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At one of the reunions of choir leaders like me who took the CCLT training, there was an exercise in coming up with a song from scratch, and four people produced this wonderfully goofy song in about a half hour, based on the poetry of Dr. Seuss, from Oh the Places You'll  Go.   Just try to sing this song and be serious.  It's impossible.


Teaching Tracks

- I wake up to a new day, and all I love is all around me 
- North, South, East, West, Go which direction feels the best
-You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes
you can steer yourself any direction you choose!

Teaching Tracks

Kumbaya, My lord, Kumbaya
Kumbaya, My lord, Kumbaya
Kumbaya, My lord, Kumbaya
Oh Lord, Kimbaya

Pigogo - The Agape Choir of S. Africa
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Featured in the film We Are Together, This one comes from the vibrant choral traditions of South Africa.  The words mean "Thuli, you are so beautiful, every time we walk together, people say you look like a peacock!" Another translation I've heard is that it more subtly implies that Thuli is vain like a peacock.  Either way, it's a beautiful song, and the song itself transforms into a peacock, as all the parts replace their words with "tee wee wee" . Very fun to sing!  Here's an original recording


Teaching Tracks

Nawe Thuli
Nawe Thuli
ubizwa ipigogo

UMangi hamba nawe Thuli
ubizwa ipigogo

When You Wake Up - Ellison Graham
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This sweet little round came to Ellison in a dream.  A good one to sing to yourself first thing!


When you wake up
may the day embrace you 

Hate Has No Home Here -
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Taught to me by Community Song Leader Laura Sandage, This song is a mantra to clear a space, inward or outward, of the divisive forces we contain. It's hard to stop it once it gets going!