A Clerestory Songbook

Clerestory has created its own arrangements of the songs we want to sing for a while now—you may remember such favorites as Jesse Antin’s gorgeous Sure on this Shining NightJohn Bischoff’s version of Joni Mitchell’s California, and Dan Cromeene’s uproarious Hippopotamus Song. Arranging songs allows us to illuminate the parts of the music we find particularly interesting, and to showcase the strengths of the singers, not to mention the fabulous arrangers.

Among the joys, arranging has its challenges—mostly legal. It’s difficult to wade through copyright law to make sure the composers of the songs get their appropriate credit and payment, but we endeavor to do so each time. easysonglicensing.com has been particularly helpful in that regard. If anyone has legal expertise around music publishing, copyright, entertainment law, or digital recordings, we’d love your advice. Please write to info@clerestory.org, and thank you!

For our upcoming Songbook concerts, you’ll hear three new covers of popular songs by three of Clerestory’s own. Dan Cromeenes has sent our voices into the skies for Over the Rainbow—written by Harold Arlen for the movie musical, The Wizard of Oz. The song became a signature of the late, great Judy Garland, and has been covered countless times from the 20th century through today. Watch the timeless original below.

John Bischoff resurrected a piece he arranged for his Princeton a cappella quartet—the little-known Frank Sinatra hit, East of the Sun, by early 20th century Princeton student Brooks Bowman. This sultry ballad has received the jazz treatment from greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Krall. Hear Sinatra’s version—the one that caught John’s ear—below.

The final Clerestory Songbook offering comes from our newest board member—lawyer, composer, singer, and renaissance man, John Kelley. You’ve hear his Haunted Heart on Clerestory’s Bacchanalia concerts, and John wanted to arrange the Jerome Kern classic, The Way You Look Tonight for these concerts. We’re happy to step slightly outside our comfort zone to add a little bossa nova groove and vocal percussion to this beautiful song.