• Jonathan Dove
  • Search for Spring (2020)
    (A Crowd Action)

  • Peters Edition Limited (World)
  • 5 Large Adult Choruses and Children's Chorus
  • chchchchchchildrch
  • 45 min

Programme Note

Search for Spring explores crowd-like behaviour between five adult choruses, with a children’s chorus appearing towards the end of the piece. The adult choruses should each have about 200 singers, with at least 100 children.


The overall effect should be of a kind of rally or demonstration. Whatever staging or movement is envisaged, each chorus must be able to keep together rhythmically, and is expected to remain in a group. Each chorus should maintain a strong sense of pulse, but in a large performing space with a thousand performers, exact synchronization between choruses is not required or expected. Conviction and group feeling are more important than metronomic accuracy. However, it is vital that pitch is consistent across all the choruses. Pitch-pipes are recommended.


It is hoped that the piece can largely be performed from memory, with minimal visual cues. Much of the music is made up of short, repeated phrases. To simplify learning, many passages are not written out in full. Some repeats are marked x 2, to distinguish them from indefinite repeats.


Sometimes, as at the beginning, the choruses are asked to maintain distinct tempos. Each chorus needs its own conductor, who might act as cheerleader as well as, or instead of, conducting: in some passages it could be effective for the conductor to sing the first iteration of a repeated phrase as a solo.


In many places, the exact number of repetitions is up to the conductors. Where timing is given in seconds, this is only an approximation: the conductors should respond to the acoustic and atmosphere of the performance.


The choruses sometimes sing in unison, sometimes divisi a 2 (where each half should have a spread of the voice-types) and sometimes divided into sopranos, altos, baritones (SAB). These are not genderspecific. ‘Baritones’ embraces a mixture of basses, baritones and tenors. At the very end, each adult chorus divides into five equal parts, in whatever way best suits the voices available.