Everybody's Got a Place in the Choir

Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses - by themselves they may not be anything special, but combine them in a choir with a good conductor and they can become something spectaular. Here are some choirs - some are a source of community strength, some are a source of murderous anger.

Murder through the Grapevine

By Teresa McClain-Watson

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Roni Jarrett was once in love with a high-rolling strip club owner who abused her. With nothing left but her newfound faith in Christ and her old BMW, she hits the road and ends up in her old hometown, with a new job in an upscale beauty salon and a position as music director for her church. But when her best friend from childhood turns up dead in the streets, the local police (including gorgeous Chief Don Gillette) suspect Roni, and she finds herself caught up in a dangerous maze of gossip and lies that could lead to her own destruction.
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The Choir Director

By Carl Weber

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When he hires charismatic choir director Anthony Mackie to rejuvenate the First Jamaica Ministries, Bishop T.K. Knight discovers that Anthony has secrets that could destroy the church, while his wife, Monique, tries to discover who has been robbing the church blind.

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Something She Can Feel

By Grace Octavia

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Tuscaloosa, Alabama, may not be a glamorous place, but for Journey Cash, the small Southern town has always been enough. She has a loving husband, a great family, and she even occasionally brings the house down at church with her beautiful, thunderous singing voice. Problem is, Journey finds herself wondering if all those years as an obedient preacher's daughter have kept her from living a life she is really meant to live.

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Under the Greenwood Tree: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School

By Thomas Hardy

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The arrival of two newcomers in the quiet village of Mellstock arouses a bitter feud and leaves a convoluted love affair in its wake. While the Reverend Maybold creates a furor among the village's musicians with his decision to abolish the church's traditional 'string choir' and replace it with a modern mechanical organ, the new schoolteacher, Fancy Day, causes an upheaval of a more romantic nature, winning the hearts of three very different men - a local farmer, a church musician and Maybold himself. "Under the Greenwood Tree" follows the ensuing maze of intrigue and passion with gentle humour and sympathy, deftly evoking the richness of village life, yet tinged with melancholy for a rural world that Hardy saw fast disappearing.

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Out of the Frying Pan, into the Choir

By Sharon Kahn

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Trouble is brewing in Temple Rita. First, the choir's upcoming excursion to Banff and Lake Louise is in serious jeopardy when sagging latke sales don't raise enough money for the scenic train trip. Resident busybody Essie Sue thinks that hiring Bitsy, an aging peroxide-blond tart of a party planner, can help solve their problems. Ruby, our widowed heroine, disagrees, and all Bitsy manages to do is spend more money the temple doesn't have on a pathetic Chanukah concert.To make matters worse, Temple Rita's star soprano, Serena Salit, collapses right before her number. She's rushed to the hospital but later dies of heart failure. Ruby steps in quickly to support Serena's good friend Rose, a move that gets her right where she wants to be -- in the path of the gossip -- when Rose discovers some disturbing entries in Serena's electronic diary.

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When the Nightingale Sings

By Joyce Carol Thomas

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Despite her mean-spirited foster mother's attempts to demean her, fourteen-year-old orphan Marigold finds the song within her heart during the search for a new lead gospel singer for the Rose of Sharon Baptist Church.
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The Sopranos

By Alan Warner

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A trip to the big city for the national singing finals becomes a saga of adolescent debauchery for members of the choir from Our Lady of Perpetual Succour School for Girls, especially for the sopranos, for whom such treats as pub crawling, shoplifting, and body piercing are top priorities.
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The Master Butcher's Singing Club

By Louise Erdrich

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Having survived the killing fields of World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns home to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend who was killed in action. With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher's precious set of knives, Fidelis sets out for America, getting as far as North Dakota, where he builds a business, a home for his family -- which includes Eva and four sons -- and a singing club consisting of the best voices in town. When the Old World meets the New -- in the person of Delphine Watzka -- the great adventure of Fidelis's life begins. Delphine meets Eva and is enchanted; she meets Fidelis, and the ground trembles. These momentous encounters will determine the course of Delphine's life.

Also available on audio and in large print.

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The Choir

By Joanna Trollope

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In the gentle precinct of Aldminster Cathedral, crisis loomed. The urbane and worldly Dean (Purdey guns and the regular arrival of a delivery van from Berry Brothers) wanted nothing so much as to restore and beautify his beloved Cathedral--even if it meant sacrificing the Choir School to pay for it.

Alexander Troy, Headmaster of the school, a conscientious man, somewhat out of his depth with his elusive and poetical wife (once seen walking barefoot in the dew across the Cathedral Close) was determined that nothing and no-one-certainly not the overbearing Dean-should destroy the Choir. As the rift widened into Machiavellian dimensions, many others found themselves caught in the schism--Leo Beckford, brilliant but wayward organist, repelling the adoration of the Dean's dreadful daughter--the gentle, left-wing Bishop, trying to soothe the angry protagonists--Sally Ashworth, mother of the leading chorister, fighting loneliness and an erring and absent husband.

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Testimony

By Felicia Mason

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After eighteen years of unwavering faith, Roger McKenzie is questioning his calling as leader of the gospel choir, The Triumphant Voices of Praise. The Voices have failed to hit the big time, commercially and critically, and relationships between the choir members are unraveling, turning the once harmonious group into disillusioned and bitter strangers.

As four members of the choir head out on an East Coast tour to promote their latest CD, they must choose between doing what's right and doing what's easy as they reconcile their desire for recognition with the mandate to be a witness through music. And when Roger faces a threat from within the ranks, the choir is plunged into a crisis of faith that will test and form their spirits.

Also available as a downloadable audio book.

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