Resource: Community Voiceworks – Alison Burns and Gitika Partington


Associated NVN member: Gitika Partington

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Price: £37.95

How to buy: Can be ordered at local music shops; online


Tagged with: audio, folk, original, pop, world, acapella, warm ups, piano accompanients, Ali Burns, Gitika Partington

Further information:

Community Voiceworks is an unrivalled collection of fun, reflective, empowering, and moving songs in the practical Voiceworks format. With five sections covering a variety of life’s key themes, there is something for everyone – from classic hits such as ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’, ‘If I had a Hammer’, ‘Walking on Sunshine’, and ‘Something Inside So Strong’ to well-known traditional songs and new works by acclaimed choir leaders. The CD provides recordings of individual parts, allowing non-readers to learn aurally, and song sheets are photocopiable. A truly inclusive collection for all groups who love singing together, regardless of experience!

  • 43 flexible songs, from simple unison to four parts, by established writers and arrangers.
  • Ideal for community choirs of all types and school groups of 11+ years.
  • Vast range of repertoire, including well-known pop songs, traditional songs from around the world, contemporary songs, protest songs, and rounds.
  • Diverse themes, including Peace and Reflection, Liberty and Freedom, and Celebrations.
  • Warm-ups and practical tips on working with amateur singers and the natural voice.
  • Supporting rehearsal plans for each song, from the basis of learning by ear.
  • Copyable pages.
  • CD containing MP3s of learning tracks (providing individual vocal parts) and backing tracks for some pieces.
  • Recordings of full performances available to download.


Section I: Short and Sweet

  • Words Betty Tindal, music Alison Burns: I open my arms wide
  • Ros Thomas: I am not thinking about you
  • Polly Bolton: Spring Song
  • Carol Prior: A cat meditating
  • Alison Burns: A Twist in the Air
  • Trad., arr. Gitika Partington: Deep Down in my Soul
  • Juliet Prager: All will be well
  • Bryan Kessler, adap. Mark and Sharie Anderson, harm.
  • Nickomo: E malama
  • Jules Gibb: Caballos galopando

Section II: Peace and Reflection

  • Words John Newton, music Sam Cooke: Amazing Grace
  • Words John Newton, music Gitika Partington: How Sweet the Sound
  • Trad.: Down in the River to Pray
  • Alison Burns: There is silence in my heart tonight
  • Alison Burns: Keep me
  • Melanie Dolinski, arr. Andrew Emmet: Peace white dove
  • Otis Redding and Steve Cropper, arr. Gitika Partington: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Section III: Liberty and Freedom

  • Roxane Smith: Ain’t gonna study war
  • Trad. / Gitika Partington: Ride this Train
  • Curtis Mayfield, arr. Val Regan: People get ready
  • Alison Burns: Give me wings
  • Nickomo: I can hear a train a-comin’
  • Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, arr. Gitika Partington and Peter Hunt: If I had a hammer
  • Em Whitfield Brooks: Sold down the river
  • Zulu song: Shona malanga
  • Words Antonia Machado/Trad., music Val Regan: Ya Basta!
  • Words Dick Dallas, music Billy Taylor, arr. Pete Churchill: I wish I knew how it would feel to be free


  • Section IV: Change, Loss, and Moving On
  • Nickomo: Keep your heart good
  • South African: Think of me
  • Words Judy Grahn, music Alison Burns: The Mountain
  • Alison Burns: A Pebble on my Tongue
  • Peggy Seeger, arr. Peter Amidon: Love Call me Home
  • Hedy West, arr. Gitika Partington: Five Hundred Miles
  • Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman, arr. Gitika Partington: Time after Time
  • Words Robert Burns, Trad. Scottish melody, arr. Alison Burns and Gitika Partington: Auld Lang Syne

Section V: Celebrations

  • Nickomo: The Yeah Song
  • Sammy Hurden: Now the sun is rising up
  • Gitika Partington: I stand tall
  • Bruce Knight: Zidele amathambo
  • Kirsty Martin: Different Ships
  • Alison Burns: May your cup always be full
  • Pauline Down: Old Woman
  • Kimberley Rew, arr. Gitika Partington: Walking on Sunshine
  • Labi Siffre, arr. Pete Churchill: Something Inside So Strong