Ron Smail

 

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Born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised in Vancouver, Ron has been involved with vocal harmony since his younger brother, Bob, was able to sing. Three part vocal arrangements would be worked out on camping trips by dad, who sang bass. Back seat conflicts weren’t about whose hand crossed over the middle, but rather who stole whose note on the “big ending”.


Serious vocal arranging started at UBC where, under the guidance of Cortland Hultberg, Ron wrote arrangements of standards for the University Chamber Singers. Writing for Phoenix Chamber Choir ensued, culminating in a recording of eight of Ronʼs “standards” arrangements.

Barrett’s Privateers by Stan Rogers    arr. Ron Smail 


TTBB    $2.35    CP 1253 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:50


SATB    $2.35    CP 1226


Stan Rogers, Canada’s folk music hero, speaks to all of us through his words and music. This is a rollicking sea shanty. Not many songs have swearing (moderate) but this one really works! You might be swearing too if you lost both your legs!


Fogarty's Cove    by Stan Rogers    arr. Ron Smail 
(Canadian folk song)


TTBB    $2.35    CP 1033 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:10

SATB    $2.35    CP 1032


Stan Rogers, Canada’s folk music hero speaks to all of us through his words and music. This arrangement is faithful to Stan’s musical style  and its great to sing.

Optional violin, guitar, and bass parts are available upon request.


The Ghost of Simon Fraser    by Bruce Coughlan    arr. Ron Smail 


SAB with piano    $2.50    CP 1147  - view the score

Another rollicking BC folk song arranged by our own Ron Smail tells the tale of Simon Fraser and his party traveling as the first "white men" down the river soon to bear his name.


I Hear a Call    by Tony Arata  arr. Ron Smail 
 


SATB a cappella    $2.35    CP 1260
    (see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:40

“I hear a call - now I will answer - forsake my all to serve another. I see a light - now I will follow!”  These are some of the lyrics to this affirming and upbeat song.


I Know the Lord Laid His Hands on Me    arr. Ron Smail 
 


SATB a cappella    $2.25    CP 1213
    (see the score while you listen)  duration - 1:55

Ron writes exciting and approachable arrangements for his church choir. This one is full of happiness and conviction.


I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me    arr. Ron Smail 
 


SATB a cappella    $2.50    CP 1152
    (see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:00

This is a great welcoming opener for any concert. There’s a tent meetin’ t’night, brothers and sisters! This arrangement of a traditional spiritual will touch hearts and move people out of their seats!


Log Drivers' Waltz   by Wade Hemsworth    arr. Ron Smail 


SATB a cappella    $2.35    CP 1029

SSA a cappella    $2.35      CP 1030 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:30

SAB with piano   $2.35    CP 1522

TTBB with piano    $2.35    CP 1523

A show-stopper of a piece! Imagine waltzing around a log boom on the rushing river! This work is a piece of Canadiana, - funny and exciting.


Make and Break Harbour    by Stan Rogers    arr. Ron Smail 


SATB & piano  $2.50 (opt. instr)    CP 1031 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:25

Ron has given Stan Roger’s poignant classic a solid and approachable choral rendition.

In Make and Break Harbour the boats are so few
Too many are pulled up and rotten.
Most houses stand empty old nets hung to dry
Are blown away lost and forgotten

Optional violin, guitar, and bass parts are available upon request.


Maple Leaf Forever, The    arr. Ron Smail 


TTBB    $2.35    CP 1109 
   (see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:00

SATB    $2.35    CP 1108

A fabulous arrangement by a very experienced composer. Before the arrival of "O Canada", this patriotic song was Canada's unofficial national anthem. In 1997 it received new lyrics by V. Radian, who won a contest run by CBC for the express purpose of finding new lyrics.


There’s a Meetin‘ Here Tonight    arr. Ron Smail 


TTBB    $2.35    CP 1196 
   (see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:05

SATB    $2.35    CP 1238

A rousing concert opener! “Some come to dance, some come to play, some merely come to pass time away. Some come to laugh, their voices do ring - but as for me, I come for to sing!”


Watching the Apples Grow    by Stan Rogers    arr. Ron Smail 


SATB    piano (opt. instr)    $2.50    CP 1125

TBB      piano (opt. instr)    $2.50    CP 1223 
  (see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:15

Another of our favorite combinations  a popular tune by Stan Rogers with a very upbeat choral arrangement by Ron Smail. This rollicking hoedown-type tune compares the joy and freedom of growing apples in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia with life in the big city. Guess who wins? The rhythms are challenging but easily learned, the words come fast but easy, and the harmonies have that special Smail touch.

Optional violin, guitar, and bass parts are available upon request.

 

Later, Ron ventured into other genres of music including folk and vocal jazz, and has since produced many arrangements of songs by Stan Rogers and Wade Hemsworth. Ronʼs arrangements have been sung and/or recorded by many choral ensembles including Kingʼs Singers, Chor Leoni, Elektra, Musica Orbium, (Montreal) Ohio State University Menʼs Glee Club, Sonoran Desert Choir (Arizona), and have been broadcast on CBC on numerous occasions. His well-known setting of Amazing Grace has sold in excess of twenty thousand copies and most recently, his arrangement of Fogartyʼs Cove was one of the pieces selected by the American Choral Directors Association to be given out to nearly ten thousand delegates at their convention in Los Angeles in February 2005.


Ron is currently director of choirs at Aldergrove Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia and Director of Music at Trinity United Church in Kitsilano. He lives in Tsawwassen, B.C. with his wife, Marla, and son Aaron.