I Am What I Am/I Will Survive Medley

Jerry Herman/Perren & Fekaris
Women's four part

Tenor: E3 - G5
Lead: E3 - F5
Bari: E3 - E flat 5
Bass: C3 - B flat 4

This medley takes one song of personal strength and autonomy, and interleaves another that gives a back-story of how that strength was realised. Both songs have been recorded by Gloria Gaynor, though the arrangement also takes Shirley Bassey's landmark performance as a significant reference point.

The two main challenges are the articulation of text in the middle section, which needs precision and energy to come alive, and vocal range. It was commissioned by Amersham A Cappella as a contest piece to pair with an extremely rangy ballad arranged by David Wright, so I knew they already had and were confident using a wide range. It seemed ungrateful not to give them another opportunity to show it off.

And here they are winning a silver medal at the European Barbershop Convention in 2017 with its premiere: