In its worldwide search for groups to commemorate this year’s 50th anniversary of “It’s a Small World” theme song, the Walt Disney Corp. discovered Trey Clegg and the Choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta on YouTube. Apparently Disney was impressed with the choir’s recordings from the prestigious Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., last summer.
Disney’s Production Team asked Clegg to write an arrangement for an a cappella chorus in 8-part harmony ‒ complex divisions of the regular four parts ‒ and also to select eight singers from the choir to perform each part. “All of this occurred in less than one week from the initial phone call from Disney!” said an enthusiastic Clegg.
Then, on March 6 the Disney crew came to Atlanta to film the singers in the nave of St. Paul’s as they performed Clegg’s arrangement. “One of the requirements from Disney,” he said, “was that the tempo had to be exactly 110 beats per minute on the filming.”
After Disney collected the footage that they filmed worldwide, the senior production team selected a few groups to be featured on the ABC network’s Good Morning America program this week, Clegg has been told that singers from St. Paul’s are scheduled to be included in the Thursday, March 20, broadcast.
All of the groups that were recorded to mark the song’s 50th anniversary will be included in a film that will be playing this summer at “It’s a Small World” attractions at Disney theme parks.
On a related note, the St. Paul’s Choir has been invited to return to Charleston’s 2014 Picoolo Spoleto Festival in May.
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