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Yumiko Matsuoka


Yumiko Matsuoka

Yumiko Matsuoka was born in Tokyo, Japan, and grew up there as well as in London, UK. She started studying piano at an early age, and was quickly drawn to the magic of chords. Yumiko's passion for great harmony was developed further in the high school choir, band for musical "Godspell," encounter with the music of the Singers Unlimited as well as many other composers/arrangers in a wide range of genres. Yumiko came to the US in 1986 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. She founded a cappella ensemble Vox One in 1988 to realize her dream of writing for and singing in such a group. Vox One released five albums, won numerous awards, and established themselves as one of the pioneers in the world of a cappella music. Her arrangements are available through the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press. Yumiko's arrangements are unique - she takes a song and reveals a layer of emotions that may not have been apparent in the original. Fans and performers of her music span the globe from Australia, Europe to the Americas and Japan. One of Yumiko's earlier works was used for a Toyota car commercial in Japan, and she has penned a few more for major corporation ads, sung by Vox One.

Ensembles that have commissioned Yumiko to write for them include m-pact from LA, the 21st Century Consort of Washington, D.C., Vancouver's Real Time, Indigo Blue of Tokyo, Japan, the Boston Jazz Voices, and collegiate/high school ensembles across the country. In 2008 Yumiko released an album of her arrangements and compositions written over the past 20 years. Included are a cappella versions of classics such as Where is Love, Eleanor Rigby, Both Sides Now, And So It Goes, as well as Scarborough Fair, Skye Boat Song and Black is the Colour - folksongs from the British Isles that have always been close to her heart. Yumiko's rendition of Blowin' in the Wind features solo vocal with a chamber ensemble, and Yumiko's husband Tom Young plays solo guitar on Georgia on My Mind. Yumiko is a professor in ear training at her alma mater Berklee, and keeps herself busy with workshops/coaching including the Western Wind's summer sessions at Smith College in Northampton, MA.

Arrangers - Vocal Jazz | Barbershop | Contemporary Christian | Gospel | Contemporary Pop | Choral

Songbooks and Collections (See Individual Arrangements)

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.

Yumiko Matsuoka : Collection : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Sheet Music : 

Yumiko Matsuoka : Collection

Review: An arrangement of the classic folk song "Black Is The Color" that reflects the deep dark color of "my true love's hair." Opens with a tenor solo, then develops into a warm, full-textured chorus. "The Lord's Prayer" is a solemn and heartfelt a cappella rendition of the well-known tune. Rich close harmony is employed throughout, which soars to a climax with "for Thine is the kingdom." . An old English folk "Scarborough Fair" song made popular by Simon and Garfunkel arranged with a larger ensemble in mind. Tenor sings the melody, surrounded by soprano/bass pedal point and alto/baritone ostinato lines. It then shifts into different moods, keys and harmonic settings, sensitively corresponding to the lyrics. "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night" is one of the Stephen Foster evergreens, this arrangement starts with male unison, then develops into a rich close harmony with some twists here and there. Followed by a short baritone solo, it builds up to a beautiful climax with a key change, and a calm, pensive ending. An excellent showcase for a strong small group. "The Water Is Wide" is a ballad to be savored by both singers and audiences. It showcases male and female soloists over a beautiful, haunting background lines, builds up to the tutti section where each part has a moment to shine, then comes to a quiet close with a reprise of the male solo. "Simple Gifts" is an arrangement written for Vox One's album Pure Imagination, this Shaker song is transformed into an ode to the open skies of Africa. Combining a Swahili phrase for "dance and sing" and vowels not commonly used in choral singing, a bed of background lines are laid to carry the melody in 9/8. Its uplifting message comes through strongly as joyous rhythm and harmony is weaved together by each part.

Songlist: Black Is the Color, The Lord's Prayer, My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night, Scarborough Fair, The Water Is Wide, Simple Gifts

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2220b | Sheet Music $15.95 | Mixed 5-8 Parts add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements

Yumiko Matsuoka : Collection Vol. 3 : SATB : Sheet Music : 

Yumiko Matsuoka : Collection Vol. 3

Review: Commissioned by the Boston Jazz Voices, "This Can't Be Love" swings throughout, with room for singers to improvise. Sopranos (and mezzos) are featured with the melody, while basses lay down the walking line. After the improv section the conversation between the parts lead to an energetic climax. Recommended for a bigger ensemble that would like to showcase their tight rhythmic and harmonic chops. "Loving You" is another great arrangment written for Vox One, this 70's hit by Minnie Riperton is a feature for a strong soprano as well as for bass with a good funk feel. The inner voices create a bed of sound reminiscent of a sun-drenced field of flowers. There is a short section in the middle for a tenor solo; and it ends with a slightly slower tempo letting every part shine with their own lines. Recorded on Vox One's Say You Love Me. An American classic "My Grandfather's Clock" sung all over the world is now a spirited jazz waltz! Commissioned by a Japanese arranger, written for Vox One, it features tenor and soprano solos, incorporating the sounds that old clocks make (tick, tock, ding, dong) in the background. The section where grandfather departs from this world is more somber, but it eventually resumes its initial tempo to a heartfelt finish. Suitable for choir as well as well-rehearsed small ensemble. "Summer Breeze," commissioned by Dare to Breath from the Twin Cities, the Seals and Croft hit is given a medium funk groove, above which the tenor or alto solo lays the melody. The original counterlines are used to enhance the mood. The crisp execution of the 16th note rhythm will be a great showcase for everyone in the ensemble.

Songlist: Summer Breeze, Loving You, Air On The G String, My Grandfather's Clock, You Don't Know What Love Is

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9707b | Sheet Music $17.95 | SATB add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements

Yumiko Matsuoka : Collection Volume 2 : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Sheet Music : 

Yumiko Matsuoka : Collection Volume 2

Review: The Lennon-McCartney classic "Eleanor Rigby" retains some of the flavor of the original Beatles' arrangement intact by giving the background vocals a string-like texture in the opening section. It then goes through a couple of key changes and gives different parts an opportunity to sing the melody, while the background supports with strong harmony and interesting counterlines. Arranged for a cappella quintet Vox One, the classic "Danny Boy" song showcases a soprano solo. In the middle section, the alto and tenor parts weave a line reminiscent of a brook in a green field of Ireland. Lush, complex harmony and a dramatic build-up reward both the singes and the audience. Recorded on Vox One's, Chameleon. The national anthem is treated here with solemn but inspirational sound. The rich harmony, without going too far away from the original, builds to a climax with contrapuntal lines that make it interesting for the singers. Written for the New York-based group the Western Wind, Yumiko's arrangement of 'Where Is Love?' opens with a mezzo/alto feature backed by flowing lines reminiscent of a small string ensemble. After the interlude, the melody is passed onto different parts with a surprise ending that involves a couple of tonality changes. Written for a cappella quintet Vox One's comeback album of the same title, 'Pure Imagination' features a soprano solo with the background vocals that re-creates the dreamy world of Willy Wonk'a Chocolate Factory. Come and explore the harmony and texture that builds up to a fantastic climax. It will make you want to watch and savor the movie once again.

Songlist: Danny Boy, The Star-Spangled Banner, Eleanor Rigby, Where Is Love?, Pure Imagination

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2221b | Sheet Music $15.95 | Mixed 5-8 Parts add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements

Yumiko Matsuoka : To Every Thing There Is A Season

Review: Founder of legendary Boston-based Vocal Jazz group Vox One, Yumiko has always been one of our favorite vocalists and arrangers. She has two excellent collections of arrangements in the PAC catalog, "Collection Vol. 1" and "Collection Vol. 2." The Anthology "To Every Thing" is her first solo album, and it includes a piece Yumiko wrote for acoustic guitar for some friends' wedding, "Tsubasa," her arrangement of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes," performed by the Western Wind with Yumiko, and her marvelous arrangements of the English Traditional tunes "Scarborough Fair," "Black is the Color" and the title tune, performed by Boston Jazz Voices. The Western Wind also shines on Yumiko's arrangements of Lionel Bart's "Where Is Love" and Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby." Yumiko's classically accompanied arrangement of Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind," her lovely arrangement of Joanie Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," performed by Syncopation; and the Scottish Traditional "Skye Boat Song," performed by Yumiko with the women of the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, are all favorites. "To Every Thing" is a remarkable collection, highlighting the tremendous vocal, arranging and composing talents of Vocal Jazz master Yumiko!

Songlist: Tsubasa (wings), And So It Goes, Scarborough Fair, Brett, Where Is Love?, Black Is The Colour, Blowin' In The Wind, Eleanor Rigby, To Every Thing There Is A Season, Georgia On My Mind, Both Sides Now, Skye Boat Song

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3021c | 1 CD $15.95 add item to cart Vocal Jazz CDs

Individual Arrangements (See Songbooks and Collections)

Displaying 1-18 of 18 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistItem TitleFormatTrax
Air On The G StringYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollection Vol. 3Sheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
Black Is the ColorYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollectionSheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Danny BoyYumiko MatsuokaFrederic WeatherlyYumiko MatsuokaCollection Volume 2Sheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Eleanor RigbyYumiko MatsuokaJohn LennonYumiko MatsuokaCollection Volume 2Sheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Loving YouYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollection Vol. 3Sheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
My Grandfather's ClockYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollection Vol. 3Sheet Music (SATTB)MORE DETAILS 
My Old Kentucky Home, Good NightYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollectionSheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Pure ImaginationYumiko MatsuokaLeslie BricusseYumiko MatsuokaCollection Volume 2Sheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Scarborough FairYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollectionSheet Music (SSATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Simple GiftsYumiko MatsuokaElder Joseph BrackettYumiko MatsuokaCollectionSheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Skye Boat SongYumiko MatsuokaVarious ArrangersVocal Jazz for Womens VoicesSheet Music (SSAA)MORE DETAILS 
Some Children See HimYumiko MatsuokaAlfred BurtVarious ArrangersVocal Jazz Christmas 4Sheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
Summer BreezeYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollection Vol. 3Sheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
The Lord's PrayerYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollectionSheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
The Star-Spangled BannerYumiko MatsuokaFrancis Scott KeyYumiko MatsuokaCollection Volume 2Sheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
The Water Is WideYumiko MatsuokaTraditionalYumiko MatsuokaCollectionSheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
Where Is Love?Yumiko MatsuokaLionel BartYumiko MatsuokaCollection Volume 2Sheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 
You Don't Know What Love IsYumiko MatsuokaYumiko MatsuokaCollection Vol. 3Sheet Music (SATBB)MORE DETAILS 

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