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Looking for chamber choir repertoire recommendations

New User

May 23, 2008, 1:29 PM

Views: 238975
Looking for chamber choir repertoire recommendations


I'm a student at the University of Kent and a member of the Chamber Choir, and I'm applying for the post of conductor for this coming academic year. I have no idea what music is available for a choir of around 20 people! Unsure

Musical style is not officially an issue, but from my personal point of view I'd like to get in some really traditional classical/baroque pieces. We've sung quite a lot of 20th century stuff this year; Howells, Lauridsen, Edenroth; and some traditional African tunes and a new arrangement of a traditional French drinking song.

It's been an amazing year for my chamber choir, and I want to be able to give them an equally amazing year next year, if you'll help me Smile
"Conducting a choir is one third musical talent, one third technique, one third discpline, and one third organisation."
- a very wise person told me this. I shall never forget it.

New User

May 29, 2008, 12:07 AM

Views: 238552
Re: [newbieconductor] Looking for chamber choir repertoire recommendations

Six Chansons by Hindemith, words by Rilke in French.
Alleluia by Randall Thompson - thats the only word, except Amen at the end!!! It's an American classic, beautiful harmonies, needs great care with tuning and subtlety but worth every effort.

How about some Madrigals, plenty of books available - all those fa la lahs and coded references to things sexual could cause many a student guffaw, and thats always good in a rehearsal.

If you are not worried about sacred music have a look at the Oxford Book of Tudor Anthems - Byrd, Gibbons, Tallis etc - the foundation for any choir repertoire.

In a different vein, English Romantic Partsongs, also published by Oxford. Some really splendid music here by composers you've never heard of, early 19th to early 20th centuries.

Different again is a volume called 'In the Mood'. As the title suggests the items are arrangements (sometimes far too clever and complicated!) of 'evergreens' like Tea for Two, Over the Rainbow and that type of thing. Many need a proficient pianist but some can be done unaccompanied.

I've used all these, and a great deal more, with my choir, Parnham Voices based in Beaminster, Dorset and many an entertaining programme has been hatched!

Search the Westminster Central Music Library in Buckingham Palace Road (near Victoria Coach Station). There is so much if you look for it.

Good Luck, and if you don't get the job pass all that info on to the one who does, 'cos it's a great privilege to inspire and communicate via all this wonderful music.Cool

New User

May 29, 2008, 5:37 PM

Views: 238507
Re: [JohnM] Looking for chamber choir repertoire recommendations

Thank you so much!

Those suggestions were so helpful and sound really interesting Smile I'm about to spend my evening searching for those publications online so I can get copies of my own to peruse over the summer.

Thanks againCool
"Conducting a choir is one third musical talent, one third technique, one third discpline, and one third organisation."
- a very wise person told me this. I shall never forget it.


Jun 15, 2008, 7:48 PM

Views: 235800
Re: [newbieconductor] Looking for chamber choir repertoire recommendations

Smile In the classical repertoire could suggest the Pergolesi Magnificat (eminently singable)(pub:Walton), Schubert Song of Miriam (Novello-in English) - an unfairly neglected piece. Faure Requiem, Brahms Liebeslieder (Love Song) Waltzes. Rossini - Stabat Mater(Novello). Monteverdi - Beatus Vir (Arr. Neil Butterworth) does have some split sections though! Brucker - Geistliche Chore (Sacred Choruses)- Peters Edition. Mozart - Coronation Mass K317, Solemne Vesperes, Faure - Ubi Caritas, Tantum Ergo and other motets, F. Mendelssohn - Verleih uns Frieden, Charpentier - In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum (Song of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ), and Magnificat in G (Concordia Pub. USA). All but the Charpentier should be available via inter-library loan. Do know how to get hold of copies of the Charpentier should you want to look at this also.

All of these above I have performed in a small amateur chorus (max 30) with piano accompaniment with rehearsal periods of between 11 and 13 weeks (academic terms).

It may be a good idea to spend sometime in your local music libary at Uni (if there is one) or take a trip to Kent County Library at Springfield, Maidstone where they have quite substantial choral music holdings for all sizes of choirs and just have a good rummage!

Have fun!