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Bottom heavy mixed choir

High school group.
4-5 girls, not too strong.
10-12 guys, lots of talent.
Weak composition and arrangement skills for me.
 
I was thinking about quickly arranging songs into STTB (or STBB if you wish) by transposing the alto line down into the T2/Baritone part.  
 
Any thoughts?  Will this present any difficulties which I don't foresee?
on July 13, 2014 3:15pm
Maybe you could use original voicings of some Renaissance motets? Guys could sing the lower 3 parts and all the women could sing the top part.
on July 14, 2014 3:03am
Dear Lance,
 
I have three pieces I've just written for three-part choir which can be done by ATB - they're the first three on this page:
http://www.hutchingsmusic.co.uk/scores/scores-for-sale/ Each entry has a link to an ATB version.
 
The first one, God To Enfold Me, was just done by the National Youth Choir of Scotland's training choir. 
 
In response to your arranging question: I think transposing the alto line down an octave will generally create a very muddy sound in the lower parts. I'd suggest finding something with a lowish alto part, taking it down a tone if necessary to bring that into tenor range, and then giving the upper tenors the alto part.
 
Chris
on July 14, 2014 10:12am
You might trying out some Cambiata lit (TTB or TBB) and having the women take the top part. Also, most Alto parts are within the male range.
 
If you do Christmas, here is a Cambiata setting, My Heart is Filled with Joy: http://www.choirworks.com/new/my-heart-is-filled-with-joy/
on July 14, 2014 12:29pm
Your situation has some advantages. The gender ratio strongly encourages recruitment of sopranos and altos; if you can attract one strong, or two decent, of each, a very nice "pyramid" balance is possible. A lot depends on whether the guys are outgoing or shy in approaching potential singers. Most schools have several would-be pop stars who might not think in terms of a choral experience. If any of your guys are in rock bands, they might know some, as might the drama teacher.
it might be possible to offer an unpaid internship to college music ed students; sometimes they can get a unit of credit in those circumstances (I did, back in the Paleolithic era).
As far as arrangements, consider using TTBB, raised 1 or 1 1/2 steps and adding the girls to the top tenor (altos) or baritone (sopranos). 
Think bout of the ox!
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