Here are the responses I've received (so far) to my query about a piece
about peace. Following are my original note and the compilation. If more
come in I'll wait to do a followup compilation.
Thanks to each of you who sent me ideas.
My choir has been asked to sing at an annual college event focused on peace
(part of the peace studies courses), which will take place in 4 weeks. It
will be outdoors, with no accompaniment available.
I welcome your suggestions of works for SATB choir (or two-part choir, men
and women) in English (i.e. not "Dona nobis pacem") which can be learned
quite quickly, since we have more ambitious pieces which need most of our
attention. The text may refer to a desire for world peace, or brotherhood
(with inclusive language, preferably) but we'd prefer something with a
general spiritual or secular text rather than a specifically Christian text.
Finally, it would be great if we can get a copy easily and quickly, such as
through Choral Public Domain Library, since we don't have time to order
Thanks for your collective wisdom!
Bob Jordahl has a selection on our site that might interest you. "Deep
peace" is set to the words of an old Irish blessing and has a single
reference to the "Son of Peace" at the end. On a scale of 1 to 5 it's a 2
and a half in difficulty. SATB a cappella setting.
And you can order a PDF of the music and have it emailed the same day, so
ordering isn't out of the question if you're willing to make the copies.
If you're interested you can see the score and hear the music by typing deep
peace in the search box located at the top of our home page and then
clicking on "View" by the first title given on the next page: start at
I just used The Way of Peace by Sheldon Curry. It's cannonic and not
particularly difficult. I believe Hope published it. Go to www.jwpepper.com
and listen to the piece. If you decide you like it, I can loan you 30 +/-
copies of the piece. If you'd just pay for the shipping when we're through,
I'd appreciate that. I used a keyboard to produce the sound of the original
measure and the last measure. I also listened to the recording and found
where they played the C bells not notated in the music. Also I used
suspended chimes for the last measure. It worked well.
I direct a volunteer chorus that performs at many interfaith functions. All
of our repertoire is inclusive, themed towards peace, and is available on
our website for your review. With the exception of 3 songs "Dare to Dream,"
"Headed for the Future" and "We Are One", the songs on our website are free
to anyone. We do not charge for their use as it is our gift to the cause.
All we ask is that you let us know when and where they are performed.
(If you are interested in the other 3, you will need permission and will
need to pay for the music and arrrangements. "Headed for the Future" and
"We Are One" are both published by Hal Leonard although "We Are One" is
currently out-of-print. The arrangement of "Dare to Dream" is available
through my company, Grokmusik)
Here is the link to our download page where you may download music and
lyrics, as well as low-res audio files.
All of our songs have pre-recorded accompanyments. If you are interested in
performing any of the pieces, let me know and I can send you a performance
How about Persichetti's Song of Peace?
I am a Cleveland-area composer and I have a new choral piece which has never
been performed, SATB a cappella, contemplative, about 3:00 in length and
medium difficulty. The text is by Charles Wesley but it is the most
un-Christian writing I've ever seen from any of the Wesleys. He makes no
mention of Jesus, and instead of referring God by name he writes in terms of
"the universal Friend," "the nations of the earth constrain to follow after
peace", "write kindness on our inward parts, and chase the murderer from our
Sounds like you're on a tight schedule, but if you're interested I'll Email
you the complete text for starters. It would take me 1 - 2 weeks to have
octavos printed and mailed - just under the wire - but meanwhile I can mail
you a loose-leaf copy to review.
Thanks very much,
Alan J. Higbee
================Our choir has used the "Song of Peace" words to Finlandia. Words are below:
This is my song, a song of all the nations
A song of peace, for lands afar and mine
This is my home, the country where my heart is
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine
O hear my song, of peace for all the nations
A song of peace for their land and for mine
"One Wish" by Dave and Jean Perry
If I had one wish I could give to you
If I had one gift I could give,
If there could only be one perfect song to sing
It would be peace, peace to all.
It is not a cappella, but if you go through the fairly simple harmonic
structure, I think you'll see that it could be tranferred to guitar
effectively. It is basically unison, and it's easy to learn. It's also stop
in your tracks gorgeous music.
"Simple Song of Peace" by Jerry Estes
We will sing a song for every season.
We will sing a simple song of peace.
Dona nobis, dona nobis pacem.
Grant us peace, grant us peace.
Easy, for SSA, but perhaps adaptable for mixed group. Does need
Across the Bridge of Hope by Jan Sandstrom fits all of your criteria except
availability on cpdl. The text was written by a 12 year old Irish boy who
was soon after killed in a bombing. Sandstrom's music captures the beauty
and simplicity of the text. It has been recorded by Erik Westberg Vocal
Ensemble, and I got the music through Pepper.
I really enjoy a wonderful work for a capella choir called "Deep Peace", by
Bill Douglas. It seems to fit most of your requirements, although
dynamically it hovers between piano an pp, so you'd need to be amplified in
order to be heard. The song based on a Gaelic blessing and isn't Christian:
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep peace to you
It opens with a four bar wordless TTBB intro and is mostly 4-part SATB,
although there are two interlude sections that feature the women (SSA), also
wordless. There is also an optional solo for either soprano or obligato
instrument such as violin or flute, but the piece stands alone without it.
The melody is tuneful and the harmony not difficult. It can be purchased
from Third Planet Music (831-426-1968). I had good luck in obtaining the
music quickly from them, so maybe this would work for your situtation...
Here is something you may consider:
BROTHERS in SINGING (TTBB/large and small shell drums or tambourines/ large
and small suspended cymbals, optional piccolo) is a fresh, new processional
for either mixed voices or men's chorus. Marching to the stage to begin a
concert enables the audience to feel that it is a part of what is about to
happen on stage. The hand-held percussion instruments and distinct vocal
entries of this five-voice canon keep the interest in the sound intact. When
on stage, the conductor will signal that all parts to abandon their current
position in the canon and skip directly to the homophonic climax at the end.
The text is:
Brothers in singing are joined in their souls.
They forever remember, with pride, when they march on together in friendship
They know their songs lift up others who listen intently to the finest in
music that great masters have
written since history unfolded and blessed all mankind with their glorious
creations and beautiful poems made for men who love to join as brothers in
The vocal range is: c#-C#1. (duration indefinite) EASY
There's a wonderful arrangement of "This is my Song" (the Finlandia melody
by Jean Sibelius) for SATB with Organ, optional brass. And then, of course,
there's "Make me a Channel of your Peace" by Temple. That's in some hymnals
and could be done in 4 parts or unison.
I suggest "All Creation Will Be At Peace" by Anna Laura Page or "One Song"
by Pepper Choplin. Both are published by Alfred. I have used both for
services revolving around peace. They're easy to learn, and fit the need
Hope this fits the bill! [PDF file attached-write her if you're interested]
Originally for SSAA you may be able to use. If you
do then enjoy.
Many thanks to all who sent suggestions! Here is the compilation of your responses.
There is a wonderful piece that incorporates handbells... it ends with the phrase "all will be well." Here is what the San Francisco Girls Chorus says about it on their website:
Based on texts from medieval sources, Joan Szymko's "VIVOS VOCO" (2005) combines the words of Julian of Norwich (1342-ca.1416) with Latin inscriptions found on medieval bells. Szymko states that the work is influenced by the world's current fear of terrorism and by the pain and devastation caused by the tsunami in Asia. The mystical words and the sounds of bells are used as vehicles of consolation and hope.
"Peace, Peace" - partner song with silent night, beautiful and easy! :)
There is a piece that exactly fits what you need. I did it with my
choir in New Brunswick. It is called 'Song for World Peace' (or simply
'Song for Peace') and incorporates Dona Nobis Pacem. I am sorry that I
no further information, as the music is back in the Maritimes.
However....it is available from JW Pepper, and if you do a search
may have luck finding it. It is non Christian, SSA. It had a brown and
white cover :-)
Don't forget the short traditional round Dona nobis pacem, which could
effective recessional since it can be extended in performance to meet
"troop movements" that are required to fit a particular space.
(I realize that in some circles this piece may be considered overly
familiar, and therefore perhaps not appropriate.)
Check out LIbana on the 'net. There's a great piece in a songbook of theirs called Gaelic Blessing by "Don Gardiner(I think that's his name).
It's "deep peace of the flowing air to you and all that beautiful text. Completely secular. Homophonic, SSAA -- some very gorgeous chords, and the 2nd alts get to sing a low Eb.
We just did it in concert as a closing "benediction" and people were very moved. It can also be arranged for intstruemtns. I think you'd have to get the whole book of theirs (Libana's), but it's worth it---there are lots of nice things in it.
"Jerusalem Luminosa" by Abbie Betinis
Has a "light" and "peace" theme -- perfect for winter.
The Alleluia, Amen from Thompson's, Place of the Blessed ECShirmer
We publish a song entitled "Deo" which was written as the finale for a December "Concert of Light" concert.
It talks of "peace for all nations, love, joy of the season and hope for the future" lyrics may be viewed
at the link Deo lyrics. There is also a partial score at that location.
Perhaps "Agnus Dei"? - http://www.gladdemusic.com/agnusdei(ssa).htm
Live recording of the SATB version can be heard at - http://www.gladdemusic.com/agnusdei(satb)(3).htm
please look at "I Wish You Peace" by Nicole Dieker, published
by Alliance (the company in wisconsin) Their web site is:
I've got a work that was commissioned by Youth Pro Musica set to a text by Christina Rossetti. It is more on the subject of love, but perhaps you might consider it. You may listen to it on my website at http://www.amyscurria.com/listen.htm
Try "Let Us Love in Peace" from The Beautiful Game
(Andrew Lloyd Webber). There's an SSA arrangement by
Mac Huff, published by Hal Leonard (I think).
Da Pacem Domino
Treble Clef Music Press
(a cappella, rich modern harmonies, casts a hush over the audience)
not sure of publisher, but there is an SSA version of it.
It is Silent Night and there is a descant of Peace, Peace over the top that the choir sings. Very pretty. But not what you described.
Treble Clef Music Press
written for a composition contest about peace...
for others... there are lots listed for women both in the women's category and the Free Accompaniment category.
Works I found but have not heard:
Song For World Peace Scholz, Cora
Publisher: Mark Foster Music Company YS 501
Lord, Make Me An Instrument Of Thy Peace
Publisher: Harold Flammer, Inc. 221.1.98 45
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix ( 1809 - 1847 )
Da Nobis Pacem Grant Us Thy Peace Hardwicke
Publisher: Alfred Publishing Co. 220.127.116.11 35
Sibelius, Jean ( 1865 - 1957 )
Song Of Peace, A
SSA sac oct
Publisher: Lorenz Publishing Company 153.1.61 25
Wilder, Alec ( 1907 - 1980 )
Children's Plea For Peace
SSAA, narrator, 18.104.22.168. 22.214.171.124. perc sac sc
Publisher: Margun/Gunmar Music, Inc. 3126.96.36.199 250
I Will Give Peace
Publisher: Pro Art Publications 2829
Grieg, Edvard Hagerup ( 1843 - 1907 )
God's Peace Is Peace Eternal Geer, E.
SSA, S solo, org sac
Publisher: ECS Publishing 862 0
Handel, George Frideric ( 1685 - 1759 )
O Lovely Peace
2pt boy cor / 2pt wom cor sec, G maj Judas Maccabaeus
Publisher: Novello & Co., Ltd. 48.0167.09 0
Cântec de pace (Song of Peace)
Three-part Women's Treble/Unaccompanied
Publisher: Musica Romanica, Inc. WRCM-0012B 1.5
Yoffe, Shlomo ( 1909 - )
Tefilat Shalom Prayer For Peace, A
wom cor, Mez solo, fl, ob, clar, harp / gtr, string quar 9 pts
Publisher: The Israel Music Institute (IMI) 6117R
Day, Ruth E.
Prayer For Peace
3pt wom cor, S solo, pno / org sac, prayer, easy oct
Publisher: Willis Music Company 6180
Peace Like a River - arr. Joan Szymko
SSAA - pno Arranged with dramatic flair and great sensitivity to the text.
Publisher: Santa Barbara Music Publishing SBMP 417
Toolan, S. Suzanne
SSAA sac, Gen, anthem / Bibl / hymn, easy oct
Publisher: GIA Publications 107.1.22 30
Crawley, Clifford ( 1929 - )
unis cor / SSA
Publisher: Leslie Music Supply 3052
Lord, Make Us Instruments Of Thy Peace
SSA, org sac oct
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. 5504
How about Ty/Jackson's Let There Be Peace on Earth. It was my
"International Singers & Dancers" (5th & 6th graders) traditional
concert closer with simple movements. I used it also with ballet
for another real international (exchange students) group.
dulcisono women's choir
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