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Human Rights

Many thanks to those who responded to my inquiry re an SATB human-rights
related selection. Here's the compilation, as promised. In the interest of
brevity, I've extracted only song information without signatures.

Kathryn Schneider, J.D.
Musical Director, City Bar Chorus
New York City


There is a set of "Freedom songs" from South Africa that was worth doing two
years ago.
The collector/arranger is Anders Nyberg. The title was closer to "Songs of
Praise...and freedom from South Africa."
I [Ben Allaway] have a piece called "Sahayta" which is in an Afro-Caribbean
style, uses words in about eight languages which mean peace, love,, unity,
helpfulness, etc. itr is a call and response number between soloist and
audience, supported by the choir, with a simple two phrase chorus in easy
harmony. It is best sung with guitar and a conga, with handclapping and other
percussion (very simple) very desireable. It can be learned in thirty minutes
easily if the soloist is well prepared. It should be someone with a good
chest-voice, usually better for a male voice, and who has the personality to
interact well with the audience. It is an absolute winner every time. The
audience gets to sing in all these languages and it is a positive statement.
You can order it from me directly by calling 515-288-8883 or e-mailing to
benlmnop(a) The price is $5.00 for a master copy and .50 per copy that
you make yourself. I can send it out to you however you like, or fax it if
necessary. Let me know. I'd also suggest my Freedom Come or From This House,
published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, but those would take more time
than you have.


Ron Harris. "Do not stand at my grave and weep." 1989, Ron Harris Music.
(re war victims)


Musica Romanica publishes a very easy anthem-like "Cantec de pace" (Song of
Peace) by Adrian Pop. The text is in Romanian, English, Italian and French
(you can choose, mix). There are detailed pronunciation indications for the
Romanian. Catalog # XRCM-0012a SATB, unaccomp. $1.50 WRCM-0012b Three-part
women's/treble, unaccomp. $1.50 The text is generally about peace, but
touches also on personal freedom, creativity etc.


How about 'Hymn to Freedom'by Oscar Peterson, arr Seppo Hovi, text by
Harriette Hamilton. [suggested by several]


Siyahamba Boosey Hawkes, satb, A capella octb6564 edited Doreen Rao
[suggested by several]

Sikuyo Hal Leonard Satb A capella 08740561 Emily Crocker


Prayer for the Children -- SATB (also available SSA and TTB)


Freedom Come is a fairly complex piece that can be put together easily. There
is a solo line with ensemble responses. With 30 minutes you may not have a
polished performance, but the piece will carry quite a bit in it's complexity
and African call and response style.

Wonfa Nyem, like Freedom Come, uses a call and response component, but is very


John Rutter's SATB setting of St. Francis of Assisi's prayer "Lord, make me an
instrument of thy peace," commissioned by the Texas Choral Directors
Association in 1980. It is very learnable, the text is non-North American
(how discriminatory!), and is about 5 minutes. It is published by Hinshaw
Music, Inc. [HMC-470] and my copy was sixty-five cents.

The perfect selection is Howard Hanson's 12-minute cantata Song of Human
Rights, which can be played on piano or organ, although it was scored for
orchestra and narrator and SATB choir. It was commissioned in 1963 for the
15th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. It is an SATB
arrangement which includes a ancient plainsong chant, a negro spiritual, a
Latin hymn, a shaker hymn, etc. H. W. Gray is the publisher as I recall.

Call GIA in Chicago and ask their staff for suggestions. Marty Haugen, David
Haas, Donna Pena, and many others have written numerous peace and justice
related anthems including world music from various parts
of the planet.


There is wonderful SATB arrangement of a song based on the African proverb "It
Takes A Whole Village To Raise A Child" It might be very appropriate for the
occasion you describe. It is available at most better choral outlets.
It was written by and performed throughout the world by the Up With People
touring musical ambassadors. It is published by Warner Bros. Publications and
is product number #CH96126.


Te Quiero, by Favero, published by Earthsong in Oregon. I love you
becuase your hands work for justice, I love you beucase you eyes see a
better future for our people, I love you beucase your mouth speaks out
against abuses...etc. About 3-4 minutes, has 4 solo verses which I
cut down to 2, and the refrain is not hard to learn. From South
America, Ecuadorian composer, Uruguayan poet. Works great in such a
on September 11, 2003 10:00pm
Try "Love Welcomes All". SATB and piano. Written as a response to well-meaning folks who seek to change people from what they are (such as in gender issues, youth, cultural disparities). Short, seemingly-lighthearted but with a sense of irony. To hear and see a digitized version, go to and click on the 'repertoire' list or send an e-mail to
on February 28, 2006 10:00pm
EVANGELINE, a musical setting of Longfellow's epic poem for soloists, chorus and instrumental ensemble, is a timely reminder of the issues of intolerance and cultural integrity in the face of greed and land-grabbing which still are all too evident in our world.

A demo CD will be available April 1, 2006, and online audio clips will be posted soon.

Donald Sosin
dsosin at
on April 10, 2007 10:00pm
Fruits of the Selfless Heart, by Elizabeth Atkinson, poem by Mother Teresa. Its a BEAUTIFUL a cappella piece for 4 part women's choir, with soprano and alto duet.
on July 10, 2008 10:00pm
Dear Sir/Madam
By any chance would you have the following hymns/songs in SATB + piano accompaniment format?

(1) Siyahamba
(2) Do not stand at my grave and weep

and if yes is it possible to purchase the music sheets and download them online? Kindly state price of individual pieces.

Thanks in anticipation

Yvonne Young
on October 25, 2010 6:52am
I'd like to mention my new composition, Ten Thousand Rivers of Oil, as appropriate for the human rights, peace, and environment themes.  25 minutes;  choir, same orchestration as the chamber version of the Rutter Reguiem (flute, oboe, harp, timp, glock, cello, organ; commissioned to be on a concert with the Rutter).  Score, parts, sample recording available from the composer (contact
Leonard Enns