SAB: SA(T)B music (with optional tenor part)
My apologies for getting this compilation off so late-- I'm sure you all
understand the craziness of getting ready for another school year...
This compilation is a list of :
-higher quality SAB literature
-SATB with easier men' parts or lots of unison men
-ideas for addressing the psychology behind my particular situation
-ideas for recruiting choir members
This was extremely helpful to me--many thanks for all who offered
suggestions and ideas. Tuesday is our first day, so we'll see how things
go! Hope this is helpful to others as well.
The Waterford School
THREE SONGS FROM THE CHINESE, by Edwin Childs was written specifically
It won the ACDA Illinois Composition Contest in 1998. The texts are
translations of short "nature" settings by ancient Chinese poets.
Mark Foster is the publisher, distributed by Shawnee Press.
I hope you will consider taking a look.
Try "Praise Him!" in the SAB setting by Michael Cox (Hinshaw
#HMC-1245) - it is incredible - powerful and effective - has a
virtuosic piano part - but sounds a lot harder than it is. The TTBB
setting was performed by the Minnesota All-State Men's Choir, so I
don't think you'll get into the too cute syndrome. Best of luck with
I understand your problem completely. I opened a new school here, and
had a "y'all come" Concert Choir of 40 very very talented women and 14
men, three of whom did not match pitch. It was a long year, and this
year I will have tenors, as I "bred" them in Men's Chorus last year.
Here are some GREAT pieces that worked for me...look for SSAB when you
can, it makes things sound more full, and those arrangements are usually
more high school oriented. I also did a lot of creative re-arranging of
SATB pieces. The songs below were big hits with the kids, who all came
from fabulous "big" choral programs and had high expectations. By the
end of the year, I was so proud of them. Picking the right music is the
key to a good year.
Inscription of Hope (oh my gosh you MUST do this piece!!! Very
meaningful...text was inscribed on a cellar wall by Jews hiding in WWII)
by Z. Randall Stroope SAB
Standing in the Shadow...Jay Althouse SSAB (if you can get over the
colored Alfred cover, the piece is actually kinda fun and VERY easy on
Dona Nobis Pacem (Mozart, not Pachabel!) great accompaniment, a good
piece for the fall, mid tempo (a nice compliment to the Stroope piece
SAB , arranged by Patrick Liebergen
And speaking of Patrick Liebergen....I LOVE all his arrangements. He
does a great job of making good music accessible for all abilities. It
has gotten to where I know if I see his name, I can buy the piece.
Sit Down, arranged by Sally Albrect...now, they may turn their nose up
at the cover again, but OPEN THE SONG and it is very catchy, jazzy, and
sometimes even flirty.....a mix of Sit Down Servant and I can't sit down
Fum Fum Fum is SATB, but the tenor part is SO very easy that even my 4
quasi-tenors were able to do it. You could even toss baritones up
there...it is not high. Ed Lojeski
Fun medley is Mahattan Melodies (Lullaby of Broadway, 42nd St and NY
NY) by Pete Schmutte SAB GREAT piano part and good writing for guys.
Another ugly cover (maybe you should just take the covers off!) but
good song is Gloria Deo, by Jay Althouse. It is SATB, but my guess is
that it comes in other versions. Some mixed meter, good intro to Latin,
and fun rhythms. Good for a first piece on a concert
I am a choral composer and have several pieces that may work for you.
are all SATB except for Irish Blessing.
1) American Folk Rhapsody - Set I Heritage Music Press
http://www.jwpepper.com/ram/1963875.ram 3 Part Mix recording
2) Barbara Allen, Hal Leonard
3) Down By the Sally Gardens Heritage Music Press
http://www.jwpepper.com/ram/3025889.ram SATB recording
4) Gloria! Heritage Music Press
5) Let Your Heart Be Joyful Hal Leonard
6) Slow Me Down Lord Hal Leonard
7) Irish Blessing (SSAB/opt SATB) Heritage Music Press
PDF Proof copy is attached
8) Merry Christmas with Love Hal Leonard
Some of these will have an occasional higher note (D or E flat) which you
can either rewrite or support with the Altos. There is a lot of low
tessitura from F to B flat with the basses often joining unison in
or the tenors singing melody, which always seems easier to sing up
Also consider using SSAB (my favorite voicing) early in the year to
strength/confidence in the guys and you get a four part sound with three
part girls... there is always a plethora of girls! Just a thought.
I don't have time to pull these scores, but I recall that
there's a lot of tenor/bass unison in these three songs, and the divided
parts are not hard. There is a tricky satb a cappella middle section in
the Stroop that does not exist in the SA voicing and could be cut,
shortening and simplifying the song (or could be done by a quartet). My
kids especially liked "Gaudete" and "Gate, Gate". All of these three
songs are very energetic and rhythmic (which always helps in a year of
weak balancing of voices!). I'd love to see a compilation--I'll be
undergoing one of those season myself, after losing my two strongest
tenors in my youth community choir.
Gaudete arr. Stephen Hatfield B&H OCTB6722 satb
Gate, Gate Brian Tate Earthsongs satb
Resonet in Laudibus Z. Randall Stroop Mark Foster MF 553 satb with pno
and snare drum
I just came from a workshop with Paul Salamunovich and he reminded of his
way of organizing choirs at Loyola Marymount in LA that I used with great
success in my private high school. Separate the men and women and teach
them some SSA and TTB music and combine them in a limited amount of SATB
music, by creating special rehearsals. This will build your men's
comeraderie and will give you the chance to showcase them a little which
will also allow you to recruit.
I used a ton of madrigals and rennaissance pieces that worked for the
voicing I had. The a cappella singer puts five part music into 4 treble
one bass clef at times. That may fool 'em if your women are burly enough.
I'll think on this and get back to you. I wouldn't sacrifice the quality
literature. I sacrificed the perfectly balanced performance sound to
maintain the quality of literature and everyone (except me) was very
pleased. On that note, I asked my women to go out and recruit guys after
Christmas gig. I went from 39 voices to 96 after Christmas. Thoses were a
lot of unseasoned singers but it was sure exciting to see the eyes light
when 96 people raised their respective voices. Be creative and those
may come back up.
What comes to mind immediately is the Mozart six nocturnes for SAB and
clarinet they are lovely pieces and perhaps may suit the smaller sized
that you have not meant for Middle school voices or minds. They are not
that easy to find but Musica would have current publishers (Plymouth and
National comes to mind)
Also there are Madrigals originally written for three voices. You might
consider checking out state lists through ACDA or the Pepper site
Two songs from my catalog might suit your needs:
Praise Wet Snow Falling Early (poem by Denise Levertov) - SAB -
commissioned by an adult community choir - definitely a "grown-up" piece
If You Can Walk You Can Dance, If You Can Talk You Can Sing (on a
Zimbabwean proverb) - SAB - commissioned by a middle/high school choir -
a Latin groove with some sophisticated rhythms - a "surefire" piece
The first idea that hit me as I read of your situation is to consider
throwing some early music at your students. Music from the Renaissance
two and three part would be great. Or you could teach chant, having them
work on Latin diction, phrasing, and learning to make music without the
of meters. You also could find two- and three-part music from the
period--i.e. Heinrich Schutz. From the more recent compositions by
composers, it seems there has been a trend to write music in tonal
While such music sounds complicated, often the voice leading for
parts moves by half and whole steps. Very accessible to many choirs. I
would encourage you to explore this area more. You could also consider
having your choir perform some pieces that are scored only for men or
A key might be to go lighter on the musical demands side, but challenge
group with languages. Earthsongs has a great web site and plenty of
selections. Just a few thoughts...I'm sure others on the list will have
possibly more creative options.
The Lord Is My Shepherd - Pote - is beautiful but may not have the style
you are looking for. Certainly not an opener for the year.
Stephen Hatfield has two wonderful sab pieces, Carol of the Ladder, and
It Was Yet Dark, both published by Boosey under the Doreen Rao series.
also has some good satb stuff out, although it requires usually at least
couple good tenors.
Buxtehude wrote a series of cantatas scored for SAB and strings. IN DULCI
JUBILO; JESU, MEINE FREUDE; IN TE DOMINE SPERAVI; and ICH HABE LUST
ABSUCHEIDEN come immediately to mind. Another of them may be entitled
CANTATE DOMINO. I'm remembering twenty years ago, so the title may not be
Mozart composed a set of six absolutely charming nocturnes; they're
for SAB and clarinet trio. I recall only one title - DUE PUPILLE AMABILI.
The entire set, I believe, is published by Plymouth.
Haydn composed a set of six Psalm settings; all originally scored for
published, I'm almost certain, by Broude Brothers.
Monteverdi wrote a set of madrigals entitled SCHERZI MUSICALI; all scored
Also, you may want to check the SAB Music file at ChoralNet
. Click on "Repertoire". Then click on
Then click on "Lists by Voicing."
1) Kyrie by Fauré (actually a clever arrangement by Arthur Frackenpohl of
Fauré's Pavane with a new Kyrie text); it's SA(T)B, and the tenor is nice
but strictly optional.
2) Niska Banja by Nick Page (a lively and challenging folk song with a
Serbian text for SSAB); its only drawback is the 4-hand piano
accompaniment, but a good accompanist could probably arrange it for one
player. It can even be sung by treble voices only.
I would suggest looking at several of the SAB (or SAM) editions that
Proulx has done for GIA. He's a first-rate musician and composer, and he
wouldn't do anything that smacks of wimpy or "light."
I also have a piece called "Alma chorus Domini" that's SATB but with an
tenor part and lots of octaves/fifths (sort of modal-sounding, almost
Renaissance), which I composed for my church choir which has a similar
composition to your group.
Try "Shout!" by Deen Entsminger, published by the Musical Source in
Washingto DC. It is a challenging (even difficult) piece for even
advanced singers, but accessable. The voicing can be used any way that
you choose. Notes for flexible voicing are on the inside cover. I don't
think your boys will fee too bad about what it offers.
Also, there's a great arrangement of "He Watching Over Israel" by Greg
Gilpin for SAB--not dumbed down at all--very mature.
arr. Zoltan Kodaly, Veni Emmanuel, SAB a cappella with divisi men on the
last page, published by Boosey & Hawkes
A great selection is Gwyneth Walker's "How can I Keep From Singing?".
The men's parts are mostly unison, with some very minor divisi. The
women's voices split from time to time and you need a soprano high g, but
this is really doable for a young choir. There is also a good SAB
arrangement of the "Three Hungarian Folksongs" by Mathias Sieber. Fun to
sing and a challenge too.
I'm attaching a list of works for less than four voices which you might
find useful. I found myself in a similar situation several years ago and
went on an extensive search for quality literature in this category.
marked with an * are, I believe, original, not arrangements. Other works
not on this list that you might consider are "Six Psalms" by Haydn,
published by Broude Bros. and "Five Madrigals for Three Voices" by
Although the Haydn pieces appear easy, I'll guarantee none of your
will think so after they attempt them. The same goes for the Schein
"Christ lag. . ." on the list.
Literature for Less Than Four Workshop
Eugene Butler Kyrie eleison* Carl Fischer CM8177
Gloria* " CM8314
Sanctus* " CM8156
Benedictus* " CM8201
Agnus Dei* " CM8191
Agostino Steffani Rejoice in the Lord* Concordia 98-2217
Telemann/Ehret Didst Thou Suffer Shame?* Pavane P1082
Edwin T. Childs Songs for the Journey, I-IV* Alliance AMP 5003-5006
Roger Emerson Wade in the Water Jenson 40323050
Let Me Ride Jenson 40312080
Johann Schein Christ lag in Todesbanden* Tetra/Continuo TC225
Victoria/Snyder Laudate Dominum CPP/Belwin SV9153
Mirabile Mysterium CPP/Belwin SV9325
Bach/Rodby Now Thank We All Our God Agape RS7721
Ken Galbreath Psalm 103* Alfred 17744
Andrea Klouse Kyrie* Hal Leonard 08704233
Audrey Snyder Agnus Dei* Warner Bros. SV8817
Burt/Ades Alfred Burt Carols I,II,&III Shawnee D-113, 114, 115
Boyce/Hopson Let the Praise Go Round CPP/Belwin GCMR03375
Christopher Walker Carol of the Bethlehem Cave* OCP Publ. 9843
F. J. Haydn Six Psalms(26,31,41,50,61,69)* Broude Bros. CR
Katie Moran Bart Blessing Curtis(Kjos) No. C8614
Georg Telemann Amen, Praise and Honor* Mark Foster MF180
Dietrich Buxtehude In Dulci Jubilo* Concordia 98-1500 (1501 voice
Robert Powell Be Glad, Ye Righteous Carl Fischer CM8139
Alan Bullard Come, Let Us Join OurCheerful GIA Publ. G-4312
Donald Bursarow A Mighty Fortress* Morning Star MSM-60-8000
Nikolaus Decius Lamb of God Pure and Holy* GIA Publ. G-4927
Giocomo Carissimi Christus factus est* GIA Publ. G-3120
Antonio Lotti Vere languores nostros* GIA Publ. G-2807
Eleanor Daley The Birds Warner Bros. VG-1011
K. Lee Scott Coram Deo I & II* Morning Star MSM-55-9825 & 9826
1. The 10th volume of Monteverdi's literature for THREE voices - Scherzi
Musicali-contains a wonderful selection "O Rosetta, Che Rosetta". It is
the out-of-print LP by the Waverly Consort. If you need a copy of this
recording, e-mail me, and I'll make you one and send it. Any work from
volume would be appropriate for your students. I've a copy of the volume
I'll send to you if you need it.
2. Luci care, luci belle by Mozart, published by National Music, CMS 115
3. Consiglio amaroso by Barbara Strozzi, published by Broude Bros MW2.
young women were excited to sing a work by this female composer.)
4. Invitation to Madrigals, Book 1, SAB by Thurston Dart published by
Galaxy #1.5106 ($6.95 ea)
5. There Is a Lady - SAB by David Eddleman, pub. C. Fischer #CM7999
6. Let's Hang On (Manhattan Transfer) SAB arr. R. Emerson, pub. Hal
7. The Gypsy Fiddler - SAB, by Ronald Melrose, pub. Carl Fischer CM8172
(This one is a gem!)
8. As Fair As Morn, SAB, Edited by John Haberlen, pub. Mark Foster
9. Medley from "Guys & Dolls" SAB arr. Mac Huff, pub. Hal Leonard
10. A Red, Red Rose by Daniel Burton, pub. Kjos Ed. 5755
11. The Shepherd's Chorus - SAB, by Menotti, pub. G. Schirmer #10955
12. Blue Skies - SAB, arranged by Steve Zegree
13. Pastime with Good Company, pub. Shawnee D-428, by Henry VIII
14. As Fair As Morn, by John Wilbye, pub. Mark Foster MF338.
15. Geographical Fugue, by Ernst Toch, is for a spoken choir of 4 voices
(any combination). I performed it in college, and it's challenging.
I just took my top choir (down to 18 from 38 last year) to camp for three
days. I have three tenors and four baritone/basses. They were able to
successfully learn SATB of:
The Lone Wild Bird, by D. Johnson, pub. Augsburg 11-0513 - many unison
parts with a soprano solo, and brief four part harmony section--very
I plan to have them perform "Chindia" by Pascanu. It is challenging and
I also joined the Contemporary Acapppella Society (CASA) for $30 and
received 12 arrangements over the internet. I separated the guys and
into two separate rehearsals and the guys worked on two 4-part acappella
selections and the girls work on two six-part acappella pieces. It was
for them and gave each "gender" a chance to work within their own
I would impress upon the group that there is challenging SAB literature
sounds very full and they have to work for the best sound of the voicings
they have. After the first week, I believe they'll buy into it. Praise
them every day for sticking with the program. They won't regret it! I
would approach the group concept as being a chamber choir/madrigal group,
instead of a large select choral group.
In 1994, there was a Choralnet publication of quality SAB literature for
chamber choir. You might still be able to get to it through one of the
Choralnet links. Some of the literature is permanently out-of-print, but
you can still get some of it.
Challenge your students: "Each one recruit one". The choir is going to
as good as the students in it put their efforts into it. My choirs have
received I+ ratings with the SAB literature performed above. The number
parts isn't as important as the quality of the literature. After two
you might audition the whole choral program for tenors and see what
GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit: