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SATB: with Guitar (non-Christmas)

Below is a compilation of responses for my request for non-Christmas choral
octavos using guitar accompaniment. You see there are relatively few
specific titles. I was surprised. I have not been able to get a look at
Jeffrey Van's catalogue, however: there may be titles there which suit my
criteria. I know that GIA and OCP often include guitar chords in their
choral publications. My experience has been that the writing for the guitar
in these pieces is not terribly challenging for the guitarist. I certainly
do not want to dismiss the entire catalogue of these publishers, however.
What I really was after was idiomatic writing for the guitar, that served as
accompaniment for the chorus. Thanks to all who replied to my query.

You might enjoy "The Ballad of Befana" by Kirke Mechem. Great piece but

Adio, Kerida - arr. Joshua Jacobson
A saphardic jewish folk tunes in spanish/hebrew. Not sacred but very good.

You should communicate directly with composer/guitarist Jeff Van (I am
copying this letter to him). Not only is he an extraordinary choral vocalist,
but many of his pieces have guitar accompaniment.

One of my favorites is "The Rune of Hospitality" by Alf Houkom. It's
by Walton, catalogue number is WDW-1002.
It's is in their "Christmas Choral Series," but the text is really
for any time of year:

I saw a stranger yestereen;
I put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place;
And in the sacred names of the Triune
He blessed me and my house,
My cattle and my dear ones.
And the lark said in her song:
Often, often, often,
Goes the Christ in the stranger's guise.

Dale Warland Singers have recorded it on their "December Stillness" CD.
I hope this is helpful.
I also believe there is another in this same series for choir/guitar,
but can't recall the title. I think it is also the same composer.

Show Me Thy Ways" by Walter L. Pelz, c. 1970 Augsburg; SATB with guitar and
oboe (sub. flute, but oboe is really better if you can swing it)

We have a wonderful piece, but it's not sacred. Might you consider it
anyway. It's "The Blue Tail Fly" for SATB with optional guitar & bass.
Let me know if you'd like to take a look.

A great piece with guitar is Alf Houkom's "Rune of Hospitality"--we've done
it twice. Difficult, divisi in all parts, and you have to write out the
guitar part since it's no longer available. Well worth the effort!

The "big 3" Catholic publishers offer lots of
Christmas sacred octavos for chorus and guitar.
GIA Publications
Oregon Catholic Press
World Library Publications

I am a guitarist/arranger/composer living in Vancouver BC and I have had the
great pleasure to have performed, many times, in all those capacities with
the world renowned Jon Washburn and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Among other
things, I have produced 2 CDs of my World Christmas arrangements featuring
these works are, bit by bit, being made available to other choirs.
Edward Henderson
861 East 11th Avenue
Vancouver BC

Do you know the Jeffrey Van settings -- he is a marvelous guitarist. We
just performed a portion of his settings of Whitman poems - We did Beat !
Beat! Drums!

I've got a sweet setting of Lover's Lament for guitar and SATB chorus but it
is not sacred -- it is a setting of an Appalachian folksong.

O Be Joyful----by Jeffrey Van (Walton)
The Rune of Hospitality---Alf Houkom (Walton)
Romancero Gitano---Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Well, I can't think of precisely what you ask for, but would like to mention
the works of Minnesota composer Jeffrey Van. I've done several of his Xmas
works for guitar and chorus (as well as the Fink) and also Van's "A
Procession Among Us," which is secular. Among the Xmas works I've admired
are O Be Joyful, Child of Peace, El Rorro. Also Alf Houkom's The Rune of
Hospitality - a sacred, non-Xmas-specific piece! Yay, I found one.

Mike Barker
Richmond, VA

on May 7, 2005 10:00pm
i thought this was a non christmas list.
on October 8, 2005 10:00pm
There is a work for guitar, choir and orchestra from Leo Brouwer called Concerto no. 8 - "Cantata de Perugia". I think both the guitar and the choir have the role of soloists, as this is a concert for soloists and orquestra. It's available at Chester Music.

You also have music from this fabulous composer of the renaissence period: John Dowland. Dowland has three books of songs and airs in wich you can find the best known song "Come again" and others, but most people don't know that all of these songs (about 60) are 4 part harmonized plus the lute part. Everybody does it only with soprano solo and lute or guitar. It's very good music and results very well with a small chamber choir (or vocal quartet). There is a free transcription available at

Regards from a guitarrist/conducter/singer...