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High school: Large works

Thanks to all who responded to my email looking for recommended large works
for HS Choir. Here are the responses.
Christopher Borges

Schubert's mass in G is perfect....

The John Rutter Requiem is very accessible and very moving--more
importantly, it's very enjoyable for high school choirs because of its
memorable melodies and large dynamic contrast. It features an oboe solo on
"The Lord is My Shepherd" and has a rather important solo on the "Lux

What about the Faure Requiem?


Hi, have you tried
Hym to Saint Cecilia........Benjamin Britten
it has soprano, contralto, tenor and bass
another good one is
Reincarnations.............Samuel Barber
I am doing both and we timed those concerts and it took 43 minutes to do
both, they are the begenning selection in our spring cocnert, goodluck, hope
this helps

Pergolesi Magnificat
Faure Requiem

These would be my two top picks.

Try a couple of the Handel Coronation or Chandos anthems. They are pretty
accessible - no solos.
Haydn Little Organ Mass is a winner.
And there's always the Schubert Mass in G, tho the solo work is a little

The Creation--Steven Borowtiz
Gospel Mass--Robert Ray
Frostiana--Randall Thompson

I have done all of these with hy students. They work well and can be
learned easily. The kids were less thrilled about frostiana than the

Carmina Burana is the top of this list. They will love you forever
Pergolesi Magnificat
Honegger, King David
Rutter, Requiem
Rutter, Gloria
Bach, Cantata: For Us a Child is Born
Pinkham: Fanfares and Christmas Cantata
Vivaldi: Gloria and Magnificat
Hadyn: Lord Nelson Mass
I have also conducted Bach, St John Passion, and Stravinsky, Symphony of
with my high school choirs.
Good Luck. If the music is high quality, your choirs will come.

We performed Bernstein's 'Chichester Psalms' my junior year of high school.
It was certainly challenging but it worked beautifully. I would recommend
using the written instrumentation if you can as opposed to the piano

Schubert G-major mass. Vivaldi Gloria.

Mozart Missa Brevis in F Major
Telemann Laudate Jehovam
Schubert Mass in G
Pergolesi Magnificat

Vivaldi's "Gloria." Not much Latin to learn, good solos, a wonderful
duet, and no end of historical value.

Any of the Mozart missa brevis settings, Rutter Gloria, Bernstien Chichester
Psalms, Carmina Burana (double piano accompaniment with percussion), Bach
Cantata #4. Each of these works will call for a small and affordable

Dear Christopher,

I've had very good experiences with the following works both with high
school and volunteer church choirs:

Faure - Requiem
Schubert - Mass in G
Haydn - Missa Brevis St. Joannis de Deo (Little Organ Mass)
Vivaldi - Gloria
Ray - Gospel Mass
Mozart - Te Deum (only 10 min in length, no solos, but could be paired with
another short work)

Any of them would be a good "first."

Vivaldi "Magnificat"
Pergolesi "Magnificat" (shorter)
Haydn "Little Organ Mass" (Kleine Orgel messe) in Bb

COnsider the Schubert Mass in G Major-- I've also found the Mozart CM
Coronation Mass a huge success;
best wishes

Misa Criolla-Ramirez
some of the Missa Brevis of Mozart, but need to look at your soloist
I would stay away from most Bach; it is usually pretty difficult to pull
off with young singers. The solo's can really be tough.


This year I am doing my first major work. We are
doing the John Rutter Requiem. The kids love it.
Just a suggestion!

Hello Christopher,

Here are some entry level major works for your consideration:

Cherubini-Requiem Mass in C min (c 44 mins, but not hard)
Bach-Jesu Meine Fruede (Motet III) (c 24 mins)
Boccherini-Gloria (c 24 mins)
Dubois-The Seven Last Words (c 20 mins)
Faure-Requiem (c 30+ mins with Sop & Bar solos)
Palestrina-Missa Aeterna Christi Munera (c 21 mins)
Schubert-Mass in G (c 20 mins)
Vivaldi-Gloria (c 23 mins with S1&S2 duet)

I would probably avoid Handel, Haydn and Mozart for now. If you find your
first foray into one of the easier major works listed above successful, you
may want to try one of the Mozart Missa Brevis the second time around, but
they are a bit more challenging for high schoolers.

We have rehearsal CDs or tapes for each of the major works listed above. If
you would like a complimentary sample, just let me know where to send it. No
obligation, naturally.

Best, Gary Hammond

Hammond Music Service Song-Learning Systems
A retired choir director who is enjoying serving his art in a new way
We have advertised in the ACDA Choral Journal since 1990
Please visit our web site at
E-mail: songtape(a) or GRHammond(a)
Toll-free: 800-628-0855 (US, Territories and Canada)
International: 909-659-8579
Fax: 909-659-0798
Address: Hammond Music Service
PO Box 585 (Regular USPS mail)
24860 Fern Valley Road (FedEx, UPS & other courier services)
Idyllwild CA 92549-0585

Schubert Mass in G
Vivaldi Gloria

The Vivaldi Gloria is great.

If you have a good orchestra, I have found the Faure
Requiem to be great for high school

A late response to Christopher Borges compilation of large works for HS

Just an added comment – it is a rare high school choir that is REALLY
vocally and musically mature enough to handle some of the major compositions
listed, even though their directors may lust after performing such
masterworks. Some of them are simply too vocally taxing for all but the
exceptional high school singer.

Some ways to make such works “work” include combining with a more mature
community or church choir (a collaboration that can also increase community
awareness and support!) or bringing in one or more guest soloists to coach
the sections, and perhaps sing the solos in performance. Both of these
options create new awareness of both the challenges and possibilities of
life-long ensemble performance, and the recognition that vocal/musical
growth is a continuing process.

I have used both of these methods of collaboration with children, high
school, college, community, church, and professional choirs, and the results
(musical and otherwise) have always been worth the added effort.

With that in mind, I would add a couple of works to the list:
Mendelssohn - Hear My Prayer - soprano and SATB, piano or organ, there is
an orchestration.
Telemann - The Times of Day (Die Tageszeiten) - solo quartet, SATB, best
with instruments.
Schubert - Song of Miriam (Miriam’s Siegesgesang) - soprano and piano, also
an orchestration.
Mozart - Passion (Grabmusic) soprano, baritone, chorus, orchestra
Handel - Brockes Passion - multiple solos, many appropriate for HS, SATB,
best with instruments.
Vaughan Williams - Five Mystical Songs - baritone and SATB - piano or organ,
various orchestrations.
Handel - Ode to St. Cecilia - soprano and tenor solos with a few wonderful
SATB choruses - best with the orchestration.

By the way, many scholars attribute the Pergolesi “Magnificat” to Durante,
and the Bach “Cantata 142" to Kuhnau.

Charles Q. Sullivan

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on October 4, 2005 10:00pm
My name is Alissa Rowe and I am a teacher at Southeastern Louisiana University...I have also started my DMA work at Louisiana State University. I am currently looking for a WONDERFUL multi-movement Baroque work that is accessible for a very good high school group and intermediate college ensemble of approx. 35 members. NOT a Bach cantata.

Do you have any suggestions? What are your favorites? You can also list double choir works instead of multi-movement works... email is

on September 24, 2008 10:00pm
Another work you might consider- the Vivaldi Magnificat. Obviously not as well known as the Gloria (that might be a plus), but quite accessible and "fresh". Another plus- Vivaldi wrote several possible variations for the work (Kalmus edition) to have either choral or solo options for 3 or 4 of the movements. It might be an opportunity to showcase several outstanding soloists or opt for the choral version. The solos are freely composed and not based on their choral conterpart.

Anyone know of a recording of the Boccherini Gloria?

on December 29, 2009 10:00pm
A perfect work baroque is Membra Jesu Nostri by Buxtehude. If you want to impress your audience try the big works from Claudio Monteverdi (Beatus Vir) and Giovanni Gabrieli (Angelus ad pastores ait), if these works have to much parts you can easily fill these parts with a small brass section (trombones). I you like extreme music you can try Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis (40-part). All of these works are very well known in Europe.

Good Luck.


Jasper van Beek
The Netherlands