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up tempo short piece by a poet

Our fall theme is based on settings of great texts.  English for now.
Have some slow pieces, but need a short up beat one that could serve as an opener.  Medium ability High School Choir.  SATB, maybe some simple divisi.  A cappella nice, but not required.
Replies (10): Threaded | Chronological
on August 26, 2013 10:07pm
You might be interested in two of my a cappella settings: 'The Listeners' (Walter de la Mare - a slightly uneasy poem about an over-active imagination) and 'Earth has not anything to show more fair'
(William Wordsworth's 19th century view of London). Both are upbeat and might well fit into your program.
If you would like a copy e-mail me  at:  smacmus(a)
Stuart McIntosh
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 27, 2013 4:42am
Always happy to suggest my setting of Amy Lowell's "A Winter Ride".  SATB, accomp., very brief soprano divisi.  The text is full of energy and the setting strives to match it - a fast-moving, just under two-minute romp.
Print copies available from JWPepper, but you can get a review copy and (cheap) print permissions at
John Ward
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 27, 2013 7:27am
Check Emma Lou Diemer's set of Emily Dickinson poems - Bee, I'm Expecting You and The Birds Begun at Four O'clock. Published by Alliance Music in Houston. Bee is unison but SO worth doing, and The Birds is a bit more challenging but definitely attainable for a good high school choir. Both with fun piano accompaniments. Also, look at No. 4 from Persichetti's Celebrations - There is That in Me - Walt Whitman. Written for wind accompaniment, it would be fine with piano.
Susan Davenport
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 27, 2013 7:36am
Hope you'll take a look at my work Today, which sets some WONDERFUL texts by Frank O'Hara -- life-affirming, joyous.
Published by Yelton Rhodes -- here's a link to it on their web site, and a link to further info about it on my site.
All best!
Jonathan Santore
Applauded by an audience of 2
on August 28, 2013 2:35pm
Thanks Jonathon.   I listened to the sound file on your website.  Very nice!  Might be a little over my group's head for a "start up" piece.  I will keep it in mind for future.
on August 28, 2013 9:54am
My students loved Jabberwoky (CS Lewis, composer: Carolyn Jennings). I second "Bee! I'm expecting you"--really easy analysis, beautiful lyrics, and FUN!
on August 28, 2013 10:47pm
Hi Craig:
You might look at my 4 e e cummings songs to see if any of them would
suit your needs.  They are a capella, between 2 and 3 minutes long,
medum difficulty.  The set has won several composition contests.  Not
in print yet. You may see scores and listen to the music at PROJECT:ENCORE,
the refereed database of Schola Cantorum on Hudson.  Or contact me for
more information.
Brian Holmes
on August 30, 2013 2:50am
Please consider An Easy Decision, humorous text by Kenneth Patchen, SATB & piano, ECS publishing #6747. Visit to see a PDF of the score and hear a performance. It's a  brief piece and very easy to learn. This piece may be purchased from the distributor Canticle Distributing, Thank you for your consideration.
on August 30, 2013 9:47am
Hi Craig,
I invite you to consider my setting of <a href="">Pied Beauty</a>, a beautiful text by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Rebecca Oswald
on August 31, 2013 8:16am
Hi Craig:  Please give a listen to my "We are the Music Makers"  The two performances are with a
brass choir, but I heard one HS choir sing it with piano.
You can find it at
Just click on listen
Thanks, for listening
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