ssa & ssaa secular
For a perusal copy of any score please send an email to the composer and he is more than happy to send you one.
Auld lang syne
SSA, flute and piano, Boosey & Hawkes M-051-47770-8
A moving setting of the wonderful Burns words that use the original version of the Scottish air (different that the one often heard!) This is the perfect conclusion to a holiday concert, and also appropriate for graduation and other times of farewell. It has become a Christmas tradition with the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston. Additional instrumentation available from the composer.
See the score
SSA and piano, Gordon V. Thompson VG-369 (available from Alfred)
Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote the text for Canadian Boatsong as he traveled along the St. Lawrence River in 1842. The tune is a lilting French folksong. The descriptive piano writing portrays tolling bells, the rapids, and the peacefulness of the evening along the St. Lawrence. Especially good for teens, and women’s voices. Moderately easy.
Cliffs of Dooneen, The
SSA and piano, Cypress Choral Music CP 1165
The Cliffs of Dooneen is a popular and haunting Irish folk song that extols the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coast. The final verse expresses longing for the homeland–a sentiment shared by many Irish immigrants during the nineteenth century when they were forced to leave for North America because of the Great Famine. This arrangement was written for Sister Rita Clare and the Cape Breton Chorale for the Celtic Colours Festival in 2008. The SSA version is dedicated to Ann McIntyre, Conductor of the Edmonton Children’s Choir.
Cloths of Heaven
SSA and piano, Kelman Hall 06/2062 (Music Plus)
A expressive setting of Yeat’s magnificent poem “Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths”. This work, also available in SSA and TTBB, was commissioned by Music Plus and the Lyrical Lines Education Network for the 2007 Waterloo Region High School Choral Festival to be held in Centre in the Square, Kitchener-Waterloo. Medium difficulty. Listen to the SATB version in performance by the Cantabile Choirs with guest conductor Bob Chilcott:
Go, Lassie, Go
SSA and piano, optional flute, oboe, bass, Boosey & Hawkes M-051-475308 Instrumental parts: M-051-105106
This Celtic folk song is well known in Scotland and Ireland. This is animated rendition that sets the audiences toes ‘a-tappin’ and would make a perfect opening or conclusion to a concert. Can be combined with the SATB version of the work. Moderately easy.
Give Me Your Stars to Hold
SSA and piano, Santa Barbara Music SBMP 1252
Audiences will leave humming the opening strains of this splendid piece. Abounding in melodic interest, and blessed with an ever-pulsating accompaniment, this setting of the Teasdale poem is destined to be a favorite of singers. See the Score Watch
Lake Huron Autumn
SSA and percussion (Orff), Boosey & Hawkes M051-48019774
An evocative soundscape on poetry by William Wilfred Campbell is appropriate for children, teens and adults alike. The inventive work captures the sounds of the autumn along the shores of the Great Lakes: rustling bulrushes, leaves, flying geese and ducks, the cold wind.
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The Leaving of Liverpool
Celtic folksong, SSA and piano, Boosey & Hawkes, M051-48177-4
Setting this Celtic folk song in a slow and majestic style, Mark underscores the anguish and uncertainty of the lovers who must say goodbye. The final outburst is full of heartbreak and will be a passionate and emotional moment for your choir. Duration: ca 3:50
See the score
SSA, and piano, Alliance Music AMP 0687
Full of French lyricism and romantic harmonies, Les étoiles was commissioned by the Oriana Women’s Choir of Toronto under the direction of William Brown. Recorded by the Oriana Women’s Chorus on the CD “Child with the Starry Crayon”. Medium.
See the score
Watch – GHS Concert Choir, Jennifer Jarrett, conductor
new release My Heart Soars S(S)A and piano, Boosey & Hawkes, CME: Intermediate series. HL 48023055
Composer Mark Sirett set the beautiful and evocative poem “My Heart Soars” of Chief Dan George for a tribute concert to aboriginal cultures of the world. The concert was recognized by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities as Canada’s Outstanding Choral Event of 2009-10. Written for three part women’s or children’s voices and piano, the work captures the spiritual nature of the text beautifully. Duration: ca. 4 minutes See the score
Reel à bouche
SSA, piano and clarinet (or accordion), optional double bass, Alliance Music AMP 0714
In French Acadian tradition, a Reel à bouche is a form of ‘mouth music’ with nonsense syllables and extra vocal effects. This rhythmic dance has a French cabaret feeling that is full of fun for performers and audience alike. It was commissioned by the Amabile Youth Singers of London ON.
See the score
Watch – Henry Leck conduct the Coastal Sound Festival Chorus
SSA, drone, finger cymbals, gong, Boosey and Hawkes M-051-47984-9
This soundscape is inspired by the mysticism of ancient Eastern religions, with a text and chant derived from the Buddhist mantra: “Peace. May all beings be well and happy.” The work evokes serenity, warmth and love. The drone was original performed by a singing bowl but a cello, keyboard or low organ pedal could easily be used. See the score
Watch – Lewis and Clark Women’s Choir
Song of the Angels (Gloria)
SSAA, handbells, percussion, Boosey & Hawkes, CME In High Voice, M-051-47492-9
Although the Gloria is often associated with Christmas the message of peace is universal and appropriate for many different settings. This is a colourful soundscape uses accessible experimental effects often supported by the tuned and untuned percussion instruments. Gregorian chant inspires the opening and concluding melodies. The work received acclaim at recent international festivals. Commissioned by La Jeunesse Northumberland Girls’ Choir. See the score Watch
The Spinning Wheel
SSA and piano, ECS Publishing ECS 6416
“Merrily, cheerily, noiselessly whirring”–this delightful Irish folksong tells the story of a young maiden spinning under the supervision of her grandmother. The sounds heard at the window are that of the young girl’s lover come to steal a kiss without her grandmother knowing. An inventive piano part highlights the humour of the story. Medium easy. See the score
Treat the Earth Well
SSA and piano, Boosey & Hawkes, Building Bridges Series, HL 48023877
The words for this are an ancient prayer from the Southwestern United States. They speak of the earth as a sacred and holy place that is worthy of our love and respect. The Prayer challenges us, as temporary residents of the land, to be diligent stewards on behalf of our children. And as we have come to expect, Mark’s choral writing is intricate and rewarding.
Un canadian errant
SSA and piano, Kelman Hall 04/20MMP 29 (Music Plus)
One of Canada’s best loved folk songs, an emotional and heartrending story of a young rebel who is banished from his homeland. This poignant and dramatic setting that has often been used for Canada Day Unisong Festival at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Easy. Orchestration available from the composer.
Watane (also appears in some catalogues as ‘Wantane’)
SSA, percussion, Boosey & Hawkes M051-473434
Watane is an original work inspired by aboriginal culture. Non-traditional vocal sounds, fragments of Iroquois chants, bird calls, and varied percussion evoke the atmosphere of the Eastern Woodlands. The work has been performed at ACDA national and regional conventions and most recently at the in World Symposium of Choral Music in Patagonia. This SSAA score is easily adapted for various voice combinations.
Watch – Calliope Women’s Chorus, France
Watch – Toronto Children’s Chorus, Elise Bradley, Director, 9th World Symposium of Choral Music, Patagonia
Where have all the flowers gone?
Words and music by Peter Seeger, SSA, piano, optional, violin, flute, oboe, double bass, Boosey & Hawkes, M 51-476299 Full score: M-051-10515-1
A beautiful, expressive setting of this favorite song that longs for peace. Each verse varies in voicing. The setting is inventive and deeply moving. Since 911, especially suitable for concerts of remembrance and peace, plus commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWI. String orchestration available from the composer. Medium easy.
See the score