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SATB with Viola

Looking for a contest piece for my 40 voice choir that has a Viola solo/accompaniment.  It could be only viola with choir or include piano accompaniment.
I have a top notch, all-state level viola player in my choir that I'd like to feature in his senior year.
on December 14, 2013 12:11pm
Excerpts from RVW's Flos Campi (OUP) come to mind immediately, if not the entire piece.
Hope this helps,
Robert A.M. Ross
info(a) <Robert Ross 11>
on December 14, 2013 12:43pm
Hi William, 

I have a new arrangement of the Irish Folktune "Shule Aroon" set for SATB choir, handdrum & violin. However, a friend of mines choir has requested that they perform this piece with Viola because they have an incredible viola player as well. 

If you'd like I can send you a PDF of the Score and a midi playback. It has slow (dotted-quarter = 78) and fast (dotted-quarter = 102) moments. I think its a good contest piece. 

Alan Davis
on December 14, 2013 2:29pm
A few suggestions were made in an earlier thread here. A viola can also play most solo 'cello parts up an octave.
Another idea is to speak to your violist. Many are also composers and you might get something that ideally matches your ensemble.
on December 15, 2013 3:35am
An outstanding arrangement of AH, HOLY JESUS, by John Ferguson, SATB & solo viola will present a challenge to any violist.  May be a bit heavy for contest, but otherwise well worth the effort.  I believe it's published by Augsburg.  Good luck in your search.
on December 15, 2013 12:16pm
I've got a new piece I wrote last year called "Epitaph" for SATB and viola. It's a setting of an ancient Roman tomb inscription. Here's the text and a link to the piece. It would be good for a top level viola player. Each section of the choir sings independently for the first section, then they come together for most of the text. There is a recording and perusal pdf at the linked page.

Stranger, my message is short. 
Stand by and read it through. 

Here is the unlovely tomb of a lovely woman. 
Her parents called her Claudia by name.
She loved her husband with all her heart.
She bore two sons; 
of these she leaves one on earth; 
the other she has placed under the earth. 
She was charming in converse, yet gentle in bearing. 
She kept house, she made wool.

That’s my last word. 
Go your way.

- Ancient Roman Tomb Inscription, 135-120 B.C.

on December 16, 2013 1:23am
you could try Bob Chilcott's 'Beach' for SATB choir and viola obbl. There's a sound clip and sample pdf on this link,
on December 16, 2013 10:44am
There are two setting of St. Francis' "Canticle of the Sun" for chorus and viola. One is by Jean Berger, which includes also "small percussion," and is published by J. Shepperd. The other is by Klaus George Roy (1924-2010), op. 17, and appears to be an AMP publication.
There is also Vaughan-Williams' well-known "Flos Campi," a setting of texts from the Song of Solomon, for chorus, orhcestra, and solo viola. I'm sure there's a piano reduction. I believe Oxford is V-W's publisher.
Here is a link to Wikipedia's list of solo viola compositions. Just search each page for "chorus" or "choir." There's a ton of stuff there
on December 16, 2013 11:53am
Paul Chihara: Songs of Love and Loss (acappella with viola)
Jacob Avshalomov: Songs from the Goliards (acappella with viola)
on December 27, 2013 6:16am
Dear William,
I suggest the Requiem by Puccini for chorus STB and viola solo.
About 5 mins.
It's a short piece and the viola part very playable.
It isn't a brilliant piece, but attractive enough to be worth playing, so maybe not for a competition
If you search it there are versions on youtube and the score avaialble free on the web.
Last year I played the Fauré Racine Cantique in a version for choir, violas and piano, with the violas (or possibly viola solo) playing all the triplets and the piano the chords.
But the viola part was really tough and I kept thinking it would be better to have just the one viola, to keep the tuning in line.
I don't have this version any more, but it would be simple to put together.
Also check out Bach cantata number 18, with an orchestra of violas, cellos etc. (no violins), maybe there's a movement there that could be done.
As an encore you could do the Chorale movement (number 4) from Bach's Cantata 140, but the choir sings in unison, or else just the tenors.
I have my viola part of the Fauré, which I could scan if you're really interested. write to padibcn at yahoo dot com, but I don't have the full score.
on December 28, 2013 4:40am
There are several hymns by John Ferguson arranged for SATB and viola. The set is stunning, and there may be a selection other than AH HOLY JESUS, suggested by Thomas Shellenberger above, that you would like more.
on December 28, 2013 6:38am
The John Ferguson "Ah, Holy Jesus" is published by MorningStar Music Publishers, and part of the Christus Series, a cycle of hymns for  SATB divisi and solo viola. I have used three of them ("Ah, Holy Jesus", "Who is This?", and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel") and think they are fabulous pieces. You can hear and/or see the pieces on the MorningStar website. The path to follow is:
advanced search
More options, keyword in description, "christus series"
Enjoy the discovery!
Phil Micheal (retired, but not out of the loop)
on December 29, 2013 5:05am
Here is a recording of High Flight and here is a perusal score.
In this case the solo is played on alto saxophone. A viola version is also available.
Thank you,
on December 30, 2014 4:53am
I have a piece I wrote, "The Prayer of Daniel" for SATB choir with viola. It is a literal version of Daniel 17-19. The text and music are quite somber, maybe not fancy enough for a contest but very dramatic. The viola part is not difficult. I would be happy to let you us eit without charge. You can contact me through my website  
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