Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Remembrance repertoire

Dear Listers,

Here is a compilation of songs that were recommended for a concert of
remembrance. I asked for pieces that would be appropriate for a chamber
choir with or without instrumentation. Thank you to all who helped with
this information.

Julie Adams, Director
Reconciliation Singers: Voices of Peace

You MUST check out Eleanor Daley's piece called "In
Remembrance". It is SATB a cappella. It is of the
Elmer Isler series. This piece is stunning and gut
wrenching all at the same time.

There's a new requiem from Hinshaw, by David Huff. It is exquisite.
Check it out --

We are singing a hauntingly lovely Sim Shalom arranged by Wendy Stuart,
published by Gollard press. It's SATB a capella

Fauré and Brahms Requiems come to mind.

I have written two interfaith memorial pieces. One is called "The
Choir Invisible" and is set to words from the
poem of the same name by George Eliot. It has a violin obbligato and is
SATTB with piano. It has been sung for
All Saint's Day in church, but was originally written and performed as a
memorial to a favorite professor. The other
piece is "Snowfall" for SSAA and is a hopeful reflection in the midst of
loss. It can be sung unaccompanied or with
guitar, soprano recorder, and electronic keyboard.

You may take a look at the pieces by visiting the website which is an online
showcase for independent composers. Just click on my name in the
composer profile category. If you download
the Scorch plug-in, you can hear and see the music at the same time. Or
download the PDF file and listen to the
midi. (Of course, the digital sounds only give you a gist of what the
piece really sounds like).

You might like to look at Brahms' "Begrabnisgesang" which is specifically
for funerals. J. S. Bach's motets were written for funeral processions.
Another wonderful piece of the memorial sort is Josquin des Prez's memorial
for Ockeghem: "Déploration sur la mort d'Ockeghem" (begins "Nymphes des
bois.") Of course, there are dozens of settings of the Requiem mass

Here's another one by Eleanor Daley, also lovely and on her new CD: "O
Lord, Support Us" (published by McGroarty Music Publishing).

Eleanor Daley's "Requiem" is a wonderful a cappella work, and includes
the now quite well-known "In Remembrance" ("Do not stand at my grave and
weep..."). It is published by Gordon V. Thompson (a division of Warner
Chappell) I believe.

Eleanor has also written a wonderful piece called "For the Fallen" (satb
with trumpet) that may not yet be published. "In Remembrance" and "For
the Fallen" are both on her newly released CD, "Canticle to the Spirit"
which is all works by Eleanor, sung by her wonderful choirs at Fairlawn
Heights United Church. (If you are interested in purchasing that CD,
e-mail me and I will put you in touch with Eleanor.)

Paul Aitken's "In Flanders Fields" is also a wonderful work (a cappella)
that won the young composer's prize at the 1999 Chicago National ACDA

In Remembrance by Eleanor Daley..from Requiem. lovely.

The Roger Wagner Center for Choral Studies has just published a "Requiem

(For Jill)"by Andrew Rose, three pieces on these texts: (1) To You
(Walt Whitman); (2) Lux Aeterna; and (3) Death Is Nothing At All...
(Henry Scott Holland). They are unaccompanied. Lovely compositional
style and worthy pieces. They are published by Thomas House
Publications as part of the "Roger Wagner Contemporary Choral Series,"
and distributed by Theodore Presser.

In Bright Mansions, by Roland Carter is a lovely a
cappella selection that would work well with smaller
numbers of singers.

There's the Alain Requiem, which probably follows 1930's French
Liturgical practice.

I believe there are some a cappella requiems that are from the Flemish
school, and Rheinberger wrote three of them, one with orchestra, one
with organ, and one a cappella!

Brahms' Requiem would work for a chamber choir.
Henry Purcell has some nice funeral sentences.
Most of Bach's motets were written for funeral services.
Josquin wrote "La deploration de la mort de Johannes Ockeghem"
(Lament on the death of Johannes Ockeghem) which is available here:
For something a little different, you might want to try singing the
plainchant "Requiem aeternam" doubled at the octave or at the fifth.

Although it's not a requiem, I'd like the Mass in g by Ralph Vaughan
Williams sung at my demise. There are two versions--the original Latin

one and another which conforms to the English Book of Common
Prayer--for use in the Anglican rite.

Tomas Luis de Victoria wrote a beautiful Renaissance "Requiem Mass" that

would work. In fact lots of Renaissance composers did. Amazing Grace is
often sung at Catholic and Protestant funerals also. Also "Softly and
Tenderly" is used, and I have a simple arr. by Rene Clausen.

I have a work you might be interested in for your program. It's titled "Over
the City" and is in memory of the victims of the bombing of Hiroshima, Scored
for choir and chamber ensemble (or for choir and organ; or choir with piano
and cello), it was premiered on August 6, 1995 in Seattle. It was
commissioned by a nation-wide consortium of 30 Unitarian Churches to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima (August 6,
1945). The premiere was given simultaneously in numerous cities across the
U.S. On November 11, 1995 it was performed by Seattle Pro Musica as part of
a Veteran's Day concert, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of
WWII. More recently, it was performed in March 1997 in Miami, at the
National Conference of the Society of Composers, and again in Miami on April
10, 1997, as well as at the Women in Music Conference at the University of
Ohio, Athens, on October 25, 1997. The duration is 9 minutes, and the chamber
ensemble scoring is: fl., cl., pno., 2 vln., vla., vcl., db.

The text was written by an American poet who lived in Japan, and it speaks
eloquently of reconciliation and remembrance. Following is a note from the
"The text for Over the City is derived from an actual experience. During
my two-year stay in Japan I had traveled down to Nagasaki and visited the
bomb museum there and ate, it seems, some bad fish from a little food stall.
I had planned to stop off in Hiroshima on the way back to Kobe, but on route
became extremely ill. By the time I reached Hiroshima the conductor had
encamped me in his little office on the train (a retching foreigner is rather
noticeable in Japan). All I remember of Hiroshima is the brief sight of it
through the window and my garbled emotions, compounded by food poisoning.
Only later did I equate that historical date, August 6th, in Hiroshima with
my own illness -- the symptoms of food poisoning strangely mocking those of
radiation sickness.
World War II is often referred to as "the good war." But it was
horrible, as all wars are. There were atrocities on all sides. Even if the
rationale is true, as the purveyors of Realpolitik assert (that the war ended
earlier due to our dropping of the atomic bomb), it is nevertheless, a legacy
in which we can never, in any way, take pride. Human beings, most of whom
had very little control over the conduct of the war, were savagely
slaughtered. The "hibakusha" (survivors of the Bomb) and their descendants
continue to suffer today and are often ostracized by their own communities.
The Bomb was so horrific that "no one" wants to remember it. Even those who
died are left "homeless." So, fifty years later, it is so commendable that
you are here, if only for a few moments, to be reconciled with the more than
200,000 men, women and children who lost their lives."

If you are interested in a perusal copy of the score, I would be happy to
send one.

Best wishes with your programming.

Karen P. Thomas, Artistic Director
The Seattle Pro Musica

The Durufle Requiem works great with just organ and cello.... perfect for a
chamber group.

Eleanor Daley, Requiem, GOrdon Thompson Music

Canadian Composer Eleanor Daley has a wonderful Requiem for Chamber Choir.
It is not easy, but vey effective. It has a particularly gripping setting
of the text of "In Remembrance" ... Do not stand at my grave and weep
(which is also available as a single work by the tiele 'In
Remembrance" in excerpt).

Can I refer you to a new disc of CLARE COLLEGE CHOIR on the COLLEGIUM
produced by John Rutter, called BLESSED SPIRIT - MUSIC OF THE SOUL'S
It contains:

Plainsong from the Requiem Mass
Schütz Selig sind die Toten
Russian Contakion (in Russian)
Tchaikovsky Blessed are they
Tavener Funeral Ikos
W-Davies Psalm 121 + Requiem
Hildegard O felix anima
Sheppard Audivi vocem de coelo
Byrd Justorum animae
Parry There is an old belief
Luboff Deep River
Brown Steal away
Victoria O quam gloriosum
Abelard O quanta qualia
Harris Faire is the heaven
Holst The Evening Watch

Let me recommend a short but very effective short a cappella piece by Ron
Harris, Do Not Stand by my Grave and Weep, SATB, published by WOODLAND
/INTRADA, A0500210.

You might look at Mendelssohn's "Andenken" if you don't already know it.

This is an a cappella, secular piece about remembrance.

Let Down the Bars, O Death by Samuel Barber.

Howells Requiem & Take him earth for cherishing (J.F.K. Motet)

Sing Me to Heaven by Daniel Gawthrop (Simply Beautiful)
SATB A cappella, Dunstan House DH9101

I'm Goin' Up A Yonder by WIlliam Hawley (Powerful)
Starts unison, goes to 2 part for most of the song and ends up in
4 part mixed.
Piano Accompaniment
Boosey and Hawkes OC4B6451

Amazing Grace Arr. Francisco Nunez (good arrrangement)
3-Pt treble, but can be divided other ways, has solos built in (or not)
Piano accompaniment
Boosey and Hawkes OCT6801

Also, Lord of the Dance which I can't locate at the moment.

Josquin's "Nymphs du bois," written I believe on the death of Ockeghem, is
a very beautiful work. I suspect there is the usual alto range problem
typical of Renaissance pieces written for male altos, but it would be worth
looking at.

I composed two works for funeral services. I join the copies of the scores
in PDF files. Perhaps you'l be interested. Thank you to tell me your

Happy Holidays!

-- Jacques Guyader

I have recently published an SATB arrangement of Stephen Foster's HARD TIMES
COME AGAIN NO MORE (1854), which may suit your needs. It is written for an a
cappella chorus of SATB voices, and with its subtle modal inflections and
introspective and affirmative qualities, it would work well in a memorial
service of any denomination. It would also be suitable for a secular service
of remembrance. Please note, though, that this beautiful piece of Americana
is about hardship, not about death - although it does refer in its fourth
verse to the singing of dirges at the graveside.

I would be pleased to mail you a complimentary copy; multiple copies may be
purchased at US$1.50 each. If you are interested, please send me your
mailing address, and I'll send a comp copy off to you immediately.

Yours sincerely,
Willi Zwozdesky
Suite 108 - 1928 Nelson Street, Vancouver BC Canada V6G 1N2

I have a recently completed requiem piece, "I Have Killed
The Deer," for SATB and Piano based on a text from Taos
Pueblo. I would be happy to send you a copy if you would
be interested.

Thank you,
Richard Corbett

Herbert Howells - Requiem (hard, beautiful)(Novello, I think)
Randall Thompson - Requiem (separate movements may be extracted and work
Ernest Bullock - Give us the wings of faith (OUP)
Edgar Bainton - And I saw a new earth (Novello)
Paul Manz - E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come
Brooks Grantier, The Battle Creek Boychoir, Battle Creek, MI

on September 11, 2003 10:00pm
In the list printed above, "Choir Invisible" and "Snowfall" can now be viewed at Just click on the 'repertoire' list. Or if you'd like to have .pdf file sent to you to preview the pieces, send an e-mail to
on December 25, 2004 10:00pm
Some years ago I wrote a setting of "They Lie at Rest", an especially moving poem of remembrance of our war dead. Contact me at : for further information.
on July 22, 2006 10:00pm
I have composed a choral work with an anti-war text entitled "Prayer to St. Peter" (SATB with piano and oboe or flute). The text is based on an anonymous poem that was found in a hospital in the Philippines during World War II.

I hope you might consider this for your choir. You can see parts of the score and hear a short sound byte by clicking on the following (After you reach the page, scroll down to "Prayer to St. Peter")

Thanks for your consideration.
on April 30, 2008 10:00pm
One personal favorites amongst the sea of "In Remembrance"s is Jeffrey Ames's In Remembrance.... such a beautiful piece for SATB choir, piano, and horn... although a C and Bb score is also provided for flute, oboe, clarinet, etc..