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Large works for small choirs

Hello again, Colleagues --

I am in search of another cantata-like piece for my church choir to perform this spring. Messiah has been cancelled due to many numerous and lingering problems.

I have been given the task to find something that fits the criteria from the subject line of this message. I would prefer that the piece be from CPDL or WIMA or some-such site where I could check it out prior to committing to it. I have looked at both sites, plus Manfred Hoessl's site (which is all in German or Latin) to no avail. English translations would work for this group. I am tempted to find Bach's Coffee Cantata in an English version and present them with that and call it good. Any suggestions?

Thank you all again. What a GREAT resource!


Craig C. Hawkins
Teacher, Conductor, Composer/Arranger
Tenor and Violinist
Director of The Celebration Choir
Our Saviour Lutheran Church
Endwell, New York
MusicCndctr (at)yahoo (dot)com

Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.

Seems there is more pieces like this than I thought. Tha
Colleagues --

Seems there is more pieces like this than I thought. Thank you to Paul Meers, Gary Atkinson, Richard Bloesch, Stephen Stomps, Danielle Vinup, Jefferson, De Marco, Dale McCurdy, Wayland Rogers, Andy Morgan, and Rafael Ornes. My comment about the Coffee Cantata was kind of a joke, albeit a bad one. Seems there is another wrinkle in the planning: all the neighboring Lutheran congregations are wanting to plan something together with myself as the director of the "big show." I haven't decided on anything as we (all the Lutheran musicians, not just choir directors) are meeting next Tuesday to iron out some sort of plan for this performance, which is being spoken of as Lent, Palm Sunday in particular. I'll take a copy of this email along with me!

Try the Moravians. I did one with a little rural church choir in Arkansas, (English trans, not original German) and after an initial rebellion by the women, they heard the instruments with it, and were totally charmed. The piece we did was Der Friedfuerst kommt, by Christian Gregor. Like Haydn but less counterpoint. No solos. Don't know if it's on cpdl or Handlo. I think Concordia published a lot of them.
I will make the parts for you and email them to you as soon as I can.
I would suggest looking at some of the Handel Chandos anthems, which
are all in English and not too difficult.
CPE Bach's Magnificat
Pinkham's Fanfares
Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio (need some fire-breathing soloists)
Rutter's Reluctant Dragon (it is for Christmas)
Stephen Paulus has several pieces with orchestra and choir in English. There are examples of most pieces on his website, and will send perusal copies.
There's always Arthur Sullivan's "The Prodigal Son." I'm not sure I
know what you mean by "small' though, if it is a substitute for

Michael Praetorius has a ton of cantata like pieces in Musae Sionae,
mostly based on Lutheran hymns. You'd have to translate them from the
German, though.
1/ Five Hymns in popular Style. John Gardner. Wonderful. For one piano,
or piano 4 hands, or a very strange instrumental combination which I've
never used. These pieces can be used again and again in worship (in most
settings except the most rigidly "nothing post-Mendelssohn") and are fresh
looks at tired old texts. Don't let the "popular" in the title fool you
into thinking "Contemporary Christian." Anything but. Great Mezzo solo in
"Abide with Me" and the "Nearer My God to Thee" is great fun with a rhythmic
motive like "America" from West Side Story. Published by Oxford.

2/ They Called Her Moses. Spirituals and original material (as well as
narration) for SATB chorus and soloist (Harriet Tubman) by Robert DeCormier.
Published by Shirmer, and out of print, but they'll print copies for you.

3/ Haydn's Little Organ Mass (Scti Johannis De Deo) wonderful little piece
with or without strings.
Has a SOP solo that is quite nice but accessible for a good volunteer
singer. I think this exists in English translations. There are several

4/ Look at extended works by Rene Claussen, who conducts the Concordia
College Choir.

5/ Are you looking for something more contemporary? Google the name
Jackson Berkey (formerly of Mannheim Steamroller. He's written some nice
choral pieces, quite "American" sounding.

6/ If you want something more difficult, I love a piece called
"PsalmKonzert" by Heinz Werner Zimmerman. Probably published by Concordia.
It was very popular about 30 years ago. SSATB as I recall, and it requires
3 trumpets, vibraphone and bass. Optional children's chorus. There is no
piano reduction which makes it still more difficult.

7/ How about one of Rutter's extended works, is there anything in English?
Try Handel's FOUNDLING HOSPITAL ANTHEM. it is effective, not terribly
hard and ends with the HALLELUJAH CHORUS

Craig C. Hawkins
Teacher, Conductor, Composer/Arranger
Tenor and Violinist
Director of The Celebration Choir
Our Saviour Lutheran Church
Endwell, New York
MusicCndctr (at)yahoo (dot)com

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