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

Robbie Burns

I am planning a concert to celebrate Robbie Burns in late January. Anyone have any suggestions of music on Robbie Burns texts or other Scottish choral arrangements. My community choir is SATB and works at a fairly skilled level. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
on June 26, 2012 1:30pm
Look at Ca' The Yowes for tenor solo and choir by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Exquisite.
on June 26, 2012 10:02pm
I have arranged the following Scottish songs for chorus - - all published by Boosey & Hawkes:
Auld Lang Syne (Burns)
2 or 3 part treble:
Afton Water
Auld Lang Syne
The Birks of Aberfeldy
Loch Lomond
Skye Boat Song
Ae Fond Kiss
In Praise of Isla
All are performable by a choir like yours.
Lee Kesselman
on June 27, 2012 6:51am
For Burns Night (January 25th), if that's what you're planning for, Canasg Music offers settings of
  • Green grow the rushes, O
    " The sweetest hours that I ever spend, Are spent among the lasses, O" – in a charming setting by New Zealand composer Jonathan Crehan: 2m 30s. SATB with piano
  • Ae fond kiss
    This is a simply gorgeous and heartbreaking love song, based on a real parting, arranged with touching simplicity by Frances Cockburn: 3m 00s. SATB
  • Auld lang syne
    All of Robert Burns' verses, which say rather more than the usual few raucous lines sung at New Year. Arranged by Sheena Phillips: 4m 00s. SATB
  • Ay waukin' O
    "Sleep I can get nane For thinkin on my dearie:" — lovesickness expressed with Burns' incomparable simplicity and force. Arranged by Sheena Phillips: 2m 40s. SATB
  • Go on, sweet bird
    This poignant poem portrays both the depths of human sadness and how birdsong can uplift the human spirit. Arranged by Michael Buck: 1m 40s. SATB with descant
  • Lassie, lie near me
    The title says it all. Arranged for male voices by Peter Hill and Sheena Phillips: 2m 00s. TTBB
  • My love is like a red, red rose
    After Auld lang syne, this is arguably Burns' best known and best loved song — " And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry". Arranged by Michael Buck, using the original version of the melody: 3m 00s. SATB with tenor solo
  • The winter it is past
    "My love is like the sun, in the firmament does run, Forever is constant and true; But his is like the moon that wanders up and down, And every month it is new." — Burns' revision of a traditional ballad. Arranged by Sheena Phillips: 2m 30s. SATB
We sell on-line, delivering PDFs by e-mail for you to print yourself, with no limit on how many copies and how often you print (for the exclusive use of the group that buys the music). Perusal copies are free for you to download. We'd supply haggis, neeps, tatties and whisky too, if we could.
For other Scottish titles, see here.
on June 27, 2012 7:51am
I have several Rabbie Burns settings on my website. They're free for non-profit use, but if you have a music budget I'd appreciate a contribution. They're three-part but I can easily make them four-part if you want: - A Highland Lad, words by Burns, tune trad., SAB. Fairly easy. - Afton Water, words by Burns, tune trad. (possibly also by Burns), SABar. Moderately easy. - Duncan Gray, words by Burns, tune trad. SABar. Quite tricky due to frequent key changes. - Ye Banks and Braes, words by Burns, tune trad., two-part (works well done by just sopranos and altos, but you can add tenors to the top part and basses to the bottom part).
Email me if you'd like me to do four-part versions, and we can work out a price for that: chris(a) 
Thanks for your consideration, and I hope these are useful.
Chris Hutchings
on June 27, 2012 7:57am
And two more I'd forgotten about:
One that is SATB: - Auld Lang Syne - actually SATB. A good concert closer. - My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose, SAB (STB also available).
Again, email me if you'd like an SATB arrangement, and a contribution would be nice.
on June 27, 2012 8:42am
James MacMillan's "The Gallant Weaver" is stunning.
on June 28, 2012 1:42am
i second the recommendation of the various Robert Schumann settings - they are excellent.
i would suggest tracking down - through, perhaps - the Five Epigrams [of Burns] set by the late Nicholas Maw. published by Chester Music, they were written for Kenneth Roberton & the London Scottish Choir [UK], and are ideal for a good, amateur choir.
philip barnes
st. louis (mo)
on June 28, 2012 7:51am
I have written an arrangement of Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon for SATB, flute.  It has been recorded on the Magpie Consort album Celtic Voyages and also performed with folk band at a Celtic festival concert in Columbus, Ohio.  
Sheena Phillips
on June 28, 2012 11:37am
I put my $.02 into David Dickau's setting of "O My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose" for SATB acappella with minimal divisi. Clara Schumann also wrote a lied based on the German translation of one of Burns' poems, "Am Strande" ("On the Shore") if you have any solos in your concert.
on June 28, 2012 8:05pm
May I suggest a work - SCOTTISH CONTRASTS - comprised of two SATB pieces: The beautiful traditional Scottish ballad Ae Fond Kiss (text by Robbie himself) and the traditional Island Spinning Song. The first is set for SSAATBB a cappella and is slow, 'romantic', while the second (à4 SATB) is very fast, diatonic and piano accompanied. The suite took first place in the 2010 ACCC (Association of Canadian Choral Communities) competition for new choral music (arrangements).
It may be seen and heard at
Donald Patriquin, composer
on June 29, 2012 8:26am
The Shaw/Parker arrangement of "Annie Laurie" is a gem, as are "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton" and "Loch Lomond."
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.