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Women's Choir Repertoire by female composers

I am rounding out a program for my women's choir and still need a few pieces.  The concert is on International Women's Choir Day and will celebrate works by, for, and about women.  It would be great to have ideas of repertoire from across the globe (including, but not limited to North America).....
Replies (13): Threaded | Chronological
on December 18, 2012 2:08pm
I would love to share any of my three award-winning SSA pieces with you (all settings of poems by women):

1)  Carry the Spark - to a beautiful text by Lebanese-American poet Elmaz Abinader about mothering instinct as a source of strength in wartime
(winner of the Yale Glee Club's Composition Competition; performed in CA, CT, HI and MA)

2)  The Turning Earth - text about seeing through others' eyes / cross-cultural understanding
(winner of the Gregg Smith Biennial Composition Competition; performed in IL, MA, and NY)

3)  O Eros - to a moving poem about love by Denise Levertov
(VocalEssence/American Composers Forum Essentially Choral winner; performed in IL)

Please contact me for free copies and recordings (available either online or via postal mail).  One of these could be an ideal fit for a concert of pieces by, for, and about women.  
on December 18, 2012 7:45pm
Sorry, my typo.  It's for International Women's Day, not Internat'l Women's CHOIR Day....
on December 19, 2012 8:45am
Dear Rachel,
Here are some of my favorites, and more details on many of them are available on Elektra Women's Choir's website:
Kathleen Allan - Early Spring, traditional Newfoundand folk song about a young bride and her fisherman husband lost at sea, arranged by Kathleen, a cappella SSAA
Abbie Betinis - several great pieces
Eleanor Daley - ditto
Connie Kaldor - Wood River, a beautiful modern Canadian folk song arr. Willi Zwozdesky.  About trusting love between any two people. SSAA and piano with folk style alto solo
Ramona Luengen - How the Blossoms are Falling - nostalgic, beautiful piece with piano.  5:30 mins long. Not published but contact me and I'll connect you with Ramona.  Text is also by a woman.  This was commissioned in honor of Diane Loomer's retirement from Elektra in 2009 and, given that Diane passed away on December 10th, it would be incredibly significant to program this.
Kate MacColl - Changed Forever is another new Canadian folk song, about a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman.  SSAA a cappella
Ruth Moody - Google The Wailin' Jennys.  Elektra has recently performed both "The Parting Glass" and "One Voice", both of which can be purchased on TWJ's website.
Alice Parker - an icon - Durme, Durme is a Sephardic lullaby that I love
Eva Ugalde - We've only done "Miserere" but I know there are several others.  Eva is from the Basque region of Spain
Gwyneth Walker - I Thank You God
Best of luck with your concert.  I would love to see the whole program once it's complete!
Morna Edmundson, Artistic Director, Elektra Women's Choir
on January 7, 2013 10:41am
I just did a recording that included wonderful women's pieces by the LA composer Elinor Remick Warren (1900-1991).  It can be difficult, but it's evocative.  She was a concert pianist so the accompaniments are complex. There are some a cappella works.
And she's not one of the "usual suspects."
That disk is not released yet (will be Cambria Recordings), but a good bit of the music is published.
Lynne Morrow
Music Director
Pacific Mozart Ensemble (
Oakland Symphony Chorus
Sonoma State University
on January 7, 2013 10:51am
I second the recommendation of Elinor Remick Warren. She was a fascinating and gifted composer. You can read more about her here. We did several of her works for men's chorus last spring and, as Lynne says, they're challenging but original and definitely worthwhile. She's also one of most performed 20th century composers, primarily because she wrote the music for the regularly-played carillon that calls the audience to the hall at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles. :-)
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