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Seeking SATB gems for small a cappella ensemble

Small group of 10 looking for interesting a cappella music to perform.  Sacred or secular; divisi encouraged.  Would love to premier original short works.
on January 2, 2013
Here's a piece which, though recorded, has not yet had a public premiere:  About 5 minutes.
Best wishes,
Frank La Rocca
on January 1, 2013 5:58pm
Arcadelt's Ave Maria is a classic acapella piece.
Contrapunto Bestiale is a Madrigal piece with 5 parts (SSATB), but it has an interesting section where the singers get to imitate animals.
The Rachmaninov Vespers have some great Russian sacred music, but it requires a low bass singer.
Whitacre's With a Lily in Your Hand would be a nice challenge.
on January 1, 2013 9:41pm
There is a wealth of music--all eras and genres--that could fit your request.  I like Matthew Harris Shakespeare Songs--he has five books of these, some with divisi--and are quite fun to sing.  My chamber choir sang Bobby McFerrin's Psalm 23 a few years ago--my singers love it and request to do it when we have a gig it would fit.
We've done Hohvaness motets and Pinkham motets and Bruckner motets--all interesting and challenging--as well as Byrd motets and Poulenc motets.  And Gesualdo madrigals. We have a real findness for William Billings as well.  There is so much beautiful unaccompanied music for small ensemble...pick an era and go from there! There are many, many madrigals you could choose from...too many to enumerate here.
Marie Grass Amenta, founder and music director
the Midwest Motet Society (we had 11 singers for our last concert cycle and should have 11/12 singers for our upcoming spring concert cycle)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 2, 2013 3:21am
Dear Susan,
I've got a large selection on my website:
Ones that might be suitable for you:
Christus Venit – for SSAATTBB choir, moderate difficulty, 3′. Latin. Single copies £1/$2, PDF £15/$25.
  • Crux Fidelis – SATB choir, mostly easy, 1′. Latin. Single copies 50p, PDF £10.
  • O Vos Omnes – SSATTB or SAATBB choir, mostly easy, 2′. Latin. Single copies £1, PDF £15.
  • Speravi in Te – SATB choir with divisi, challenging, 5′. Latin. Version with piano reduction also available. Commissioned by Choir and Organ Magazine for their New Music series. Winner of the New London Singers Composition Prize, June 2012. Single copies £1.50, PDF £20.
  •  Regis Regum Rectissimi – 6-part choir (SSATTB or SAATBB), moderate difficulty, 5′. Latin. Winner of the Temple Church Composition Prize. Hear a recording. Single copies £1.50, PDF £20.
  • Solus ad Victimam (English text, 5′, SATB with divisi, medium difficulty). Single copies £1.50, PDF £20.
  • Come Away, Death (3′, SATB, fairly easy, words by Shakespeare). Single copies £1, PDF £15.
  • Sleep (5′, SATB, difficult) Words by William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585-1649). Single copies £1.50, PDF £20.
  • The Toads’ Chorus (4′, six-part choir, difficult). English. Secular. Single copies £1.50, PDF £20.
Some movements from my recent Requiem are also for unaccompanied choir: Rest Eternal in particular is for SATB choir alone, and quite tricky in interesting ways (constant key shifts, temporal canons). Recording at
Please let me know if you'd like to see sample scores of any of the above.
Chris Hutchings
on January 2, 2013 4:01am
Please consider the title Rain composed to words by the renowned poet Haim Guri; see the listing on my Published Works Page.
It iis published by ECS Publishing
and distributed by Canticle Distributing
Published in 1999, this tender love song remains unperformed to my knowledge.
There is also my unpublished piece Homage to Rossi  (1. Bar'chu [by Salomone Rossi], 2. Baruch 1, 3. Adonai, erech apayim, 4. Baruch 2) (Hebrew - new running English translation) - SATB - 2010. Click to view a score for and hear a synthesized version of this piece complete using the free Scorch plugin available from Composed in 2010, this title also remains unperformed as far as I know.
Lastly, there is also my unpublished piece Adon olam (Hebrew - original setting of the traditional Hebrew prayer - original version Lord of the World (withdrawn) - SATB divisi - 1994, rev. 2010. While Lord of the World has been performed, to my knowledge Adon olam has not. Click to view a score for and hear a synthesized version of this piece complete using the free Scorch plugin available from
Thank you for your consideration.
Stanley M. Hoffman, Ph.D.
on January 2, 2013 4:06am
Hi Susan, I set a poem by William Blake called 'The Sick Rose', which has never been performed. It's SATB with no splits, but not the easiest of pieces. You can listen to it here:
Of course, Blake's poetry is frequently set by composers, so it would be a rich vein for exploration and you could build a concert programme around it - Ceclilia McDowall's recent SSATB setting of 'Joy and Woe' is rather lovely and is published by OUP. The other work of mine which has had no public performance is a setting of an untitled poem by Edward Thomas, which I have called 'As the Rain'. It's scored for SSA with lots of splits (SSSAA). It's never been recorded either, though you can listen to it with all the parts sung by me!
Good luck and best wishes,
John Duggan
on January 2, 2013 6:24am
Dear Susan,
You might be interested in two of my pieces that have been recorded informally but not premiered:
¡Mira! (New York Harasses Sor Juana) SATB divisi, in Spanish
Life Is But a Dream SATB, which you can listen to at
On that page you can also listen to other pieces that may fit the bill but have already been performed.
best wishes,
Anna Dembska
on January 2, 2013 7:23am
Hello Susan,
You and your group sound intrepid! I have a good number of things in my catalog that could be suitable; they are from my complete setting of Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience (all individual short a cappella pieces).
There are also several with divisi. A number of premieres are still available; I can specify if you wish.
You can see perusal scores and listen to MP3s on my website at
The listings for this cycle start about half way down the page.
A number are marked as modern madrigals or as suitable for single or few voices. 
I publish in inexpensive .pdf and offer educational discount.
Please let me know off-thread if any of these interest you.
Best regards,
David Avshalomov
Composer, Singer, Conductor
Special Citation Winner, American Prize 2012/Orchestral Composition
ACDA Silver Platter Award 2012 for Choral Repertoire of Outstanding Quality
Santa Monica
on January 2, 2013 7:53am
Hi, Susan -- I, too, have a lot of stuff that would be wonderfully appropriate in the choral catalog at my website:
I'm fortunate to have all my currently-available a cappella works premiered (though I'd love to talk with you about writing something for your ensemble as well) -- but, as I'm sure you know, what composers REALLY prize these days are second and third performances!
I'm going to highlight three a cappella works below that have not been published yet, but are available through my web site. Score sample PDFs and performance MP3s of all at the addresses below.
Eight Gypsy Songs After Brahms was written as a companion piece for a performance of Brahms' Zigeunerlieder, op. 103. It features my translations of seven of the German texts from the original.
Then Shall Be Heard Music Here sets text by an abolitionist from the town in New Hampshire where I live and work, whose house was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
The Whole World Is Coming sets four Native American texts. Movements 1, 3, and 4 are available directly from me:
Movement 2, House Song to the East, has been published separately by Alliance Music -- here's a link to this piece in their catalog>
All best!
Jonathan Santore
on January 2, 2013 9:20am
Hello Susan,
I have a couple works that you might be interested in:
1. Ave Verum Corpus, 2'30", for SATB choir and SATB semi-chorus.  Intermediate difficulty.  It can also be used with organ playing the semi-chorus parts, but I initially created it with the idea of the semi-chorus in mind.  It hasn't received a premiere, and I think it might work well with 10 members.  The link is to my media page where you can hear the recording.
2. Amazing Grace, 4', published through Graphite Music Publishing for SATB choir and SAT soli.  It houses the Amazing Grace melody in the soli with a water-like underlay of the Vidi Aquam text from the mass in the underparts.  I also think it could work well for 10 members just as much as a larger choir.
I have more works on my website if you're interested:  Thanks Susan.  I hope to hear from you soon!
 - Paul Rudoi
on January 2, 2013 3:01pm
First of all Paul Rudoi is a fanatastic young composer. My HS groups have sung through some of his works; I have seen many - great stuff!
Ah! dolente partita
Claudio Monteverdi!_dolente_partita_(Claudio_Monteverdi)
Flower of Beauty
Music by Jeronimas Kacinskas
Lithuanian composer
I hope some of these meet your criteria.
-Tom Martin
on January 3, 2013 3:41am
Hello Suzan, I am Anthony Sylvestre, a French composer.

I composed a brand new piece of music for mixed choir SATBB a cappella called Libera Me, which I think you may find of interest. There are divisi on the alti, tenor and barytons parts, the soprano voice is divided in two voices : soprano 1 and soprano 2. The soprano 1 reach to short G4 note. I invite you to watch the video of a live performance in a church. You will find the Youtube video here :


The original piece of music, with a classical style and Latin lyrics, lasts 4m20s.


It has been sang only three times in public and has not yet been recorded by a professional choir. I look forward to this day. I would greatly honoured if your choir played or recorded my music.

You can get the sheet music by contacting me on this Web site :


I hope you enjoy my piece of music.

With best wishes,


on January 4, 2013 4:19am
Inscription for a Wayside Spring, Ben Allaway. Santa Barbara Music Publishing
Morning Prayer, Ben Allaway. Thresholds Music Press,
Highland Carol, BA. Santa Barbara
The Greening if the Willow, BA. Santa Barbara
See scores and hear recordings at
on January 4, 2013 10:01am
 The Tallis Scholars do a nice job with John Taverner (13th c.)'s Leroy Kyrie & also Thomas Tompkins' The Great Service.
on January 5, 2013 4:18pm
Hi Susan, 
The score to my "Coney Island" is here on this forum:
There is a recording of it on my site:
-Rich Campbell
"Coney Island"---Winner of composition awards from the Manhattan Choral Ensemble & Octarium of Kansas City.
\"haunting…comforting….effective in its sparseness…. \" -
on January 6, 2013 4:40am
I will suggest my own "Watch With Me" (pub. Dunstan House - DH0205) for your group. The text is a powerfully moving evocation of Good Friday, written by the author of the texts of "Sing Me to Heaven" and many other of my choral pieces, Jane Griner. I hold this among the very best items in my catalog. Challenging but not formidable. Duration: 3:45
See the score and hear a recording here: 
Dan Gawthrop
on January 7, 2013 3:10am
Hi Susan - I have a couple of pieces that might suit:
Winter - words by Walter De La Mare
Psalm 121 I Will Lift My Eyes To The Hills
Both are for unaccompanied SATB. 'Winter' also has a solo soprano line.
You can listen to a 'virtual' recording & view scores here:
Many thanks. Regards - Dorian Kelly
on January 7, 2013 11:59am
   These are pieces that fit your parameters that can be found in the ChoralNet Composition Showcase.  Each has received a Silver Platter Award for repertoire.  
SATB divisi
     Alnight by the Rose SATB
    To Mistress Margaret Hussey SATB
      I Bend the Knee of My Heart SATB
As a former high school director, you'll get a laugh from this one (pass it along):
     This is Why My Homework Isn't Done - a modern madrigal for teens SATB
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 7, 2013 1:05pm
I encourage you to check out my pieces, "The Lord's Prayer" and "Autumn," as I think they might fit your ensemble quite well!
on January 8, 2013 3:19am
Good morning, 
I am not sure if you have already found all of the rep to suit your needs, if you are still looking I would offer the following:
I Will Keep Still:
And Peace Shall Guard You:
on January 9, 2013 2:47pm
Susan:  As you know, I've spent 20 years doing interesting a cappella music with a group of 9 singers. There's too much to list in a posting here.  Drop me a note offline at jmiller(at)chicagoacappella(dot)org, and we can talk more about the things that you are most earnestly seeking. Great adventure you are on! -- Jonathan 
on January 10, 2013 4:45am
Do not forget to visit the archives of the "Favorite Piece of the month" of Musica at
After 14 years of a monthly highlight, you will for sure find there, with fun, some  "gems" for your choirs.
on January 10, 2013 7:08pm
I'm likely outmatched by most of the others who've replied, but "Time Flies" which I premiered in 2011 is well suited to a small ensemble. It's possible with only four people (there is no divisi), but a group of ten would still capture the intimacy of the piece. Listen to a concert recording here:
...and if you like it, I can get the sheet music to you. I don't have a website yet, but I can get the music to you some other way if you want it. So there's my contribution, and I hope it might be of use.
-David G.
on January 11, 2013 11:48am
I have composed an a capella work that is in total very long (41 minutes) but divided into 14 parts making the average part about 3 minutes (some a bit longer-others a bit shorter).  Each part of the composition  could be presented as a solo piece and might work well out of context of the whole.  The complete work is my only composition of 32 years ago and has been called (at least) "interesting"  and "unique" by some.  You can view a PDF of the full score under the "Artwork/Music" section of  my website as "The Council of the Sages" - "full score".  All seven sections of Part II were premired in 1981 by a California Arts Council funded community choir.  All seven sections of Part I have never been performed in public so they are ready for a "premire" by you or anyone else who gets there first.  Please explore the "introduction and notes" on the website to get an idea of where the work is coming from and which section(s) you might be interesed to choose-if any. I also use  a fair bit of divisi in my work which you will see if you preview the score.
Thank you for consderation of my work,
Sol Mogerman,
Victoria, B.C., Canada
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