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Choral chestnuts

I'm programming my December concert.  I want to try something different and not program the usual Christmas/holiday rep.  I want to ask all you choral directors out there.  If you were to pick your all time favorite choral "chestnut" what piece would it be.  I teach at a 2-year college and generally have 30-35 singers many who have little or no choral experience.  Divisi is limited but I can hire instrumentalists if needed.
Replies (13): Threaded | Chronological
on May 15, 2013 10:03pm
Let me define what I mean by a Choral chestnut.   I am looking to program a concert of tried and true favorites but not just holiday/Christmas music.  Some of the pieces that my choir have loved have included "Earth Song" by Frank Ticheli, "O Magnum Mysterium" Morten Lauridsen, Pergolesi "Magnificat", "The Awakening" by Joseph Martin, Palestrina "Sicut Cervus."  to name a few.   I need more suggestions of pieces that your groups really love.  They can be holiday flavored but I want to steer away from too much of that.  My group is basically SATB 30-35 singers.  I teach at a 2-year college so I get a mix of experience...some completely new to choir and many who are coming out of strong High School choirs.  I try to teach to the highest level which can sometimes overwhelm the ones with less experience.   But I've found that they can keep up and have a good experience especially if the pieces are universally appealing.  We sing accompanied or a cappella with instruments available (esp. strings.)
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