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SA or SSA literature

I'm seeking the following:
keyboard accompaniment (flexible on this)
young adult women
average choral length
sacred with a modern (but tasteful) leaning
Amalie Hinson
Replies (21): Threaded | Chronological
on March 11, 2014 4:49pm
You might look up
Byrd’s “Sing ye to our Lord” (you can edit out the Altos’ low D) - in
Bach’s “O Lord my God” (orig. “Ach Herr, mein Gott” no. 7 from cantata BWV 113) -translation by Henry S. Drinker
Bach's "We Hasten with eager yet faltering Footsteps" (orig. "Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten" from cantata BWV 78) -also translated by Drinker
Mendelssohn’s “Lift Thine Eyes” (orig. Terzetto “Hebe deine Augen” no. 28 from “Elias”) -traditional translation and also in
And please consider my own “Weary Land” (SA piano), available for free at
on March 12, 2014 2:47am
How Can I Keep From Singing - Gwyneth Walker, SSA and piano (opt. brass & percussion)
Lay Earth's Burden Down - Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory, SA or SSA and piano, percussion  (Caldwell & Ivory have several compositions that would suit your needs if you're open to the gospel and/or spiritual genres.)
on March 12, 2014 3:28am
Send me your e-mail and Iwill send ou a couple of my pieces.
Jerome Malek
on March 12, 2014 7:17am
Check out for a plethora of options. FYI, the URL changes every once in a while as the catalog is updated.
Best regards,
Stanley M. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Chief Editor
ECS Publishing Corporation
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 12, 2014 7:26am
Hi Amalie,
I've got a settng of Romans 8 for SSA and piano that might be suitable. Three movements, total time 6:30, text is the Scottish Psalter paraphrase.  Here's a link to my website publishing page:
Best of luck with your search,
Carol Barnett
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 12, 2014 3:18pm
Hello Amalie,
May I suggest a couple of sacred works of mine that have had a number of performances? One is a setting of “Make Me a Channel of Your (Thy) Peace”, which is set against Bach’s Prelude in C simultaneously with Gonoud’s Ave Maria. Pdf and sound sample at
Also a setting of All Thru the Night. PDF (only) at
Both of these are piano accompanied, and of ‘average choral length’.
Magnificat for Turning is a slightly extended work, recently accepted by Schola Cantorum on Hudson,
(Complete performance and most of the score)
It is a setting of a tender contemporary poem by Rev. Wendy MacLean, and is an extrapolation on the tradition al Magnificat. Piano and optional cello accompaniment.
It begins:
My soul magnifies the Lord...
In moments when the world is shaken and upside down,
Suspended like a snow scene in a glass dome,
Where the Holy Family stand in adoration at the birth:
My soul magnifies the Lord...
on March 12, 2014 4:00pm
Gwynyth Walker's "I Thank You God" was a favorite of my students.
on March 12, 2014 4:45pm
Dear Amalie!
I will gladly send You some of my pieces and arrangements for SSA if You send me and email address.
Best regards
on March 13, 2014 3:54am
Dear Amalie,
My setting of "Patapan" should meet your requirements. It's mainly SA with some SSA sections, and one very short passage of SSAA (you could leave out alto 1 from that short passage if necessary). Ideally a cappella, but it could be doubled on keyboard (take the left hand down an octave) or strings/wind instruments. It's English, and would suit a choir of young adult women, about 3 minutes long, and is sacred (Christmas-specific) - the language is slightly antiquated but the musical style is modern.
Let me know what you think - hope you enjoy it.
on March 13, 2014 5:03am
You could look at the SA version of PHILIP STOPFORD's setting of the Mothers' Day poem
A Mother's Prayer  [publ Hal Leonard] ;
or his Titanic Voyage  [Ecclesium] ;
or his SSA setting of For the beauty of the Earth   [Hal Leonard]

on March 13, 2014 7:40am
I love Psalm 23 by Stroope. Makes me cry every time.
on March 17, 2014 6:32pm
Dear Amalie,
Here are a few from Pablo Casals which fit your criteria, unless you meant contemporary Christian music:
     Nigra sum
     Cançó de la Verge
     Oració de la Verge de Monserat
Good luck in your search!
on March 18, 2014 4:01am
If you provide your email, I have a couple of compositions that might interest you. One is an Alleluia, another is based on Ps 19, The law of the Lord.
on March 18, 2014 10:08am
They will likely love Clifton Noble's "Hold On" and Jackson Berkey's "There is a Balm in Gilead".  You may have to wait for more singers in order to have enough - but these pieces will be great motivation toward sight-singing skills and recruitment.
There have been discussions before with SSA suggestions on Choralnet.  Maybe Scott Dorsey can help...or you can do a search.
on March 18, 2014 2:18pm
New Zealand composer David Hamilton has written a lot of choral music - both sacred and secular - specifically for female voices (he was a music teacher at a top Auckland girls school which had one of the best female choirs in the country). I find his music very sing-able, no stupid intervals, as a singer himself he knows what works. is his website. Recommended.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 19, 2014 6:28am
An SSA collection that has delivered good value for our church's 10-voice women's ensemble is "You Raise Me Up" by Tom Fettke - if material toward the pop end of the contemporary continuum is of interest to you. Includes well-known praise/worship songs, the lovely Getty hymn "God of Grace", the title song, and others. Vocal arranging is solid and piano accompaniments are skillfully done:
on March 19, 2014 12:33pm
Hello Amalie,
I have four suggestions, all by living composers:
 “Ave Maria” by Canadian composer Allan Bevan (b. 1951).  This is one of the finest settings of this text that I know.  It is scored for SA, with two Soprano soloists, and piano.  Published by Cypress Publishing (CP 1049) and distributed in the U.S. by Musical Resources in Toledo, OH.
“Hildegard Motets” by Swedish composer Maria Löfberg (b. 1968). Four short movements with Latin texts by Hildegard of Bingen, scored for SA and either piano or organ accompaniment.  Published by Treble Clef Music Press (TC-170).  I don’t know who has taken over this company’s catalog, but Dennis at Musical Resources will know.
“Illumina le tenebre” by Joan Szymko (b. 1957).  Scored for a cappella SSAA with a bit of further divisi, it is beyond your stated criteria, but is well worth considering.  I think this is Ms. Szymko’s finest work.  Text is by St. Francis of Assisi and is in Italian, not Latin.
“Prosnja” (The Prayer) by Slovenian composer Damijan Mocnik (b. 1967) is set for SSA a cappella.  Text is from Isaiah 63:15-17 (in Slovenian). There are separate editions for the version in the original language or in English.  I have performed the Slovenian version and prefer it because of the idiomatic matching of text and music.  Published by Astrum Music Publications AS 35.005 (Slovenian) or AS 35.006 (English).
I performed all of these works when I was conducting the 15-voice Women’s Chamber Choir at the University of Windsor, and they all work well with young adult voices.
Richard Householder
University of Windsor
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 20, 2014 7:24am
 Yes Richard that is a wonderful list!
 You may also find this G.M.Hopkins setting of "No Worst, there is none, pitched past pitch of grief" by our founder Harold Brown to be strong. A cappella- SSAA div.
 Sig Rosen
on March 19, 2014 9:20pm
Hi Amalie,
You may be interested in the “Awed by the Beauty,” by the distinguished American composer Richard Toensing. Scored for SSA, the Byzantine melody lies in the top voice, while the two bottom voices provide a lovely homorhythmic counterpoint, not entirely avoiding the occasional passing dissonance, but bathing the text in a glowing musical halo of brightness and light. Let me know if you'd like to review a score.

If you are looking for more challenging works for SSA or SSAA, let me know this, too.

All the best,
Janet Braccio
Bella Voce Communications
Publicist for Richard Toensing
on March 21, 2014 7:46am
The SA and SSA settings by Bartók are beautiful and expressive. They are in both a cappella and orchestral settings.
Salut Printemps of Debussy has a piano reduction to substitute for the original orchestral setting.
Brahms folksongs for SSA are rewarding and singers immediately like them.
Robert Schumann's soulful Op. 29, No. 2, SSA, has an independent piano part.
James Olesen
Brandeis University
on March 22, 2014 8:26am
Dear Amalie,
I realize that you request that suggestions be in "English", sacred with "a modern (tasteful) leaning", but I thought I'd throw out the idea of: "Two Short Motets" (by Lassus, in Latin) SSA, published by Brichtmark Music (my edition). They are lovely; Latin for both - simple common words - 29 words in first motet, 14 words in second motet:
  25 bars:   "Agimus tibi gratias": We give thanks for your universal blessing, God, almighty king, you will live and reign for ever and ever.
  31 bars:     "In pace": In peace I will sleep and rest, for you alone, O Lord, give me saftey and hope.
Both of these motets offer textures of homophony and polyphony (about equal amounts) highlighting the passing text.
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