College & University


Christine Howlett
Vassar College

Literature Suggestions

SATB Chorus – College Level SATB Choruses

Here are a few selections to consider for future programs.  I have performed (almost) all of these pieces once, if not more, and offer them here because they’ve been so enjoyable.

A cappella

My soul’s been anchored in the Lord
(SATB, divisi with tenor solo) arranged by Carol Barnett, published by Colla Voce LLC.
This is one of my favorite spirituals.  The piece is wonderfully rhythmic, and the harmonies are inventive and challenging. The piece is quite detailed, so it will require a fair amount of rehearsal time. The choir needs to be able to manage divisi and very tight harmonies.  This piece is well worth the effort. Simon Carrington made a terrific recording of this piece with Yale’s Scholar Cantorum titled “Souvenirs de la France Profonde.”  I’ve only been able to find a copy here:

To be Sung upon the Water
(SATB) by Samuel Barber/Text by Louise Bogan, published by G. Schirmer (2:30).
This is a short, stunning piece that is slow and introspective.  The poetry is beautiful and great for discussion during rehearsal.

Laudate Dominum
(SATB, some divisi) by Thomas Juneau, published by Carl Fisher.
This is a great piece that would work well to open or close a program.  Recently published, Laudate Dominum is highly energetic, but offers a range of musical expressions. The Vassar College Choir recorded this for Thomas last year, and we all loved the piece.  There are also links to practice parts for individual voice parts on JW Pepper’s website:

Longer works with instruments

Passing of the Year
(SATB double chorus and piano*) by Jonathan Dove with texts by William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Nashe, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Published by Peters Edition. (18 min.)
I have programmed this piece for the first time this season and we’ve just started rehearsals.  The music is varied, inventive, and approachable, and the texts are excellent.  Here is a version sung by the Antioch Ensemble. *There is also a version for SATB double chorus, two pianos, and percussion.  Here is a link to the final movement sung by Montclair State University.

(SATB and strings) by Tarik O’Regan, published by Novello. (17 minutes)
I am a huge fan of O’Regan’s work, so you will see more of his music featured here.  Triptych is an exceptionally moving piece in three movements, sung without a break.  O’Regan writes “The texts, in English, are excerpted from a variety of sources: William Penn, William Blake, the Psalms of David and Muhammad Rajab Al-Bayoumi, an Egyptian poet of the early twentieth-century. Fast and rhythmically influenced by the music of North Africa in its syncopations, [movement I] was the first composition that evolved entirely from my New York perspective.”

There are some excellent program notes written by the composer. After clicking on the link, scroll to the bottom of the page to view his notes.