The music on this page is free to campaign against racism and other forms of hatred – please use it for working against prejudice and hatred wherever you can, e.g. fundraisers for anti-racist causes, helping refugees, making political statements. Please publicise performances or rehearsals with the hashtag #choirsagainstracism , and let me know about them if you can, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Twitter @hutchingsmusic. If you’d like to make a donation, please see the list of suggested organisations at the bottom of this page.
If you would like to contribute music or lyrics to this project, please contact me directly: email@example.com .
Latest news: “My Father” from “3 Memories of Kurdistan” will be professionally performed and recorded by KCVITAs Chamber Choir in Kansas later this year. It was chosen for their call for works out of almost 150 entries. “My Father” will also be sung by Voces Inauditae in Edinburgh in September this year.
“In Springtime” has just been recorded by the Reid Consort in Edinburgh. Hear it below:
“In Springtime” was also featured in a workshop by Dorking Camerata (Surrey, England) on 6th May, and “They” by Alison Willis (words by Chris Hutchings) was premiered on 6th May by the Rainbow Choir in Nottingham.
Music available to download so far:
- New! “3 Memories of Kurdistan” is now available as a single download (includes “The Beach”, “In Springtime” and “My Father”) – available for SSSSAAAA or for SSAATTBB, 20 pages each. You can get scores for individual pieces in the set, versions with piano reductions, and audio demos, further down on this page.
- “No Man Is An Island”, three-part choir – available for SSA, SABar or TBarB
- New! “The Wall”, 2-part choir unaccompanied (CH)
- “THEY”, 1-2 part choir and piano (music by Alison Willis, words by CH)
- “I Was Listening”, two-part choir and piano
- “Welcome Carol”, unison voice(s) and piano/guitar (CH)
- “Of Equality”, for choir and piano – 5-part trebles, SSA or SATB (Jessica Rudman)
New recording: “No Man Is An Island” (TBarB version) by the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir:
The Wall (2-part choir)
This can be sung by any 2-part choir – upper part range is B to D, lower part range is A# to A, so this should be within a singable range for even beginning choirs. There are some accidentals and discords which may require a little work, but this should be approachable for any choir, or even just 2 singers together.
3 Memories of Kurdistan – The Beach, In Springtime and My Father (SSSSAAAA or SSAATTBB choir)
For a more advanced choir. Words by Aine McAllister, from the collective memory of Kurdish women she has worked with in a refugee camp in Grande Synthe, France. You can get all 3 as a single booklet (20 pages) for SSSSAAAA or for SSAATTBB.
Individual movements and audio demos
In Springtime, SSSSAAAA version: download the score (Creative Commons 4.0 License) and hear a demo.
(If this version in D is too high – it requires one top B for the sopranos – I can supply versions in Db or C on request. The versions in C or Db have somewhat exposed low Es or Fs for the altos, but the soprano part only goes to top A or Bb.)
In Springtime, SSAATTBB version: download the score (Creative Commons 4.0) and hear a recording.
THEY (piano, 1-2 part choir)
Alison Willis has written a wonderful setting of my text, for 1-2 part choir and piano. Choir parts are easy, piano part is moderately tricky.
I Was Listening… (piano, singer(s) and speaking chorus)
Many thanks to Michael Rosen for generously allowing me to use his poem “I was listening to a pogrom…” for this piece! Written in response to the suggestion of a registry of foreign workers. A protest song with a fair bit of sarcasm, reminiscent of Tom Lehrer. Creative Commons license.
Difficulty level: fairly tricky for the pianist, maybe grade 5-6. Sung part is not very tricky, could easily be learnt by ear, goes from low B to high E, can be sung in a low or high octave. Spoken part requires some knowledge of rhythm but could be learnt by ear.
No Man Is An Island (three-part a cappella choir)
In a more solemn style, this is a lament for the deaths of those abroad, and our comparative unconcernedness for them. If you want to remind your elected representatives that refugees are dying daily trying to cross the ocean, or to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders, for example, this would be a good choice. Creative Commons license.
Difficulty level: easy to medium, tonal, should be approachable for any three-part choir. Parts could be learnt by ear.
You can hear the TBarB version below, sung by the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir:
Download the score in PDF format (2 pages):
for mixed choir – SABar
for upper voices – SSA
for lower voices – TBarB
Rehearsal resources for SABar:
MIDI file (SABar version) for rehearsal
Listen or download MP3 of SABar version: here (this is a computer recording – any offerings of a live recording would be very welcome)
Email me if you need rehearsal resources for the SSA or TBarB versions, or if an ATB version would be helpful.
Welcome Carol (unison voices, with piano and/or guitar)
A simple, gorgeous carol, showing how Jesus and his family gave welcome to strangers, were welcomed as refugees, and how we should do the same. Creative Commons license.
The wonderful Inverness NYCoS choir directed by John Thomson have recorded it below:
Premiered 4th Dec by Dingwall & District Choral Society, conducted by John Thomson – read the review here! “The evening finished with a new work by Edinburgh-based composer Chris Hutchings. Part of a project entitled “Choirs Against Racism”, the Welcome Carol was both catchy, enjoyable and meaningful.”
Difficulty level: very easy. Could be learned in a few minutes by ear. Piano part is slightly trickier.
A fellow composer, Jessica Rudman, has released some of her works for free: “Of Equality” is available for treble voices (5 parts), SSA, or SATB (all with piano), and there are also two works for unaccompanied solo soprano.
Also Justin Capps’ “Resistance Song” (voice and guitar) is brilliant, and you should listen to it right now.
If anyone has songs they’d like to add here, or lyrics they’d like to contribute, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to make a donation to a group fighting racism and xenophobia, here are some suggestions:
Safe Passage – helping unaccompanied children and vulnerable adults to legally seek asylum in the UK
Refugee Action who help refugees settle in the UK
Refugee Council supporting and empowering refugees
Scottish Refugee Council, building a better future with refugees in Scotland
The Young Center who assist unaccompanied immigrant children in the US
The ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, who fight for equal treatment under the law
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Human Rights Watch
Save The Children
If you’d like to suggest others, please email me.
(I’m not making any money from this project. But if you feel like buying some other music from me that’d be lovely; see the rest of the site for details.)