SATB a cappella – difficult

“Difficult” – these pieces require a choir who can all read music fairly fluently and who are comfortable with some clashes, unusual harmonies and awkward time signatures, but they are very rewarding for a choir who enjoy some challenge. All would be approachable by a typical auditioned university, cathedral or college choir.

Secular pieces

  • When The Snow Came – winner of Kantos Choir’s 2021 composition competition. For SSAATTBB choir and small speaking chorus. Contact me for a sample score.
  • Let Them Not Say (4’30”, SSAATTBB, difficult). Words by Jane Hirshfield. Part of #ChoirsForClimate and available free under a Creative Commons license. Click here for details and to see a video of the piece.
  • Sleep (5′, SATB, difficult) Words by William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585-1649). Copies £2, PDF £25.
  • The Toads’ Chorus (4′, six-part choir, difficult). English. Secular. Copies £2, PDF £25.
  • Answer The Question (5′, SATB choir, difficult). English, secular, written for the National Library of Scotland’s Digital Exam Resits project. Copies £1.50, PDF £25.
  • Also see “Three Memories of Kurdistan” at #choirsagainstracism, available for SSAATTBB – this piece is free in return for a donation or political work to fight racism and prejudice.

Sacred music

  • The Lord’s Prayer – for SATB soloists and small SATB choir (could be done by two SATB solo quartets). Professional difficulty. Part of a Compline setting commissioned by St Mary’s Schola, Arlington, Virginia. PDF £30, single copies £2.50.
    Most recent performance by Icosa Choir, October 2016, listen below:
  • New! O Clavis David – for SSAATTBB (could be done by 8 soloists, but would work much better with a larger choir). A setting of one of the O Antiphons. Commissioned by the Quodlibet Chorale and premiered in Edinburgh, November 2015 (alongside settings by Gjeilo, Esenvalds, MacMillan, Rubbra and Lukaszewski). Buy from MusicSpoke.
  • Rest Eternal / O Saviour Of The World – for SATB choir (no divisi) and optional organ (from “Requiem”). Requires accurate tuning of semitones for ATB parts. PDF £25, single copies £2.
  • 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. Buy from MusicSpoke.