Boy soprano solo
  • Hey everyone, I'm just looking for suggestions for pieces of music for a boy soprano to whom I give lessons. He is an eighth grader and his parents would like him to learn liturgical music specifically. So far he has learned and sang the entrance antiphon for the first Sunday of Advent (and sang it at all of our parish masses that Sunday), the Communio for Holy Thursday (OF), "Hoc Corpus...," as well as the Pentecost Sequence, which he sang last year. I can continue to teach him antiphons and sequences but am looking specifically for a piece of music he can sing as a communion reflection. Any recommendations?

    Thanks so much,

  • JL
    Posts: 171
    Franck's "Panis angelicus" is always a good choice. It is, in fact, the first piece I learned when I started voice lessons back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and people did unspeakable things to their hair.

    That said, perhaps liturgy is not the best place for him to showcase his talents as a soloist. Has he got other young friends who could form a youth schola? And if you have other students, might you arrange a studio recital (perhaps in the church hall) in which each of them could present one or two pieces?
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • Thanks JL. Perhaps you're right. Currently, he is head and tails above any other students in or around his class in school, so I can imagine a Schola of children his age might be slightly frustrating, but let me think on it and see if I could figure out how I could accommodate him.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,659
    Franck's "Panis angelicus" is always a good choice. It is, in fact, the first piece I learned

    Me, too. Sang it in a Methodist church of all places.
  • Eighth grader and his voice hasn't changed yet? I am certain it will very soon. Perhaps song(s) in alto range is what should be considered in light of his up coming voice change. Maybe "He was despised" or some of the other alto solos from Handel's MESSIAH or "O rest in the Lord" from Mendelssohn's ELIJAH or the tenor solo, once his voice changes, "If With All Your Heart" also by Mendelssohn. Maybe some of the following?

    All Thing Bright and Beautiful – Rutter
    Alleluia (from Exsultate Jubilate) – Mozart
    Asperges mea – Plainsong chant
    Ave Maria (from Cavalleria Rusticana) - Mascagni
    Ave Maria – Schubert
    Ave Verum Corpus - Mozart, Saints-Saens, Guilmant, Perosi, Deschermeier, Elgar
    Behold the Lamb of God – Bouman
    Christ Is the World True Light – Stanton
    Comfort, Comfort Ye My People - Goudimel
    Ego Sum Panis Vivus – Bottigliero
    Flocks In Pastures Green Abiding – Bach
    Give Ear Unto Me – Marcello
    Give To Jehovah - Schutz
    God Is My Shepherd - Dvorak
    God of Mercy, God of Grace – J. Stanley Sheppherd
    He Is Risen – C. Cope
    He That Keepeth Israel – Adolphe Schlosser
    How Long Wilt Thou Forget Me – J. Clarke
    In Paradisum – Plainsong chant, Faure
    I Will Magnify Thee, O Lord – Corfe
    Jubilate Deo – Gruber, Michael Bedford
    Laudate Dominum – Mozart
    Lead Me, Lord – Wesley
    Let The Bright Seraphim – Handel
    Litany to the Holy Spirit – P. Hurford
    May The Grace of Christ – Ivor Davies
    Missa de Angelis – Plainsong chant
    Missa Cum Jubilo – Plainsong chant
    Missa de Sancte Maria Magdalena – Willan
    My Song Is Love Unknown – M. Archer
    My Voice Shalt Thou Hear – Corfe
    Nigra sum – Pablo Casals
    O Esca Viatorum – Singenberger, Deschermeier
    O Panis Angelorum - Koenen
    O Quam Suavis Est – Bottazzo, Goller
    O Sacrum Convivium – Remondi, Ravanello
    O Sweet And Blessed Country – Holst
    Pange lingua – Plainsong chant
    Panis Angelicus – Franck, Meurers
    Pater Nostra – Plainsong chant
    Pie Jesu – Faure, Durufle
    Pie Pellicane – Mitterer
    Prepare Thyself, Zion - Bach
    Quando Corpus (from The Stabat Mater) – Pergolesi
    Rorate Caeli – Plainsong chant
    Salve Mater Misericordiae – Plainsong chant
    Salve Regina – Plainsong chant
    Shepherd’s Pipe Carol - Rutter
    Teach Us Good Lord to Serve thee – Sir S. Nicholson
    The Lord Bless You and Keep You - Rutter
    The Father’s Love – Lole
    Vexilla Regis – Plainsong chant
    Vocalize - Rachmaninov
    We Hasten, O Jesu – Bach
    We Praise Thee, O God (Te Deum) – Willan
    When I Survey The Wondrous Cross – M. Archer
    Whither’s Rocking Hymn - Vaughan

    Sing Joyfull - Book I
    Sing Joyfully - Book II

    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Boy sopranos are properly called Trebles. I'm quite sure that Jackson will back me up on this one.

    What is your Mass context?
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Chris, you are absolutely correct!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,597
    From the wickedpedia:
    A treble voice is a voice which takes the treble part. In the absence of a separate descant part, this is normally the highest-pitched part, and otherwise the second highest. The term is most often used today within the context of choral music in reference to youthful singers. The American Choral Directors Association defines a treble as "a singer, both male and female, ages eight to sixteen".

    While the term treble is gender neutral, the term is widely used in place of the term boy soprano within the United Kingdom.
  • Charles,

    Was your purpose to illustrate the unreliability of Wikipedia?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,269
    Harvard Concise: "synonymous with soprano"
    New Grove: "A high voice, especially of a boy or (less commonly) girl"

    A couple of decades ago an astounding number of Choir & Organ letter-writers claimed to be able to distinguish the sex of child singers by ear, which came off as a bit disingenuous in light of their fierce opposition to blind auditions. They might have done better to stick with the tenor/bass pipeline argument.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • I have always taken 'treble' and 'soprano' to be synonyms for the highest vocal register in choral writing. We do associate 'treble' with boys because that's what they are called in Britain. But, I don't think that that term is necessarily a denominator only of the pre-pubescent male voice. As a musical term, it defines the high register.

    Too, 'soprano' is commonly used in reference to the mature female voice, though boy trebles do in fact sing soprano, and female sopranos do sing treble.

    This is not to get into the fact that there is all the difference in timbre betwixt a boy treble and a mature female soprano or treble. The difference is as that betwixt night and day. It is always astonishing to me that even the most august 'early music' groups who have such a fetish (not that I am in disagreement with them) for 'authentic instruments' look the other way when it comes to the substitution of mature females for the 'authentic' sound of boys for the soprano or treble line of historical choral and solo music.

    During Lent I listened to a German knabenchor singing Bach's Mathaus Passion. Even the solos, which are normally given over to women, were sung by boys. This is as it should be.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen