Music for Small Choirs website
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    This website was brought to my attention by composer Denis Mason - and I referenced it in another discusssion. However, I wanted to let others know about it -
    Music for Small Choirs. Some interesting resources for those whose choirs might be short on men and also information about a Small Choir Festival. While much of the music has a decided Anglican "bent" and some is also drawn from the good old Choral Public Domain Library, you might find a tasty quick motet or anthem.
  • Mr. Z
    Posts: 159
    The automatic assumption that to say "small choir" is the same, according to this website, as a "choir with few or no men," is somewhat an "ouch." If it is true, generally speaking, it still need not be so emphatically stated. What does that say about the church overall? The modern choir replaced the ecclesial choir, or choir of Levites, and so it it certainly not, as such, a women's province - or course, this is not to knock women choir members, not at all. But to describe a trend in choral music in such a gender specific way invites comment, don't you think?
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    Ah, Mr. Z, it is but another sad indication of the feminization of all Christian churches and denominations, as well as a comment on the failure of music education to draw in men.

    And as a member of the female gender, I feel free to lament the situation, while at the same time I specialize in music for women's voices.
    Thanked by 1Patricia Cecilia
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thanks, Mary jane. I bookmarked the site.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Thank you SO much for this! I have been looking for something just like it for a long time, and I can't believe I haven't seen this til now!

    Mr. Z, sad as it is, I think it's just an "advertising technique." They know there is a market out there (since of course those with even amounts of men/women can probably sing "normal" SATB music of which there is loads of advertised everywhere else, and who ever heard of a normal church choir that has more men than women?!) So of course they are going to advertise directly to this market.
  • Mr. Z
    Posts: 159
    Just for the record (and I don't know if the "exception" proves the rule), but our choir has a majority of men, but it is Byzantine, and that may help explain the bucking of the trend.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,932
    It is a statement tha men have (in general) in this country, forsaken God for other pursuits. (business, money, sports, etc) and it will not ocurr without exacting a cost.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    For the first five years of our schola, it was exclusively male. I finally found the trick for attracting women and now have four who have joined, but it wasn't easy.

    I would hesitate to generalize about this whole men/women thing. Every situation is different.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,932
    Well, various choirs I have had for the last twenty years, football superceded choir on Sundays and they were unashamed to let me know.
  • I must be very lucky, or doing something right b/c my choir is about evenly divided-9 sops, 7 altos,4 tens and 8 basses. Two of the tenors equal bout six ordinary voices! LOL

    Donna
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I rarely have more than 20 people. This morning 9 filled the church with sound. Half a dozen others are trapped on an island off the North Carolina coast by a storm that has shut down the ferry. They will be back next week. Interestingly, I find the smaller group has better blend and tone than when everyone is there.
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    CharlesW,
    I sing in a chamber group at my parish of 7-8 singers, a subset of the full chancel choir. The chamber group rehearses following mass where the entire choir just sang. I often note how the smaller group seems better supported and in tune compared to the large group. I hate to say it, but there are a few members of our choir that seem to detract from the whole. Not uncommon, I'm sure, in a volunteer parish choir.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,932
    Small choir dynamics. Usually better.
  • I found this company to have a pretty big selection for small choirs. www.brentwoodbenson.com There site is pretty big so I called in to ask specifically about a particular piece. Their staff was very helpful in explaining their work and even suggested some other pieces I didn't know about.
  • At the EF Mass our family attends, all young men are heavily encouraged to serve at the altar, while none, to my knowledge, are encouraged to sing in the choir. Singing is not considered so important. Both should be a regular requirement if possible! Singing is an integral part of the Mass too!

    You can see from this practice that there are practically no men in the choir!
  • Carl, glad to know I'm not the only one who has a preponderance of gents in their choir!

    We're seriously at the point where we're considering taking the Pugin Option most of the time. (Maybe if you occasionally had gentlemen singing "in choir" in the sanctuary, hiluminar, it might be closer to home for some of your altar boys? Just a thought.)
  • Thanks for sharing, I am going to pass this on to the music director I work with. Our choir averages 12-18 people depending on who is available. I also favor small groups, but the 60+ member community choir at the church is equally competent, in tune, and together. No problems getting men involved either at my "work church" and home church, perhaps this is a regional thing?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    At the EF Mass our family attends, all young men are heavily encouraged to serve at the altar, while none, to my knowledge, are encouraged to sing in the choir.


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