Women’s Choir Choral Rep

Since becoming the Women’s R&S Chair, the most frequest question I get asked is, “Where do I even begin looking for women’s choral repertoire?” If you are a new director to a women’s ensemble, it is hard to weed through the re-arranged SATB repertoire and the sparkly schmaltz to find works specifically written for women that are either new and thought-provoking, or have stood the test of time.

Below is a list of resources I have passed along to fellow conductors, as well as a list of “chesnnuts” that I have personally compiled:

Shrock, Dennis. Choral Repertoire. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

This comprehensive book surveys choral music repertoire from the Medieval Era to present day, including many classic works for women’s chorus. If you don’t even know where to begin looking for women’s choral music, this book gives you a context of what is available, especially for those eras like the Renaissance and Baroque when there was very little written for women’s voices.

Chestnuts for Women’s Choir: Repertoire that has Stood the Test of Time

This list includes mini-lists of favorite pieces by esteemed conductors of women’s choirs. It’s interesting to notice the overlap of favorite pieces between conductors’ choices. I keep this list in my pile of repertoire I have yet to program, and come back to it every summer when I am programming for the coming academic year.


ACDA Women’s Choir Resource List

 Also available on the ACDA website is this lengthy list of selections. While not definitive, it includes many of the popular pieces, and is another great place to start your programming research.


Lindsay’s List of Choral Gems

Below are pieces that I have programmed in my four years at Mount Holyoke that I have just loved teaching and performing. Some of these pieces will look familiar, while others are less performed for no good reason! Please contact me directly if you are looking to perform any of these pieces, and need additional information.

Composer/Arranger Title of Work Difficulty Level Voicing
Anonymous 4 Nowel: Owt of your slepe aryse Intermediate SSAA
Barbara Baker The Storm is Passing Over Easy SSA w/ piano
Betty Bertaux What Wondrous Love Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Abbie Betinis Be Like the Bird Easy 5-part canon
Abbie Betinis Cedit, Hyems Difficult SSAA w/ flute
Abbie Betinis Jerusalem Luminosa Intermediate SA a cappella
Johannes Brahms Adoramus Te Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Johannes Brahms Vier Gesänge für Frauenchor, Opus 17 Intermediate SSA w/ harp
Pablo Casals Nigra Sum Easy SSA w/ piano
Pavel Chesnokov Salvation is Created Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Chiara M. Cozzolani Two Christmas Motets Intermediate SSAA w/ continuo
Eleanor Daley Lake Isle of Innisfree Easy SSA w/piano
Claude Debussy Salut printemps Intermediate SSA w/ piano
Hugo Distler Mörike-Chorliederbuch Intermediate – Difficult SA – SSA- SSAA a cappella
Maurice Durufle Tota pulchra es Difficult SSA a cappella
Ēriks Ešenvalds Gaujas Meita Rotātāja Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Reena Esmail Tuttarana Difficult SSSAAA a cappella
Edvard Grieg Ved Rundarne Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen Statements Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Gustav Holst Ave Maria Difficult SSAA SSAA a cappella
Gustav Holst Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, Group 3 Intermediate SSAA w/ piano or harp
Sarah Hopkins Past Life Melodies Intermediate SA w/ 7-part divisi a cappella
Zoltán Kodály Esti Dal Easy SSAA a cappella
Zoltán Kodály Mountain Nights Intermediate SSSSAA a cappella
Dana Maiben Vermont Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Mary Montgomery Koppel A la lune Difficult SSAA a cappella
Philip Kutev Dragana I Slaveya Intermediate SSAA a cappella
David Lang evening morning day Intermediate SSA a cappella
György Ligeti Idegen földön Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Petar Liondev Kafal Sviri Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Otmar Mácha Hoj, hura hoj! Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Robinson McClellan The Woman Turns Herself into a Fish Difficult SSA a cappella
Felix Mendelssohn Abendlied Easy SA w/ piano
Felix Mendelssohn Lift Thine Eyes, Elijah Intermediate SSA a cappella
Claudio Monteverdi Pur Ti Miro Easy SA w/ continuo
Knut Nystedt Kärleckens Lov Difficult SSAA a cappella
Knut Nystedt Shells Difficult SSAA a cappella
Nick Page Niška Banja Easy SSAA w/ piano
Arvo Pärt Peace Upon You, Jerusalem Difficult SSAA a cappella
Francis Poulenc Ave Maria Intermediate SSA a cappella
Francis Poulenc Litanies a la vierge noire Difficult SSA w/ organ
Francis Poulenc Petites Voix Difficult SSA a cappella
Sergei Rachmaninoff Six Choruses Easy SA w/ piano
A. R. Rahman Wedding Qawwali Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Josef Rheinberger Sechs Gesänge Intermediate-Difficult SSAA a cappella
Heikki Sarmanto Hanget Soi Easy SSA w/ piano
Franz Schubert Psalm 23 Intermediate SSAA w/ piano
Robert Schumann Nänie, Triolett, & Spruch Easy SSA w/ piano
R. Murray Schafer Snowforms Intermediate SA w/ 8-part divisi a cappella
Joshua Shank O Saro Intermediate SSAA w/ violin
Peter Tchaikovsky Much too soon in the season Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Veljo Tormis Autumn Landscapes Difficult SSSSAAAA a cappella
Veljo Tormis Lauliku lapsepõli Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Ralph Vaughan Williams Linden Lea Easy SSA w/ piano
Giuseppe Verdi Laudi alla vergine Maria Difficult SSAA a cappella
Tomas Luis de Victoria Duo Seraphim Intermediate SSAA a cappella
Eric Whitacre Five Hebrew Love Songs Easy SA w/ piano & violin