You know it’s coming. It’s not like it can sneak up on you! Christmas comes the same time every year. But each year, you catch yourself asking the same question that I, myself, and many other church music directors ask –
How do I plan creative, yet accessible music for my small choir?
It’s a challenge, for sure. There’s NOT a lot of resources out there for the small choir. But it’s not impossible. You just have to get creative.
If your choir is like mine, then it’s hurting for tenors and basses. This is a problem because most choir music is composed for SATB voices (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass). And you need to be programming music composed for SAB voices (soprano, alto, and bass).
Here’s why –
- The bass part in SAB music is written in an accessible way for both tenors and basses – not too high and not too low.
- You’re doubling your forces by combining the tenor and bass parts. This is a great feature as most men are hesitant to sing out when there are only two or three singers in their section. There’s strength in numbers. Believe me. They will sing more confidently.
- The overall balance improves due to having appropriate numbers in each section.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “yes, I understand this, but I’m not finding creative, yet accessible SAB cantatas!”
And you’re right. It’s tough to find creative and accessible cantatas for SAB voices. The ones that exist are not as “musical” as they could be because the tenor and bass parts are adapted to fit the voicing and not composed for the voicing.
But you can still program quality SAB music for your small choir this Christmas!
I’m a huge proponent of piecing programs together as opposed to purchasing “canned” cantatas for two reasons –
- It allows you, the director, a lot more flexibility and freedom to pick music that speaks to you, your choir, and congregation.
- Not everyone is doing it. So your program will be unique!
Some of the best publishers of quality SAB music include Beckenhorst Press, Alfred Music, and Hal Leonard. Even though these are the best in the biz for SAB music, you still have to sift through the music to find the best of the best pieces!
I’ve already this work for you. I’ve curated a list of some of the best SAB Christmas music I’ve found and programmed over my ten years of church music ministry. Click below to access your FREE copy.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you’ve found this content useful. Happy Christmas planning!