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Home 9 Special Collections 9 PROFONDO – the Mark Sirett Series

DR. MARK SIRETT is a prolific composer, choir director and choral music specialist. He is the co-editor and curator for this unique series. “Welcome to my collection of choral music for low voice choirs. Tenors, baritones and basses need excellent repertoire and here is my list of sure winners. My own choirs have delighted audiences with this music. Please follow the ‘look and listen’ links. You can listen to quality recordings as you read through the scores.” M.S.

read Mark’s biography here

After the War

by Gross and Keele, arr. Mark Sirett

TTBB with piano    –    CP 1378  – duration 4:35
SATB with piano    –    CP 1328
SSA with piano    –    CP 1326
Sarah Slean sang this song in the film “Passchendaele”.  Paul Gross, from Calgary-Alberta, wrote, co-produced and starred in the film which focuses on the experiences of a Canadian soldier at the Third Battle of Ypres. Mark has transformed the song into a wonderful choral composition which would be well suited to Remembrance Day events or any concert concerning War and Peace.

Instrumental parts – (optional and not available through retailers) – $20 (full set sent via PDF files): 
full score plus; oboe, flute, violin and double bass

All the Diamonds

by Bruce Cockburn,  arr. Larry Nickel

TBB with piano    –    CP 1286  – duration 2:45  
SATB with piano    –    CP 1273
SSA with piano    –    CP 1348
Bruce Cockburn is one of Canada’s most beloved folk musicians. Rolling Stone magazine once called him Bob Dylan of the north. Larry Nickel has loved this song since the 1970‘s.

Barrett’s Privateers

by Stan Rogers, arr. Ron Smail

TTBB    –    CP 1253   – duration 3:50  
SATB    –    CP 1226 
Stan Rogers, Canada’s folk music hero, speaks to all of us through his words and music. This is a rollicking sea shanty. Not many songs have swearing (moderate) but this one really works! You might be swearing too if you lost both your legs!

Christmas in Carrick

arr. Mark Sirett

SATB a cappella with violin and spoons  –  CP 1912   – duration 2:05  
SSA a cappella with violin and spoons  –  CP 1921
TBB a cappella with violin and spoons  –  CP 1920

Who cares if we work tomorrow?
Now’s the time to spread good cheer!
Pass the punch around the table!
Christmas comes but once a year!

Cliffs of Dooneen

arr. Mark Sirett

TTBB with piano    –    CP 1889   – duration 4:05   
SATB with piano    –    CP 1164
SSA with piano    –    CP 1382
The Cliffs of Dooneen is a popular and haunting Irish folk song that extols the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coast. The final verse expresses longing for the homeland–a sentiment shared by many Irish immigrants during the nineteenth century when they were forced to leave for North America because of the Great Famine. This arrangement was written for Sister Rita Clare and the Cape Breton Chorale for the Celtic Colours Festival in 2008.  The SSA version is dedicated to Ann McIntyre, Conductor of the Edmonton Children’s Choir.

Cotton Jenny

by Gordon Lightfoot, arr. Mark Sirett

TTBB with piano    –    CP 1790  – duration 3:20   
SATB with piano    –    CP 1787
Many singers and audience members will remember this delightful folk song by Lightfoot.  “Wheels of love go ’round!” Dr. Sirett has created an approachable type of “round” with his skillful writing. Great fun!

Demain dès l'aube

by Mark Payne

TTBB a cappella – CP 2288 – duration 3:00

Tomorrow, at dawn, in the hour when the countryside whitens,
I will leave. You see, I know that you are waiting for me.
I will go through the forest, I will go over the mountains.
I cannot stay far from you any longer.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Dulce et Decorum - from Requiem for Peace

by Larry Nickel

SATB    with piano – CP 1781
TTBB    with piano – CP 1785 – duration 4:10
Wilfred Owen’s poem was born in the muddy trenches. This movement from Requiem for Peace has been performed at Remembrance Day/Memorial Day concerts. It works well together Long Black Arm.

Dry Land

by Robbie Smith, arr. Larry Nickel

SATB with piano – CP 1996 – duration 4:35.
TBB with piano – CP 2004
SSA available upon request
I yearned to feel the ocean’s roll,
I was always the seafaring kind.
But too many storms have taken their toll, 
and all that remains on my mind –
Is dry land, dry land – 
It’s been seven fortnights since we raised the sail.
All hands, dry land – 
We’ve slipped from the grip of a force seven gale to dry land.

Farewell to Tarwathie

arr. Mark Sirett

TTBB with piano    –    CP 1876  – duration 3:30   
SATB with piano    –    CP 1357
SSA with piano    –    CP 1597
Hunting for whale off the coast of Greenland and the pain of separation – leaving loved ones across the sea. This is another effective folk song that will endear audiences.


by  Katerina Gimon

SATB – CP 1451   – duration 1:35
SSAA – CP 1635
TTBB – CP 2005

Fire is a fun, lively and energetic work incorporating vocal percussion, body percussion, nasal singing, calls, nonsense syllables, as well as optional percussion. Fire is the third piece in a set of four SATB works called Elements.

heat, light
strength, fuel, drive
burning, melting, evaporating, and transforming

Fish in the Sea

by Mark Payne

TTBB a cappella – CP 2292 – duration 2:30

Come all you young sailormen, listen to me

I’ll sing you a song of the fish in the sea
And it’s windy weather boys
Stormy weather, boys
When the wind blows we’re all together boys
Blow ye wide westerly, blow ye winds, blow
Jolly sou’ wester, boys, steady she goes

The Gift

by Russell Wallace

SATB a cappella   –   CP 1247   – 3:15   
TBB a cappella   –   CP 1519
Simple yet powerful, authentic and moving: these words describe Russell’s wonderful celebration chant.

The Grace of Light

by Don Macdonald

SATB a cappella – duration 5:00
TTBB a cappella

SSAA a cappella

Our night awakens with a flame 
and it’s luminous, luminous.
The shadows trace a perfect frame.
Luminous, luminous.

And while the northern winds conspire,
we’re held by the trees 
and lulled by the fire.
We sleep and dream ‘neath astral seas
then wake to shimmering fields of aurora. 

Hunker Down

by Tobin Stokes

SATB a cappella – CP 1172   – duration 2:55  
TTBB a cappella – CP 1181
A storm is coming so batten down the hatches! – tie up those boats and run for cover!
This is a rousing song – guaranteed to be a fun sing and a people pleaser.

I Dreamed of Rain

by Jan Garrett, arr. Larry Nickel

TTBB with piano    –    CP 1211  – duration 3:20
SATB with piano    –    CP 1182
SAB with piano    –    CP 1192
SSA with piano    –    CP 1193
“It had been a particularly hot dry year in 2002, and wild fires were raging across much of the western US. The political scene felt equally troubling and out-of-control to me. It was as if the whole world was on fire. In the midst of all this unrest, I began to have dreams of rain.” Jan Garrett. Choral composer, Larry Nickel, was captured by the beautiful simplicity of Jan’s song and set it for choir with approachable rich harmonies.

In the Early Morning Rain

by Gordon Lightfoot, arr. Mark Sirett

SATB    with piano – CP 2101 – duration 4:20
TTBB    with piano – CP 2102
options: Guitar, Bass and Violin parts
This classic song has been covered by many artists from Bob Dylan and “Peter, Paul and Mary” to Elvis.
In the early morning rain with a dollar in my hand
With an aching in my heart and my pockets full of sand
I’m a long way from home, Lord, I miss my loved ones so
In the early morning rain with no place to go


by Bruce Sled

TTBB a cappella        –    CP 1056  – duration 2:10
SATB a cappella        –    CP 1048
This piece has been an instant success for everyone who’s tried it. Using nonsense words, it is rhythmic and upbeat, and uses cyclical repetition in the parts creating an incredibly catchy groove! A must-see.

A Kind Heart

by Matthew Emery

TTBB with piano  –   CP 1570   – duration 4:20
SATB with piano  –   CP 1569
The beautiful and life affirming poem by Marjorie Pickthall is given a classy and poignant setting in the inimitable Emery style.

Lord Franklin

arr. Benjamin Bolden

SATB a cappella – CP 1698 – duration 4:30
TTBB a cappella – CP 2057

In Baffin’s Bay where the whale fish blow
The fate of Franklin no man may know

O Little Rose, O Dark Rose

by Gerda Blok-Wilson

TTBB a cappella – CP 1848 – duration 3:55
SATB a cappella – CP 1849 – duration 3:55

I chose “O Little Rose, O Dark Rose” for both its sweet and dark elements. Robert’s poem uses garden imagery to paint a story about a conventional person seduced by the appearance of the free spirited and non-committal “Carmenesque” person.
The composition was recorded by Britain’s Gesualdo Six for their CD (“FADING”).

“We are really pleased to have stumbled across an absolute gem” (Gesualdo Six) and “an achingly beautiful setting of ‘O Little Rose, O Dark Rose.” (Stefan Hintersteininger – Canadian Music Centre).

Painter of Wintertime

by Robbie Smith, arr. Frances Farrell

SATB with piano – CP 1958 – duration 4:10
SSA with piano – CP 1972
TTBB with piano – CP 1981
A lilting and lyrical depiction of a magical snowy morning based on Robbie Smith’s evocative lyrics and enchanting melodies that features a mixture of unison singing, four-part harmonies and an imaginative and sensitive piano accompaniment. An ideal choice for Winter-themed programs. 

Snow drift, fresh powder peaceful
Ice diamond aspen tree, tasting the wind
Snowflake, cotton and crystal
Candy cane Christmas tree, ornament sky

Painter of wintertime of smooth wispy swirl
Painter of wintertime, your canvas the world

Pierless Bridge, the

by  Mark Sirett

TTBB with piano    –    CP 1333  – duration 3:10
SATB with piano    –    CP 1294
SSA with piano    –    CP 1332
Emily Dickinson explores the question of faith is this poignant poem and Mark gives her poetry a perfect gentle setting. (a personal favourite of Dr. Larry Nickel)

Red-winged Blackbird

by David Francey; arr. Mark Sirett

SATB with piano – CP 2082 – duration 2:25
SSA with piano – CP 2083
TBB with piano – CP 2084

He’ll be in there singing his heart out,
He’ll be telling me stories too,
Of where he went to winter last year,
Of how he’s going back there too.
Thought I heard a red winged blackbird,
Red winged blackbird down my road,
Thought I heard a red winged blackbird,
Red winged blackbird down my road.

Scottish Airs

arr. Terry Hurrell

TTBB – with piano – CP 1905 – duration 3:45

Men’s choirs will enjoy this medley of an energetic Scottish war song (Scots Wha Hae, with raucous bagpipe imitation and a wide range of dynamics, followed by a quiet lilting taste of the Skye Boat Song.  Interest at the end is maintained by a meeting of the clans, using partner songs: Will Ye No Come Back Again? and Scotland the Brave, each sung by different parts of the choir, as two clans come together from neighbouring glens.  The coda is a pianissimo invitation to visit Scotland again.

Sleep Now

by Matthew Emery

TTBB  a cappella  –  CP 1415 – duration 3:20
SATB  a cappella  –  CP 1416 
Matthew chooses this texts carefully – in this case, a lovely poem by James Joyce. Comfort and rest – sleep.


by  Susan Crowe and Raylene Rankin, arranged by Mark Sirett

TTBB with piano and violin or flute    –    CP 1890  – duration 3:05   
SSA with piano and violin or flute    –    CP 1607
SATB with piano and violin or flute    –    CP 1610
violin part available upon request (no charge)

Little sparrow, still you fly
Still you gaze into the sky
Are you longing, do you yearn
For a tall tree to return?

Tabula Rasa

by Don Macdonald

SATB (with divisi) – CP 1169 – 3:40
SSAA – CP 1318
TTBB – CP 1707
Tabula Rasa  – This Latin phrase translates as “Blank Slate” in English.  The composer had a specific image in mind when composing this music. A quiet moment between a mother and child when the mother sees, as she has never seen, the potential of the precious life she holds in her arms. A silent acknowledgement of her child and every child as a “blank slate” with seemingly limitless potential.

This emotionally uplifting work relies on gentle dissonances that ebb and flow with the Spanish text. It has been performed by youth choirs as well as professional ensembles and would make a great choice for festival competition.

We Rise Again

by Leon Dubinsky
arr. Stephen Smith

TTBB with piano – CP 1136  duration – 4:00  
SSAA with piano – CP 1143
SATB with piano – CP 1141
Leon Dubinsky’s well known coal miners song was made popular by the Rankins, and this arrangement by Stephen Smith has been sung throughout Canada and the US by the men’s choir, Chor Leoni. (click listen) A great crowd pleaser, this accessible version tugs at the heart strings of all who see children as our hope for the future.

When Dawn Shines

by Mishaal Surti

TTBB a cappella    –    CP 1299   – duration 2:05
SATB a cappella    –    CP 1346
This heartfelt piece of remembrance shares a message of hope and inspiration. With text by Canadian poet Justin Zadorsky, When Dawn Shines is a moving addition to any Men’s Chorus festival or concert program.

“When the sun shines, my spirit will renew its gladness.”

Winter Awakening

by Robbie Smith, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh

SATB with piano and instruments  –  CP 1961   – duration 4:05
SSAA with piano and instruments  –  CP 1975
TBB – available upon request

This is one of Robbie Smith’s most beautiful songs – in a minor key – and Erica has given it a stunning choral arrangement with sweet-spot vocal registers and interesting lines for each singer. The ideal instrumental accompaniment should include violin and recorder. However, this song would work well with almost any combination of C instruments. We also have a solo option for flute, violin, oboe or recorder.

Wind awakens winter in me
And leaves my spirit bleak and barren
Yearning for fond moments to be 
And the spring in all its fragrant finery

Skies are dressed in dull shades of gray
And the farmland fields lie sleeping fallow
A lone bird call takes me away
To future promise far away from today

Winter Proverbs

by Frances Farrell

TTBB a cappella –  CP 1590 – duration 7:00

Winner of Chor Leoni’s inaugural C4 composition competition in 2017, this a cappella suite for men’s voices uses secular texts to depict the many shades of winter. This suite can be performed as a group or, alternatively, the last movement can be performed as a standalone work. A highly versatile set of pieces featuring moments of effervescence, humour, and solace, Winter Proverbs will be a welcome addition to your seasonal program.