choral gems for children’s choir

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Choral gems for children’s choir.

Noted choral specialist, Zimfira Poloz, is the co-editor and curator for this special Canadian choral series: “Please check out  my collection of choral music which offers exciting challenges to young voices. My own award-winning children’s choirs have delighted audiences with this music. Please listen to quality recordings as you study the scores. Watch our Youtube videos for ideas about movement.” Z.P.


by Josef Rheinberger, arr. Nadezhda Averina

SSAA – cappella    –    CP 1661 –  duration 2:40
This beloved composition has been set for treble voices by one who works in the genre all the time.  Gorgeous long lines and intuitive voice leading will make this a favourite for the singers – and the audience.


by Kelly-Marie Murphy

SSAA – cappella – –    CP 1529   –  duration 2:30
A joyful setting of the single word, Alléluia, with playful vocal percussion, this piece is suitable for advanced treble choirs.  Written for Ottawa’s l’Ensemble vocal sénior De La Salle, Robert Filion, chef de choeur, it was premiered in Edmonton at the Podium choral convention.

A Puppet's Dream

by Darius Lim

SSAA with piano    $2.75   CP 1664   –  duration 2:30
also available as SATB a cappella upon request
This is a stunner! Dramatic and fun. John Rutter chose it for his “Discovery of the Month Series” in 2018.
Composer Darius Lim, from Singapore, really used his imagination. What would a puppet dream of?  
Watch this video – great choreography!

Blue Sky

by Wei Cui

SSA a cappella – CP 1936 – duration 4:35

This stunning composition was written in 2014.  The Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir gave a wonderful performance (please listen).  Wei says, “With this composition I hope to arouse people’s consciousness of environmental protection”. This pertinent message is expressed simply and clearly with pentatonic sonorities. The lyrics includes both non-lexical vocables and sentences in Mandarin, which repeat often enough for all singers to learn quickly. We feature a very approachable speech tutorial.

Ikan Kekek

by Tracy Wong
SSAA – a cappella    –    CP 1618   – 2:30
SATB – a cappella    –    CP 1643
“Ikan Kekek” is about a fish, and a whole lot more! As with children’s songs from other countries, Malaysian children’s songs consist of  simple, catchy, and repetitive melodies. These tunes are usually lively and festive. They often either tell a story, bear advice for young people, or are humorously written and purely meant to entertain. This popular children’s song from Malaysia covers them all and is arranged for SSAA / SATB choir and percussion.
Percussion available (sent via PDF) upon request

La belle se promène

arr Meghan Quinlan

SSAA    –    CP 1527   – 4:10   
This Canadian folksong tells of the love between a beautiful women and her young sailor. Meghan gives a skillful and intriguing approach to the plaintive Acadian dorian melody. 

La belle se promène tells the story of an encounter between a beautiful girl and a sailor on the banks of a river. Originally a French folk song—an alternative lyric places the strangers’ meeting on the Loire river—it was brought to Canada by French settlers, where it was absorbed and adapted into Acadian culture. This arrangement casts the story in a dream-like atmosphere: its opening evokes the banks of a more solitary river, hidden away in green forests. Moving from the charged stillness of the girl’s encounter with nature to the thrill of meeting a stranger—and sailing away with him—the arrangement provides a full palette of expressive colours. In order to join the sailor on his journey, the girl asks him to teach her the song he’s singing. For the girl, singing is a means of both getting to know and of escaping into the unknown, leaving her past life behind like a dream.  

watch this amazing performance on Youtube.

His Eye is On the Sparrow

arr. Larry Nickel

SATB a cappella  –    CP 1651   – duration 2:45
SSA with piano   –    CP 1652   – duration 3:15
Larry’s lovely approachable setting will warm the hearts of any audience. Written in 1905 by Charles Gabriel, the song became the title of Ethel Waters’ autobiography. Then Lauren Hill performed a stirring rendition in the movie “Sister Act” – remember? Give a listen to these pristine recordings.

Hymn of Acxiom

by Vienna Teng, arr. Robin Salkeld

SSAA a cappella  –   CP 1668  – duration 3:35
SATB a cappella  –   CP 1406
This is a hymn for our times. The Acxiom Corporation fits into a category called database marketing. They have collected data on over 126 million households. This song is relevant although quite unnerving. Robin has given Vienna’s song his trademark choral treatment. 


by Tobin Stokes

SSAA a cappella    $2.75    CP 1376   –  duration 3:20
This unusual composition has been performed around the world. Google the word (if you can spell it) to see wonderful festival performances throughout Europe. Tobin’s song is built on the Basque mythology of witches celebrating the Witches’ Sabbath in the forest, casting spells and brewing magic potions. Halloween fun!

J’entends le moulin

arr. Michael Snelgrove

SATB with piano    –    CP 1534   – duration 3:10
SSA with piano    –    CP 1533
This piece is a real barn burning showstopper for a skilled pianist and a choir that that loves adrenaline pumping music. This Canadian folksong has been around for generations and Michael takes it to a new level of energy and FUN. The text is repetitive and easy for any choir to catch on to.

Li Ngu Weko

by Steven Webb

SSA a cappella – CP 1844 – duration 4:30

Created using nonsense syllables, Li Ngu Weko is an exciting and upbeat piece that should be sung with energy and a strong sense of groove or rhythm. 
Inspired by my upbringing in South Africa, the piece incorporates elements of Southern African choral music, as well as the western classical choral repertoire. Conductors are encouraged to incorporate basic movement or choreography to enhance the piece, and choir members are highly encouraged to move their bodies to the music!

Pasejau Dobila

by John Govedas

SSA with piano – CP 1834 – duration 3:00
A brilliant sparkling Lithuanian folk song set in the Govedas style – with a formidable piano accompaniment. 

Rasa Nusantara

by Tracy Wong
SSAA – a cappella – CP 1631 – duration 4:00
A joyful medley of four Malaysian folk dances. Listen to Tracy sing it herself while you study the score.
Easy, rhythmic and crowd pleasing!
Percussion available (sent via PDF) upon request

Something Told the Wild Geese

by John Govedas

SA with piano – CP 1833 –  duration 2:55

“Something told the wild geese it was time to go.” One of the awesome miracles of nature, geese fly away in Autumn and come back to the same very same place in Spring. The poetry of Rachel Field is given a marvellous setting by John Govedas. The piano part sparkles in flight over the lovely melodies.

Song for the Searching

by  Katerina Gimon

SSA  –  CP 1881  –  duration 5:10
SSAB  –  CP 1882
An anthem about the power of singing as part of a collective and building a legacy through song.

Growing up, my home away from home was with the Hamilton Children’s Choir — a remarkable community that taught me the power of the collective voice and ultimately inspired me to pursue music as a career. And so, I was absolutely delighted when approached by the HCC to create a song for their 45th anniversary. Together with Lauren (a fellow HCC alumna), we aimed to create a song that captured the spirit of the organization we once called home — a song about the power of the collective voice and building legacy through song, something anyone who has sung in a choir knows well. We hope in singing our song and including your own reflections (overtop the piano interlude) you can celebrate your own choir family and the beauty you have built together.  K.G.


by  Katerina Gimon

SSAA  –   CP 1793   – duration 3:30
Inspired by the mystery, beauty, and grandiosity of the night sky, Spellbound tells the story of a group of mischievous young stars. As each star awakes to the universe and discovers the power of their light, they begin to dance and swirl in the sky, drawing in the gazes of those on Earth.  Their movement creates patterns in the sky as, together, they form a new constellation. Onlookers become spellbound by their beauty as they illuminate the night.

Spellbound received its staged premiere on July 16, 2019 at the 7th World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival’s in Hong Kong. It was commissioned by the Hamilton Children’s Choir through the support of a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Visions of Spring

by Brian W. Jagger

SSA with piano and percussion – CP 2287 – duration 5:15

Visions of Spring captures the excitement and the blossoming of the world around us in the best way you can think of – Music. You’ll hear what Spring sounds like, from birds chirping to the transformation of the earth from grey and white to green and vibrant colours, as well as the excitement that comes as the world reawakens.

Wau Bulan

by Tracy Wong

SA – a cappella    –    CP 1537   –  duration 2:50 
SAB – a cappella    –    CP 1608
This classic and upbeat Malaysian folk song is about flying kites! It is usually sung while seated on the floor and while performing synchronized-choreographed movements and hand claps. This pentatonic melody can be adapted to suit choirs at all levels and makes for a colorful opening or closing of any concert.

Welcome Yule

by William Brown

CP 2238 – any combination of voices – duration 5:15

This setting of Welcome, Yule by Canadian composer William Brown is an impressive and effective concert opener for your holiday concert.  The piece allows for creative choir positioning in the concert hall for soloists and choir.  Welcome, Yule incorporates a haunting medieval free-chant, the spoken word combined with gong and wind chimes, and concludes with the joyous driving pulse of earthy harmonies and side-drum.  The 15th century anonymous text used welcomes the Christmas season.

Winter Sun

by Don Macdonald

SSAATB    –   CP 1288   –  duration 3:20
SSSAAA    –    CP 1305 
“To light, to water, and the flow of birds through ancient stars.” Don has set the poignant poem of Canadian poet Malca Litovitz in his inimitable style. Don employs contemporary techniques with classical tonality – unusual and attractive at once and very convincing. Please give a listen.