This article follows on from my previous post, which had some more general thoughts to starting a new choir. If you are starting a community choir, you may be wondering how to put together a collection of songs that are simple, lovely and accessible. You may also need them to be free if you haven’t started collecting subs and other funding.
Here are a few songs I have used with choirs to get started. I’ve only included public domain material, so you can get up and singing for the cost of photocopying.
If your choir enjoys this Elizabethan music and wants to go further in this direction, cpdl has a wonderful book called the TUMS songbook with about 25 songs, most from this era.
Winter’ll Soon Be Over
I cant find a recording online of this beautiful, simple piece. It is a wonderful piece for choirs to build confidence in choral singing.
African Freedom Song
The Shining Shore
I learnt this song from Sonsy, an Australian folk duo singing here. The only issue i see in the sheet music is how much movement there is in the bass line which may be too much for beginning choristers, so that may benefit from a quick simplification.
How Can I Keep From Singing
The first verse of this song seems universal in its message for singers, so a non sacred choir may enjoy just this verse. Once again, the bass line could be made simpler.
And lastly, i would invite you to look over my catalogue of songs. They are all public domain - free to buy and free to use - and include a number of super simple songs that can be taught by ear very quickly to new choirs.