Hark, fair readers! This glorious springtime day doth mark the 446th birthday of the fine poet and scholar, Sir William Shakespeare. Methinks this be an excellent opportunity for ye to explore the depth of wonderful music for choirs based on his inimitable prose!
It Was a Lover and His Lass by John Rutter is a perfect marriage of classic, timeless text and a swinging, laid-back a cappella musical setting. It’s that rare combination of fun and sophistication. Perfect for springtime (“the only pretty ring time”) concerts.
A set of Three Madrigals (“O Mistress mine,” “Take, O take those lips away,” and “Sigh no more, ladies”) by Emma Lou Diemer has been a standard in SATB choral literature for over 45 years. Also available for 2-part treble voices in an arrangement which retains the creativity and inventiveness of the original while making it accessible to young singers.
And for elementary students, check out What’s Shakin’, Shakespeare? by Mark Burrows, an exploration of literary masterworks through a wide variety of musical styles. Perfect for any performance or classroom curriculum need!