The 5 Best Sources to Find New Repertoire for Choir
Finding great music to perform doesn’t have to be difficult if you know where to look.
If there is something that all choral conductors have experienced at one point or another, it's the frustration of trying to find new repertoire.
Why is that?
We live in a time when there has never been so much music available instantly at our fingertips. And yet, that seemingly endless selection actually makes it harder to choose something and feel satisfied with our decision.
It shouldn’t surprise us — this is a well known psychological paradox. After all, if you have 1000 options, what are the odds you picked the best one?
Well, we’ve put together some strategies to help you find the best repertoire for your choir. They will help you make your choice, and point you in the right direction to find music once you’ve decided.
Befriend the Algorithm
When it comes to finding new music for your choir, use the power of algorithms! You can do this by listening to music that you already know fits your choir well on platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora. These services will consider what you are listening to and generate ideas for related music.
These suggestions will give you a few places to get started. You can begin to think about the pieces themselves or the composers or maybe even the vibe. The great thing about this method is that you can quickly hop from one suggestion to the other, and you’ll keep getting more related tracks.
Once you listen to something that sounds beautiful, fits your needs, and is a good match for your choir, you can easily hunt down the music from there.
Browse Graphite Publishing
Graphite Publishing gives you plenty of options for amazing music. From Paul Ares to B.E. Boykin to Dessa, you have plenty of great composers to choose from. But where their platform really shines is in the ability to browse their catalog easily online, using terms helpful to a choir conductor.
You can limit your options by the makeup of the choir, your accompaniment, the difficulty of the piece, and its duration. This allows you to find if they have something you are looking for that meets your exact needs, all with relatively little hassle.
Of course, it’s hard to go onto a publisher’s website and just start perusing what they have on offer. But their selection as well as their presentation makes them one of the best places for repertoire.
Follow the Composer
If you love a certain composer, following their online presence can be an effective way to find new repertoire for your choir.
For a start, you can go onto their professional website and see where they publish their work. While the publisher they collaborate with might not keep the same style and quality among all of their offerings, you can at least find music for the composer you love.
But following a composer can be helpful in many other ways, too.
Looking through a composer’s social media and finding similar composers are powerful avenues to broaden your understanding of what’s available. This is especially helpful if your program only has one or two songs already, and you want to find songs to go with what you have that are in the same vein.
Explore Santa Barbara Music Publishing Company
The Santa Barbara Music Publishing Company operates what might be the single best resource for repertoire on the internet. The enormous selection is incredibly easy to peruse, with a tremendous amount of resources to make the right decision.
The left column of the website immediately brings you collections of music at the right level of difficulty and choir composition. Then, you can look into each piece, listen to a recording of it, read the text, and check out the additional practice material available for many of the pieces.
Despite having a website that looks like it was designed in 2003, they’ve managed to make it a leader in the field.
Engage the World of Choir Music
Choir conductors know that having great songs is a key factor in success. And one of the best ways to expand your repertoire is to be fully engaged with the world of choir music. Go to more events, join online communities of choir conductors, and read more about the field.
This will keep you in touch with a lot more music without trying. That being said, you also need to be consciously engaging with the world of choir music for a prolonged time to reap all the benefits. Luckily, it's a great way to spend your time.
INTERKULTUR runs international choir events throughout the year. These are great opportunities to experience choir at its best, hear new music that inspires your next program, and meet with people who love this performance art like you do. The best part? This is the most fun way to find music for your repertoire!