Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms SAB
A lovely traditional Irish song, the story goes that Thomas Moore wrote these words for his distraught wife who had shut herself in her room after her beautiful complexion was ruined by smallpox. I wrote this arrangement for my dear Irish Singers of Ottawa whom I directed for three years in the late 90’s. I’ve been wanting to do an SATB version, so whoever requests it first gets it for half price!
The Dalesman's Litany SATB
I first heard this poignant song in a 1993 folk recording by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior. I later learned that it was composed by Dr. Frederick Mooreman, a Yorkshire cultural enthusiast in the early 1900’s and Dave Keddie, who wrote a tune for it around 1960 (the tune here has been altered somewhat). Originally written for my Irish Singers as an SAB arrangement, I have expanded it to the standard SATB, although the tenor part could stand alone as a Baritone part if needed.
The Dying Californian SAA
This beautiful folk song was first published in 1854 in the New England Diadem. I altered the melody somewhat and arranged it for my wife’s trio. Their wonderful recording is presented here.
The Famine Song SATB
The Famine Song is an Irish folk song from the 1850’s commemorating the Great Potato Famine in which an estimted one million people died and the same number left Ireland.
Five Chinese Folk Songs SATB
These lovely choral settings were comissioned by the Vancouver Cantata Singers in 1989. I have recently recopied the entire set after identifying each Chinese character and finding it’s pinyin spelling, pronunciation and translation (a task that occupied several months). The purchased music includes my text-based chart with all the characters and recordings of the spoken lyrics for pronunciation reference (a resource that would have been a great help when we performed these pieces 30 years ago!)
The House of the Rising Sun SSAA
This arrangement was created for a local women’s choir. It’s bluesy counterpoint and complex harmonies make it a delightfully effective piece to perform.
Originally arranged for SAB, during my time as conductor the Irish Singers of Ottawa sang this at the close of every rehearsal, and often in concert as well. It holds tender memories for me.
St. Patrick Was A Gentleman SATB
Arranged for my Irish Singers of Ottawa, this lively tune with comical lyrics is an audience favourite! (This piece can be performed as SAB by leaving out the bass part at the end – this was actually the original version).
The Star of Belle Isle SATB
One of the first folk-song arrangements I wrote, this setting of the famous Newfoundland song was created during my last year at the University of Ottawa and later performed by the UBC Chamber Choir (in which I sang bass). This performance was recorded live at UBC in 1987.
The Star Spangled Banner SSA
My wife’s trio was hired to sing the national anthem at some AAA baseball games years back. This was the arrangement they sang of O Say, Can You See to cheering crowds.
Three Easy Irish Folk Songs SAB
These wonderful Irish folk songs (Green Grows the Laurel, The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby and I’ll Tell Me Ma) were arranged for my Irish Singers of Ottawa in 1999 (the recording here is our live concert). They are great fun and not too technically challenging.
Irish Trilogy - Three Folk Songs for SATB and Piano
An set of advanced choral arrangements of three well-known Irish folk songs – The Waxie’s Dargle, She Moved Through the Fair, and The Star of the County Down – for SATB choir and piano. The piano part is particularly detailed and challenging, but also playable and rewarding.
The Wee Weaver SATB
This ethereal Irish folk song features an ever fluid meter. For simplicity’s sake I have not included the time signatures, but bars of 3/4 (and sometimes 4/4 and 5/4) often alternate with bars of 7/8 (which is really a lop-sided 3). This gives the song a floating, dreamy quality, and should sound very relaxed. I have included a slightly simpler version where the second and third verses repeat the same music.