Mark Mitchell Music

Choral Music

I have been writing and performing choral music since I was a teenager and I have had a lot of experience conducting choirs as well. It is one of my musical passions. While there are a number of original compositions, a significant portion of my output is arrangements of folk and pop songs, Christmas and church music.

Many of these pieces you may download and use free of charge, but arrangements marked with a red asterisk * are for sale. For $10 I will send a pdf from which you may print copies for your choir and accompanist.   For payment instructions please visit the Buy Scores page.

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Folk Songs
*Deep River (Bass solo, SATB, piano)
Score SATB
Score Bass solo
I wrote this arrangement for the Mark Mitchell Chorale in the spring of 2000. In this recording the bass solo is sung with breath-taking mastery by my good friend, Greg Johnson. I have also included piano/vocal arrangements adapted from the choir arrangement. Purchase
*The Dying Californian (SAA)
Score 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 original key of C seems a bit low for most choirs, so I raised the score to E-flat (the original key is also available).  Purchase
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 1,000,000 people died and the same number left Ireland. This recording was an experiment with choir sampling in Gigastudio. The result sounds like the choir has a curious accent... But it gives the general idea of the piece.
In 1989, when I sang with the Vancouver Cantata Singers, I wrote these settings of authentic Chinese folk songs for a special program of music of the Pacific Rim. The recording is from that concert.
All the songs speak of love: "Yao" and "Lament" are of romantic longing, "Little Cabbage" is the song of a child lamenting her dead mother, "Hemp Seed" is a lusty courting dialogue, and "Sunset" is a lovely and sensuous description of nature, expressing the love for our beautiful earth which we all feel at such moments.
This set was composed as a commission for the Vancouver Chamber Choir, funded by the Barlow Prize for Music Composition. My idea was to take six texts that had been used by the great 16th Century composer Josquin Desprez and create new settings for them. I created folk-song-like melodies for each poem and then composed a choral setting. (Mille Regretz is an exception, being a reharmonization of Josquin's setting.) The recording here is of the Vancouver Chamber Choir in the premier performance of the work.
*The Star of Belle Isle (SATB)
One of the first folk-song arrangements I wrote, this famous Newfoundland song was set during my last year at the University of Ottawa and later performed by the UBC Chamber Choir (in which I sang bass). This recording is taken from a Chamber Choir concert at the School of Music.  Purchase
*Three Easy Irish Folk Songs (SAB)
These three-part SAB settings come from my time conducting the Irish Singers of Ottawa, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Choir, and the recording is of those dear people. Good times. I gained a great respect for a well written SAB arrangement -- not the easiest task.
These popular arrangements are $10 each or for $20 you can purchase all three.  Purchase
Christmas Lullaby (Soprano solo, SATB, oboe, harp)
Score (link to the Colla Voce website)

Originally titled "Christ Child Lullaby", I wrote this with my friend Carol Huber when I was a grad student at UBC and singing in the Vancouver Canata Singers under James Fankhauser. Jim asked me to contribute a piece for a Christmas concert and I asked Carol for a poem. The recording here is the premiere performance. This piece has been broadcast on the CBC several times since. In 2011 it was published by Colla Voce Music in the Gary R. Schwartzhoff Choral Library.
*The First Noël (TBB, piano)
This Christmas arrangement was made for all the men in my congregation to sing: most would sing melody, some would sing the bass part from the hymn book, and a few tenors would sing the composed counter melody. If you need something for mostly untrained singers to perform, this is a good choice (or a trained choir, of course).  Purchase
*The Friendly Beasts (SATB, piano)
This charming Christmas song is always well received by choirs and audiences. I made an arrangement of Friendly Beasts for a women's choir who had a member who played a fine viola. I have also adapted it in the past for SAA. The piano accompaniment makes this arrangement quite flexible. Purchase
*Good King Wenceslas (SATB, piano)
This arrangement is from a set I wrote for my chorale in 2000.  It has been performed several times since then - great fun (if you have a good pianist...)  Purchase
*Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree (SAB, piano)
Score - Soprano Solo
This lovely American Carol has become one of my favourites. I have adapted the choral arrangement for Soprano solo (a lovely recording by my friend Erin Guinup can be viewed here), and have also created a Soprano/Alto duet setting. Purchase
*Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming (SAB/SSA, piano)
Originally written for three-part women's voices, I recently adapted this arrangement for SAB. This, of course, is the famous Christmas carol written by Michael Praetorius in 1609, the German title of which is "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen".  Purchase
*O Come, O Come Emmanuel (SATB, organ)
This beautiful French Christmas carol was arranged for a church choir in 2008 and has been performed in an instrumental version for chamber orchestra as well.  Purchase
*O Little Town of Bethlehem (SATB, Piano)
This famous Christmas carol was arranged for an amateur church choir - simple, yet effective.    Purchase
When First 'Twas Heard
This Christmas Carol was written when I was a graduate student, staying home with a sick baby. It won a Carol competition at Brock University. The recording is of my Chorale in 2000.
*Time In A Bottle (SATB, piano)
Score SSAA

I arranged this great Jim Croce song as a private commission. I'm particularly fond of this one. In 2015 I adapted the arrangement for women's voices for Vox Eclectica in Ottawa.  Purchase
Gloria (SATB, organ)
The year after the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang "God Is Our Song" I wrote this anthem, intending it for the choir. It is a setting of a passage from the Book of Mormon known as "Nephi's Psalm", found in 2 Nephi 4. It requires a skilled, large choir. This recording was made in my studio using a sampled choir.
God Is Our Song (SATB, Viola solo, organ)
This anthem was written as a commission for the choir of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Ottawa in memory of a parishioner who had been a violist. The recording here is of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast in 1991. This piece was published by Gordon V. Thompson and later Warner-Chappell (although it appears to be out of print now).
Invocation (SATB)
Looking through my old student works I came upon this setting of an LDS scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 45:3-5, written just before I began formal composition lessons at university. I am struck with what a strong piece this was and have decided to make it available. It is like a Bruckner motet (which were unknown to me at the time), but using a Mormon text (and without, I admit, Bruckner's contrapuntal mastery). I think this could be a very powerful piece in the hands of a good large choir. (Forgive the computer choir with the strange accent that you will hear in the recording.)