de Profundis a cappella men’s group before their annual September concert in the 17th Century Quarai Ruins

The majority of these pieces were written for the 13-voice ensemble de Profundis.  Most are a cappella.  A few are what I might consider difficult, but otherwise they are doable by pretty much any community, college, or better high school group.

 A la Puerta del Cielo (At the Gate of Heaven) for TTB a cappella

This is an enchanting folksong from northern New Mexico with a whimsical text.  The arrangement is easily learned and the short text presented alternately in Spanish and English .

  Arglydd Arwain (Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah) for TTBB a cappella.

What more can be said about this great, quintessential Welsh tune?  Lots of variety with the tune shared among the parts.  Both Welsh and English singing versions.

  As I went Down in the River to Pray for TTBB a cappella

This is the great southern folk hymn brought back to our consciousness by the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou.  The arrangement starts with solo baritone and builds from there as the call goes out and the crowd builds.  Also in SATB.   

  Bendigamos for TTB with harp, guitar or piano

This piece is an arrangement of a beautiful Sephardic (Jewish) song of blessing which is sung at table.  The text is Ladino, which is similar to Spanish.  There are no English words for singing, though a translation and pronunciation guide are provided.

Originally published by Transcontinental Publishing which, alas, is no more. The rights have come back to me, so I can share with you.

  Bound for Canaan for TTBB a cappella

A modal melody from the Sacred Harp.  Driving, intense, with lots of independence in the individual parts.

  Brightly Beameth the Star for TTBB a cappella.

A rollicking Shaker carol good for variety on a holiday program.

  Brown Girl in the Ring for TTBB a cappella

Arrangement of a children’s circle song from Guyana.  Very infectious melody.  Add your own percussion.

  A Carol for Samhain for TTBB a cappella

A short, hushed setting of an anonymous poem invoking the spirits associated with the Druidic festival of Samhain.  Something very different for your holiday program! 

  Come Let Us Hail this Blissful Day for TTBB a cappella

An arrangement of a 19th century carol by a Shaker elder expressing the bold, fresh theology of that tradition. 

  Counsels of Bahá’u’lláh for TTBB a cappella

Original settings of 5 short texts from the Persian founder and principle prophet of the Baha’i faith.

  1. Know Thou This         

     2. Veiled in My Immemorial Being  

    3. Even as the Swiftness of Lightning

    4. Blind Thine Eyes

5. Upon the Tree of Effulgent Glory


  Daremos Gracias Con Fe for TBB with piano and baritone solo

A song of thanksgiving addressed to the holy family.  The text is a Penitente prayer from The Alabados of New Mexico, edited by Thomas J. Steele, S.J.  A good choice for the developing men’s ensemble.

El Dio Alto for TBB, tenor solo, harp/guitar/piano and castanets

A traditional Jewish song of praise from the Sephardic tradition.  The text is Ladino, a close cousin of Spanish.  There is an English translation for meaning but not for singing.  Also includes a pronunciation guide. Originally published by Transcontinental, it is now back in my hands!

  The Greenland Whale Fishery for TTBB and Tenor solo a cappella.

An old British American whaling ballad of a tale that begins boldly and confidently and ends in tragedy.

Published by Alfred, Lawson Gould Cat. # 52929  

  Harvest of Heaven: Songs, Hymns and Chants of the Canterbury Shakers for TTBB, flute and tambourine.

The hymns taken from the 1902 Hymnal of the Canterbury Shakers, here is a suite of lovely American tunes ranging from the robust to the breathlessly ethereal, the whole woven together by a solo flute.  Also in SATB.

  Hey the Gift for TTBB voices and bodrhan

            Something really different for the holiday concert.  The text from the Carmina Gadelica envisions Christ as the offspring of all creation.  Original music mirrors the message with a rangy, rollicking setting.      

  Hold On!  For TTBB voices and baritone soloist a cappella

            A great African American spiritual of courage and resolve, arranged with swing and snap!

  The Hundred Pipers for TTBB, baritone solo and harp or piano

An old Scottish ballad recounting events of the “Forty-five [1745] Rebellion” led by Bonnie Prince Charlie.  The tune itself is probably much older.  In any case, this is a great tear-jerker.  In addition to telling the story, there is a section where the chorus imitates bagpipes.

  La Llorona for TTBB a cappella

The legend of La Llorona, the beautiful but ghostly enchantress who wanders the night, weeping for her pat transgressions, is found in various forms throughout the Latin American diaspora.  The wistful, haunting folksong upon which this arrangement is based comes from the Tehuantepec region of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The text is in Spanish only, though a translation is provided. 

  O the Blessed Revelation for TTBB a cappella

Here’s a haunting Shaker carol to add to your mens’ holiday repertoire.  Striking imagery and the unique poignancy of the Shaker melody.

  Pastorcitos del Monte, Venid for TTBB and flute

A sense of reverent joy characterizes this lovely, inviting Spanish carol, calling the shepherds down from the mountains to visit the Christ child in Bethlehem.  Text in Spanish only. 

  The Seven Joys of Mary for TTBB a cappella with baritone solo.

Arrangement of a rollicking traditional Celtic carol.

Published by Colla Voce Music # 15-95730

  Se Iluminó Aquel Portal for TTBB a cappella

A setting of a beautiful nativity text focusing on the intimacy of the event as well as its cosmic implications.  Taken from a collection of Penitente songs titled The Alabados of New Mexico, edited by Thomas J. Steele, S.J.  Chant-like sections alternate with stanzas in warm, four-part harmony.

  Song of the Shepherd for TTB and hammered dulcimer

A folksong from the mountainous Kazak region of China. 

  Three Prayers from the Carmina Gadelica for TTBB a cappella.

Original settings of three divergent texts from the rich collection, Carmina Gadelica, of poems and prayers from the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. Challenging.  Says Alice Parker of this set, “I am impressed by the simplicity and strength of David Poole’s settings.  He has a deep understanding of the texts, and an unerring instinct for male chorus sonorities.”

          Night Prayer         

          Journey Blessing

Death Dirge

  Tingalayo for TTBB a cappella

A great children’s song from the Carribean.  Good for younger voices or for stodgy old guys who can still kick their shoes off.

  Two African Freedom Songs for TTBB a cappella

Two of the better-known freedom songs to emerge from South Africa.  Intuitive arrangements that are easily memorized, allowing for the addition of dance or other movement.  English words only.

Wasn’t that a Mighty Day? for TTBB and baritone solo with trombone quartet

An African American spiritual celebrating the events of Christmas. Bluesy and swingin’.

  When the Lord Says ‘Come’ for TTBB and baritone solo a cappella.

A little-known spiritual from the mountains of Virginia full of apocalyptic imagery and heavenly harmonies.

Published by Alfred (Lawson Gould cat. #52873)