Off the Beaten Path: Undiscovered gems from the Choral Public Domain Library


  • Vaughn Roste Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne


The Choral Public Domain Library represents a wealth of free music: the site currently hosts free scores of over 20,000 choral and vocal works by over 2500 composers, and its stores continue to grow daily. As schools of all levels battle reduced budgets, a free resource such as CPDL represents a treasure trove of easily reproducible, conveniently stored and readily accessible repertoire. While CPDL permits easy access, the sheer volume of possibilities can be overwhelming. In an attempt to make certain selected CPDL compositions more familiar, this reading session will aspire to present to attendees largely unknown but accessible works for mixed choirs from every era of music history appropriate for mixed choirs of various sizes at high school, college, community and church institutions. Palestrina wrote so much more than Sicut Cervus, and Certon wrote more than La, la la, je ne l’ose dire (to name two Renaissance composers). Let’s explore beyond the tried and true and see if CPDL holds any further choral gems which are less well known but no less deserving of performance.

Author Biography

Vaughn Roste, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Dr. Roste comes to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne with over a decade of post-secondary teaching experience at colleges and universities in Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Georgia. A contributing editor of the Music Appreciation textbook entitled "Music," published by Cengage Learning, he also continues to be a member of the editorial board for Anacrusis, the official publication of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. Canadian by birth, he holds four degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Augustana University College, a Bachelor of Theological Studies from the Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute (both of which are in Camrose, Alberta), a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University. His research interests continue to explore the intersections of music and theology; his doctoral dissertation compared choral settings of Jesus’ Seven Last Words by three French Romantic composers: Gounod, Franck, and Dubois. Part of his interest in French composers stemmed from the year he lived in Paris; further travels have taken him to every continent except Antarctica. The author of over two dozen articles, he also saw in 2003 the publication of his first monograph, entitled The Xenophobe’s Guide to the Canadians, by Oval Books in London, England, which recently went into its fifth printing (not including the translation into Estonian).