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

Vaughn Roste

Abstract


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.

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