Ah, the youth choir: no longer children, not yet adults. The purgatory of musical ensembles, neither heaven nor hell…or is it?
At one point in my professional career, as many others have and still do, I directed youth choirs. I loved their energy, vitality, and spirit. Among the various challenges I experienced, however, was finding quality music that matched the collective abilities of the singers. It wasn’t easy.
What a treasure it would have been to have had access to something like Prelude back then. The ability to search, filter results, and (wow!) examine an entire piece of music from the comfort of my home would have been a God-send. I don’t care to know how many hours I spent at the local music store, combing through myriads of octavos, trying to find new arrangements of music that would (hopefully) work; or peering through catalogues, ordering several single sample copies, only to find one or two that I could use for the year.
Now Augsburg Fortress does not currently have a choral series specifically devoted to youth choirs nor does Prelude have a tool that filters for this type of ensemble, but you know your singers and you have the search and filter tools in Prelude which can help direct you to the perfect choral settings for your group.
Many of the results that will appear for you when you do a search for unison or 2-part choir will be from Augsburg’s ChildrenSing series or collections. I encourage you not to dismiss these from the list of the possibilities for your choir assuming that they are meant for children only. There are so many exquisitely crafted and beautiful choral settings in this series. At various time, I’ve even used a few of them with my adult choir when time and resources got tight.
A word of advice however: in the event you do find a few (or many) arrangements from this series you’d like to purchase for your choir, simply use some white correction fluid to eliminate the word “ChildrenSing” from the credit line at the bottom of the first page before making copies of the printed music for your choir. Nothing will sabotage your rehearsal efforts more than an astute eight-grader (or in my experience, an aging soprano) who wants to know what that “ChildrenSing” thingy at the bottom of the page means.