In the See-A-Dot catalog, there are many great vocal solos for soloists in your vocal ensemble or choir, and now you can search for pieces with vocal solos on our Octavos page! Just click on the Any Instrumentation button and select “Featured Vocal Solo” from the menu, as seen below.
If you’re not sure which piece has the featured vocal solo you want, don’t panic; below are some of our personal favorite featured vocal solos in the catalog.
David Hurd is known throughout the Episcopal community as one of the foremost organists and composers among the faith, and his experience is on full display in the hopeful, yet elegiac They That Wait Upon the Lord. This piece features a soaring sopranos solo that provides the promise that those that have patience will reap their rewards. This solo utilizes the wide range of the soprano; the highest note is a high A and the lowest note is an E. While the range is wide, the solo fits very comfortably with the rest of the choir and is certainly a showcase for a more operatic soprano.
A sensual, seductive piece that sets music to both a sacred and a secular text regarding the Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, this piece has a beautiful solo that can be performed by either countertenor or alto. The solo generally falls in the mid range of the countertenor/alto and requires a choral singer who can phrase and interpret well. The solo line serves as a enticement that leads the listener closer to the blurred, aromatic textures sung by the choir.
Toby Twining’s work has some of the best solos for soloists who want to rock out, and Hee-oo-hm-ha is no exception. The countertenor solo in this piece is based on yodeling and rhythmic panting techniques from the Ba Benzélé Pygmies of central West Africa and the Ewe people of Ghana. It requires both a looseness in the voice and precision in the higher range of the countertenor, but the end result is truly magical and adds to the infectiousness of the piece.
One of our newest pieces in the See-A-Dot catalog, a soprano and tenor solo both trade off exquisite melodies over a sea of vocal textures on this meditation of love and loss. These solos are perfect for expressive, vocally unique singers, and the piece also includes a very tranquil cello solo (we will get to instrumental solos in our catalog soon!)
Jonathan David’s Stabat Mater is an enigmatic piece based on Gregorian chant, and while the harmonies are rather simple, the effect is stunning. This holds true for the soprano solo in this piece as well, as the solo is more of a descant in the high register over the harmonic textures sung by the choir. The solo is also colored grace notes and lovely chromatic gestures, which can be found as motifs throughout the piece. The soloist does not come in until 6 minutes into the piece, but when they do, it truly takes the piece to the next level.
The soprano solo that begins Nilo Alcala’s Three Kalinga Chants is a lullaby commonly sung in the Kalinga region of the Philippines, and definitely takes on a reassuring, comforting sound at first. However, as the piece progresses, the solo becomes more erratic and soars over an increasing dissonant harmonic texture, until the solo finally settles and allows the tenor and bass section to lead the piece into a more rhythmic territory. It is a truly tough solo that requires rhythmic precision and an exceptionally wide range from the soprano, but it is so worth the time and effort once you hear it live.
Tse Go La, from Andrea Clearfield’s Tse Go La Cantata, begins with both a tenor and soprano soloist who sing the main melody from the work, both singing in Tibetan and utilizing vocal techniques indicative of the singing of those who live in the Lo Monthang region in the Himalayas. These solos fit very comfortably in each soloist’s tessitura, and can be done by either a soloist or a group of soloists in the section.
Besh Besh besh-mo sh’mo is influenced by Bulgarian dance rhythms and the folk singing of groups such as Mystères des Voix Bulgares, and the solo in this is definitely based off the more nasal, pointed singing techniques of Eastern European folk music. Whoever sings this solo needs to be comfortable with yodeling and leaving classical singing technique at the door!