Some Song Choices that I like for My Middle School Choirs

Here are some repertoire ideas from the creator of S-Cubed Sight Singing Program!

Slow for 7th Grade or 8th grade TB choir.  Good for adjudication.
I'm Bound Away arr. by Mark Patterson.

Fast for 7th/8th Grade TB choir.  Good for adjudication.
Who Will Be A Witness by Donald Moore and Aura Lee arr. Snyder.
Here is a YouTube video of my Men's choir performing these two songs at adjudication.

Slow for 6th grade/7th grade beginners for adjudication.
The Little Birch Tree arr. by Goetze.

A Capella fast for 6th/7th beginners for adjudication.
Drunken Sailor arranged by Emily Crocker.

Wonderful musical theater piece.  They LOVE this.  Upbeat.
Revolting Children from Matilda

Great for finale.  Idea:  Use flashlights.  Cover the flashlight with black cardboard.  Punch a pin hole in it.  Do song in the dark.
He Lives in You from the Lion King

7/8th Mixed Choir, Slow, for adjudication.
Turtle Dove by Linda Spevacek

7/8th Mixed Choir, Fast, for adjudication.
Misty Morning by Carl Nygard

Great for beginning of the year Mixed Choir.  Limited men's range.  7/8th.
Sinner Man by Roger Emerson

Awesome intro to madrigals for Mixed Choir 8th grade.  A Capella.
Carol of the Bells

FUN!  Rap.  Add kid in Santa suit.  Great opener for holiday.
Sounds All Around Us from Music K-8.

I use the next two with flashlight choreography and fog machine, and I do them in the dark.  I use it in October.
Thunder Lizard from Music K-8.

Dweller of the Cave from Music K-8 Magazine
Super fun for fall.  Add flashlights and fog machine in the dark, and it's super memorable.

This includes partner songs.  I like "Home", "City Life" and "Fifty Stars", but they are all good!
John Jacobson doesn't miss when you are trying to keep things fun with this age group!

He never misses for 3-part mixed choir,  but this is one of my favorites.  I use it with my mixed choir in the first nine weeks.  Lots of opportunities for unison octave work (S-Cubed Level 2), and it's fun and simple to learn.  

Perfect for beginning 2-part choir.  It has unique textures to it with whispers and "sh" sounds.  The kids love the upbeat nature.  Excellent for adjudicated festival.

Great to beginning Men's Choirs.  It ends with a 3-part chord.  It has lots of rhythmic interest, opportunities for solos, and is very upbeat.  Great for adjudication.

Super song for the beginning of the year with your Middle School boys.
It's easy and makes them feel super!  I often raise it a half step for the younger boys.

This is great for an advanced 8th grade mixed choir.  You need three strong parts.  It's rhythmic and exposes them to the start of singing in languages other than English in a non-threatening, easy way.
Great for adjudication.

Super easy but exposes the singers to 3 parts.  It it like a partner song on steroids.  Upbeat and very rhythmic.  Ends with 3 part split that is quite simple.  They love it.  Good for adjudication.

Lyrical, two part for an experienced choir.  Most of it is quite simple, but the two "chorus" parts are homophonic and offer some challenges and dissonances.  It is a great piece for taking students who have mastered simple two part singing to a new level.
Great for adjudication.

5 minutes 53 seconds on this video.

You will be Found from Dear Evan Hansen, arr. Mac Huff.  This is great for SAB choirs.  The kids absolutely love it.

Hitch a Ride for 8th grade Mixed with strong Men's section for adjudication.

This is an oldie, but it is so majestic.  I am but a small voice arr. Coates.  Great for 8th grade mixed at adjudication.

Antiphonal Kyrie arr. Strid.  Super for 2-part and not that difficult to learn.  There is a 3 part split at one point, but it's short.  Mostly it is question/answer in typical antiphonal style.  I like it for my 7th grade girls at adjudication.  

Light Up the Tree by Hank Beebe for holiday concert.  I use flashlights covered in Red, Green, Blue and White.  It's really magical and fun.  It's super for rhythm precision work both in the music and with the flashlights.  2-part.

Almost Christmas arr. Huff.  3 part-mixed.  Super opener.  It glistens.  The kids love it.  

Light the Candles All Around the World Teresa Jennings.  It's great unison work.  It helps us teach phrasing.  And they love actually lighting the candles.  Great close at the holiday with a strong inclusive message.

Here comes the snow Teresa Jennings.  Easy two part.  Perfect for 6th grade.  They cannot stop dancing to this.  They LOVE this song.  

White Winter Hymnal Arr. Billingsley.  Great for 8th grade mixed choir.  The track is super.  

Noel Noel Vijay Singh.  TB.  Accessible but challenging.  Always looking for TB for 7th or 8th grade boys.  They enjoy this one at the holiday concert.  

Silent Night arr. Gilpin.  SAB.  I do four verses.  Starts with solo in German.  Then, I do a verse on "OO" unison.  Third verse, I do english in 3 parts.  Fourth verse, the students use sign language in silence.  It's magical.  

Shut de do-Great for your strong, well balanced, SAB choir.  The students don't tire of it.  Lots of opportunity for dynamic work.  Percussive consonants lend themselves to that sort of dynamic work that is magical to experience as a listener and as a performer.  Here is my choir performing it.  Great for adjudication. 

Selection Name:
Shut De Do Is TBA
Type:3-part mixed (SAB)
Composer:Randy Stonehill
Arranger/Editor:Greg Gilpin

Sons of Art-Great for Beginning Male Chorus for Adjudication.  Repetitive bass line makes it a nice way to teach I-V-I chord progressions that basses often are assigned in beginning SAB and SATB choirs.   Short-Only 90 seconds tops, and you can raise the key for your really young choices with limited low notes since it is a capella. 
Selection 1
Selection Name:
Sons of Art Is TBA
Type:2-part male (TB)
Composer:Emily Crocker
Arranger/Editor:Emily Crocker

Here are some recommendations that really seem to excite and recruit boys if you are doing Broadway tunes or pop tunes:

The World Will Know Newsies  Really challenging to find a great arrangement, but worth the effort if you are able to arrange a bit on your own.  I purchase one from Music Notes and made my own amendments.  Kids LOVED it.  

Carry the Banner Newsies  Similar story to the above...but not nearly as challenging to get "close" to the real arrangement.  I always want my students to have something that sounds like the REAL Broadway version.  That's what excites them.  When they get something else that isn't quite like it, they notice, and the enthusiasm changes.  So, I make the little tweaks in the available arrangements and it makes a big difference.  Worth it!

King of New York and Seize the day are also from Newsies, and I've had similar success with these.

Feature them with My Girl, arranged by Roger Emerson.  

Obscure but they love it:  Some Kinda Time from Dogfight.  There are a couple of negative references to girls.  I change those to a positive reference, and we are good to go.  They love the energy.  

Don't be afraid of choreography!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your magic. My choir is having fun and experiencing success in sight reading. They love the repertoire choices, Drunken Sailor, The LIttle Birch Tree, and Revolting Children. We're also working on Green Eggs and Ham, Counting Down to Christmas, Do you want to Build a Snowman, Dormi Dormi, A la nanita nana, and Man in the Mirror. I'm currently hunting for more great material for the second semester. Any further suggestions of songs for beginning middle school chorus would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mr. Abramson

    1. Thanks for reaching out! I will keep adding to this list over time. I hope you keep having success!

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