Summer Singing

The North Shore Madrigal Singers invite you to join them Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. June 2nd through August 25th (2017) for some informal a cappella singing at Winnetka Presbyterian Church (Willow and Hibbard). This group began circa 1973 when some members of the North Shore Choral Society and friends filled in the summer hiatus by singing madrigals in each other’s homes.  Read more about the group...  Read about the logistics...

Here is some of the sheet music that the group might sing from.

Primary music source: The A Cappella Singer "A Collection Motets, Madrigals, Chansons, Carols, Ayres, Ballets, etc."

Edited by Henry Clough-Leighter. For mixed choir (A Cappella) (Mixed Voices). Secular, Choral, Renaissance Collection. Introductory text and piano rehearsal part. 171 pages. 30 madrigals.  Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.1682).

New and used copies available via the internet; try Sheet Music Plus or  We usually have a few extra copies of this book available on Friday night.

If you want to hear what these madrigals sound like, the Douglas Frank Chorale has recorded every one in the book!  Check out their recordings (you can just listen to the free samples if you don't want to download any.)

Or do some searching on YouTube; this is one we're working on:

Secondary music source: The Oxford Book of English Madrigals

Edited by Philip Lane Ledger. For SATB choir, a cappella. Mixed Voices. 408 pages. Published by Oxford University Press (OU.9780193436640).  ISBN 9780193436640. Secular Choral Collection. 9 x 6 inches.

This book presents 60 of the very best madrigals for SATB, chosen from the many hundreds of possible candidates. The major composers of the genre are each represented by several madrigals and the lesser figures by one or more.

Still in print; available through many online vendors.  This is a more expensive book, and not everyone has it so we don't use it often.  But it's a great resource!

PDFs to download:  Here is some additional music we might use.  Click on the pdf icon () to view the music, or right click on it to save the file.

Here are the four madrigals in our "John Dowland Madrigal Songbook" (and here's a link to midi files for listening/practicing):

Madrigal music John Dowland: Awake, Sweet Love (SATB)

Madrigal music John Dowland: Come Again (SATB)

Madrigal music John Dowland: Fine Knacks for Ladies (SATB) (also in King's Singers' Madrigals [4 parts] p.60)

Madrigal music John Dowland: Sleep, Wayward Thoughts (SATB)

Madrigal music Thomas Vautor: Mother, I will have a husband (SSATB) (also in Oxford p.168)

Madrigal music Thomas Vautor: Sweet Suffolk Owl (SSATB) (also in Oxford p.303)

Madrigal music Thomas Weelkes: Hark, All Ye Lovely Saints (SSATB) (also in Oxford p.137)

Madrigal music William Byrd: Though Amaryllis Dance in Green (SSATB) (also in Oxford p.324)  also: midi file for listening/practicing and YouTube video that includes all the verses! (and some pretty pictures)

Madrigal music Pierre Passereau: Il est bel et bon (SATB)

Madrigal music George Kirbye: Alas! What Hope of Speeding (SATB)

Madrigal music Vaughan Williams: Come Away Death (SSATB)

Singing School music William Billings: I am the Rose of Sharon (SATB)  also: midi file for listening/practicing

Madrigal music Arcadelt: Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno (SATB)

Madrigal music Ford: Since First I Saw Your Face (SATB)

Gibbons: What is our Life? (SSATB) (You can print the score from a link on this page)

(An SATTB arrangement in a lower key is also in the Oxford book.  The SSATB arrangement in e minor on this site is better suited to our voice ranges.) There are midi files for practicing on this site.  Here is a link to a YouTube video featuring a performance of this rather difficult and long madrigal. 

This five-part madrigal is Orlando Gibbons's setting of Sir Walter Raleigh's sonnet of the same title, a somber lament written while awaiting execution in the Tower of London. The resulting posthumous collaboration, a concise musical statement of great intensity and concentration, is one of the masterpieces of the English madrigal repertoire.

Here are some madrigals that we can sing when we don't have four parts covered:

Madrigal music Thomas Weelkes: Four Arms, Two Necks, One Wreathing (ATB)

Madrigal music Thomas Weelkes: Come, Sirrah Jack, Ho! (SAB) (also in Oxford p.70) and YouTube video for practicing!

Madrigal music Thomas Weelkes: Since Robin Hood (SAB) (also in Oxford p.256) and YouTube video for practicing

Madrigal music Thomas Weelkes: The Nightingale, the organ of delight (SAB)

Madrigal music Thomas Weelkes: Come, come let's begin (SAB)

Madrigal music Thomas Morley: O fly not, love (SAB)

Madrigal music Thomas Morley: O sleep, fond fancy (SAB)

Madrigal music Thomas Morley: Though Philomela lost her love (SAB)

Madrigal music Thomas Morley: Whither away so fast (SAT)

Madrigal music Henry VIII: Pastime with Good Company (ATB)

Madrigal music Henry Purcell, Thomas Ravenscroft: Three Drinking Rounds (3-4 parts)

Madrigal music Dan Tucker: Hold Thy Peace (round)

Madrigal music Parody: Summer is a-goin' out (round)