John Kilpatrick's Choral Music

John Kilpatrick (Sheffield)about John Kilpatrick


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This page contains John Kilpatrick's choral compositions; all are in the public domain.
Items on this page may be freely downloaded, copied and performed, provided all copyright notices are preserved.

   ICONS:         PDF       MIDI        MuseScore       XML   (Good layout is not guaranteed when downloading XML files. The XML files may not contain cover pages)

Please note: MuseScore 4 has been released; items may be in either MS3 or MS4.

Music by John Kilpatrick with lyrics by Gelett Burgess, from The Burgess Nonsense Book (nonsense songs)
The Burgess Nonsense Book was published in New York in 1901, and in London in 1914. It is now available again as a modern reprint, and online here. The original can sometimes be obtained through Abebooks (e.g. USA or UK); an alternative book to search for is "The Purple Cow and Other Nonsense" (Dover Publications). 
The complete Burgess Nonsense Book can also be read on-line at
The Knave of Hearts              
   MP3*   Words
* by Sheffield Lydian Singers.
The introductory solo is missing as it was added after this recording.
  SATB with optional piano accompaniment, 2 minutes. The text is a clever poem by Gelett Burgess, based upon the card game of Euchre. Difficult in places.
"Right Bower", meaning "Knave of Trumps", may be an unfamiliar term. It has been dropped from the latest COD but is in Chambers. (Bower = Bauer = Farmer or Peasant = Knave.)
The Purple Cow              
SATB div. with optional piano accompaniment.
Words by Gellet Burgess: The Purple Cow / The Purpil Cowe / Confession
Solos in Part 2: T = Narrator in G, B = Knight in F, A = Maid in Eb.
Difficult in places. About 6 minutes.
Cuttings from a Nonsense Book

(see also the page
Humour in Harmony

Vocal score     PDF (604KB, 32 pages)
Full score (2014)       PDF (904KB, 44 pages)
Set of parts (2014)    PDF
Full score (2012)       PDF (904KB, 44 pages)
Set of parts (2012)    PDF
 User Guide     PDF (665KB)   DOC(4.2MB)
Words (complete lyrics)  htm, no pictures
   MIDI files (separate page)
Full recording of 2012 performance  MP3 (18MB)
MP3 divided up into 4 sections:
         Part1    Part2    Part3    Part4

For Choir (SATB), Speaker, and Wind Quintet. Some solos from within the choir.
A 30 minute selection from the Burgess Nonsense Book, comprising 12-13 sections, which can be rehearsed separately as required. Some could be omitted if necessary. A version of The Purple Cow is included as one section.
2014: the definitve version, with Wind Quintet (flute, oboe,clarinet, horn, bassoon)
2012: the version performed at Buxton, with 3 x clarinet, trombone and euphonium
The vocal score is the same for each. It includes a piano reduction, which could enable a performance with piano rather than wind quintet, given a good musician who could make something of it. The Speaker works from the vocal score.
The "user guide" is designed to be included in a concert program: the pictures that go with each nonsense quatrain are of great value to the audience. 
The recording: it helps to follow it with the vocal score, especially to hear the Speaker sections.
If the size of the MP3 causes problems, try the 4 sections separately.

 Music by John Kilpatrick with lyrics by Edward Lear, from his Complete Nonsense Book (nonsense songs)
There are several online scans of Edward Lear's nonsense book: a good one is perhaps ; The Jumblies is on page 134, and The Dong on page 363

The Jumblies

SATB div. with Alto solo & short Tenor solo. About 7 minutes.
text: Edward Lear's poem "The Jumblies"
A happy tale of endeavour and success, reflected in the musical setting.

The Dong

SATB div. with S, T & B solos. About 9 minutes. A sequel to The Jumblies.
text: Edward Lear's "The Dong with the Luminous Nose" (a sequel to The Jumblies)
The Dong is a deeper and darker piece than The Jumblies: a sad tale of loss, despair and madness, appropriately reflected in the music.

Jumblies Suite 

(The Story of the Jumblies)

(see also the page
Festive Fancies)
       Vocal Score
       Full Score
Instrument Parts in separate PDFs
Overall scheme outline (htm)
   Libretto       PDF     DOC     ODT
SATB (div. with soli), piano and wind ensemble; the latter comprising 3 x Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, 3 x trombone, French horn and percussion.
A 35 minute suite of 8 sections on words by Edward Lear, with narrative links by the composer. Versions of the above pieces The Jumblies and The Dong are included as two of the sections. One section  - "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat"  - must be separately sourced, either the version by Victor Hely-Hutchinson or that by Igor Stravinsky (or any other).
The piano is used to accompany the narrative sections sung by the tenor soloist; it is not used in the three choral numbers, but a reduction for use in rehearsal is included in the vocal score.
 Music and words by John Kilpatrick
My Briefcase

(see also the page
Humour in Harmony

Piano version (2001, reset 2006)
     PDF    Midi

     Libretto -    Words

SATB div. with  tenor recitatives and a soprano solo. The recitatives & solo require piano accompaniment, but the choral sectoin can mostly be sung unaccompanied . A few difficulties, here and there. About 10-15 minutes. 16 pages.

This work is based on a true story.
My briefcase was stolen, together with the music therein, and the piece describes the item and the immediate consequences of its loss, with several divergent textual and musical excursions. The piece is suitable for a light-hearted occasion, but has been performed in concerts and enjoyed by the audiences. Apart from being fun, there are some sections which I believe to be of musical merit: perhaps in particular the numbers Fugue and Music.

Wind quintet version (2008)
  - full score    PDF       Midi
  - vocal score PDF
  - wind parts  PDF
SATB div. with wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon).
The wind quintet version has additional bars and a few other minor changes - summarised here.
Version with wind ensemble (2012)
  - full score    PDF  
   - score front & back cover  PDF
  - vocal score PDF  
   - vocal front & back cover  PDF
- wind parts  PDF
SATB div. with  3 x clarinet, trombone, and bass trombone (or cimbasso)
The vocal parts have a few changes (including less divisi), and the wind rather more; otherwise similar to the above quintet version.
This version was compiled for the Humour in Harmony concert in 2012.
To Say Goodbye Vocal score with piano reduction
    PDF     Midi   OVE

Libretto     Words  
For everything there is a season (words mine, inspired by Ecclesiastes 3:1 et seq., but entirely secular).
A happy 3-minute Beguine suitable for the end of a concert or for saying farewell to a retiring singer.
SATB div. with solo (any voice), and piano accompaniment.
Performing with piano accompaniment may require some interpretation of the reduction and the included chord symbols.
Full score with wind quintet/quartet
    PDF    Midi   OVE
Wind parts with printing instructions  
Same, but with wind quintet or quartet. 
[Flute,] Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon
More music by John Kilpatrick - Secular
Two Homer Sonnets
  1. On First Looking into
      Chapman's Homer.
  2. To Homer.
                   Keats's Homer sonnets set for unaccompanied SATB. They may be sung separately or as a pair with or without retuning.
Quite difficult; in Db major & B major. 16 pages including cover sheets; 12 pages of music. 
In no.1 all nouns that start with a letter of the scale (A-H) centre on the corresponding chord. In no. 2 the rule is more relaxed but more pervasive. Keats's confusion between Cortez and Balboa is appropriately represented.
Come Live with Me and be my Love              
   Words           MP3
The Passionate Shepherd by Christopher Marlowe (vv 1-5), set in SATB (div.), unaccompanied, 2 to 2.5 minutes.
The MP3 was sung by Sheffield Lydian Singers at a concert 11 days after the wedding for which is was composed, .in the same church.
Gone are the Days              
Suitable for a memorial service or similar occasion, religious or non-religious.
SATB - unaccompanied, or with keyboard if desired. About 3 minutes. Performers: please add suitable expression in rehearsal.
Words found on the internet (anon.) and mildly altered
Ozymandias Vocal solo and piano
   Words            MP3
"A message to all dictators"
Written in 2012 following the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring, to the apposite words of the sonnet of the name by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Suitable for soprano or tenor solo, with piano accompaniment (preferably a good sustaining real piano).
MP3 recording: Soprano - Jane Ginsborg; Piano - George Nicholson
More music by John Kilpatrick - Sacred
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Version for choir & organ
Score               PDF
Magnificat        Midi    OVE
Nunc dimittis    Midi     OVE
SATB div. with Organ. SSAATTBB
Key: F major. Difficulty: ??? (I'd like to know what you think - please email me.)
In the Magnificat the Tenor & Bass are in Latin but the Soprano & Alto in English; the texts are in parallel, with the Latin generally leading. In the Nunc Dimittis the voice selections are reversed.
more details: click here
Version for wind quintet
Vocal score: use the PDF above
Full score         PDF 
Wind parts       PDF
SATB div. with Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon).

Magnificat        MP3  
Nunc dimittis    MP3  

Gloria Choral score   PDF
Full score        PDF
Set of parts     PDF
   includes part printing instructions
A Latin Gloria for Choir (SATB div,), Brass, Percussion and Keyboard.
For concert use: suitable for a festival or anniversary. 
Key: based on Bb major. In 10 sections, total time 10-11 minutes: 
Fanfare, Gloria, Et in terra pax, Laudamus te, Gratias agimus tibi, Domine Deus, Qui tollis, Quoniam tu solus, Cum Sancto Spiritu, Amen. 
Full instrumentation, requiring 9 players: 2 x Bb cornet; flugelhorn; 2 x Bb trombone; bass trombone; timpani (3 drums); percussion (cymbal, snare drum, bass drum); vibraphone; organ; piano. The vibraphone may be played by the timpanist or percussionist or both, and the piano by the organist or percussionist.
Fanfare and Grace 
for St Peter's Day
Choral score   PDF (97KB, 8 pages)
Full score        PDF (95KB, 8 pages)
Set of parts     PDF (130KB)
                  Further details and Words
Fanfare   "Tu es Petrus"              Midi     OVE
Grace "Crescite vero in gratiaMidi    OVE
The midi versions omit the spoken sections.  
For Choir (SATB div,), Speaker (optional), and Wind Quintet or Organ.
Key: F major. Not difficult.
For use as an accompanied Introit and Grace at a service on St Peter’s Day (29th June), or as starting and ending pieces for a concert given on that day, or otherwise in connection with St Peter.
Both pieces are in Latin, and include accompanied spoken introductions in English; any other language may be substituted for the introductions, or they may be omitted. 

The choral score serves choir, speaker and organ, and is suggested that it is apt for choir use even in the case of a performance with wind quintet.
In Paradisum                   MP3
  Words (with translation)
Unaccompanied anthem, SSATBB; about 2 minutes, or more. In Latin. 4 pages. Key: Bb major.
MP3: performance in Oberreid by Les Amis de Claudio & Camerata Monteverdi, November 2021
Crescite vero in Gratia               
  Words (with translation)
Unaccompanied anthem, SSATBB; less than 2 minutes. In Latin. 3 pages. Key: F major.
Developed from the accompanied SATB version in Fanfare and Grace above. Intended as a companion to In Paradisum.
O Magnum Mysterium               
  Words (with translation)
Unaccompanied anthem, SSATBB; about 2 minutes. In Latin. 4 pages. Key: G major.
Intended as a companion to In Paradisum and Crescite, above.
And I Saw a New Heaven Organ/keyboard version:
Anthem, SATB with Organ; about 4 minutes. 8 pages.
Key: starts in C, ends in Gb (with optional organ endings to bring back to C or to other keys).
MP3: Organ version sung by Danensian Choir in Chichester Cathedral, organist Darren Williams, 10th August 2011
Wind quintet version: (score & parts)
To perform the version with wind quintet accompaniment, the choir should use the Organ version.
MP3: Wind quintet version by Sheffield Lydian Singers & Caccia Wind Quintet, 30th June, 2011
Gone are the Days SEE ABOVE under secular - this item is suitable for either a sacred or secular event