Music for women's voices by Sheena Phillips


To purchase unpublished music please email me (sheenaphillips at For most scores there is a modest fee per singer for permission to copy from a licensed PDF file.



Dancing Through Time

SSAA, viola

Three medieval English dance lyrics

Published by Boosey & Hawkes in 2015

audio realisation


The Earth is Turning

SSAA, drums

Based on an anonymous chant

Composed for the Columbus Women’s Chorus, 2011

perusal score  recording (Columbus Women’s Chorus)


Knitting Patterns 

SSAA a cappella

Three ingenious 18th century canons by Caldara and Telemann, arranged with new lyrics about - yes - knitting

  • Getting Started
  • Cable Stitch recording (Columbus Women’s Chorus)
  • To Make A Hat recording (Columbus Women’s Chorus)
  • Published (with online perusal scores) by Canasg Music


    Raagi Thandheera (Bringing Alms)

    SSAA, drums

    Devotional song by Purandara Daasa Vitthala, a key figure of South West Indian music

    Arranged jointly with Smitha Vishveshwara

    Premiere by Amasong Chorus, Champaign-Urbana, Saturday 1 November, 2014

    perusal score youtube recording


    River Song

    Women’s voices (six parts)

    Aleatoric soundscape based on the American song Shenandoah

    perusal score

    recording of a read-through of the mixed-voice version at the 2017 ABCD Convention

    Also available for mixed voices


    Sea Pieces


    Words by Emily Dickinson

    1. My River Runs To Thee

    2. As If The Sea Should Part

    3. Exultation

    Commissioned and first performed by Canty of Scotland, 2002

    Published by Canasg Music


    Snow Ride

    SSA, jingle bells, finger cymbals, clapping

    Inspired by the snow scene and Christmas Eve sleigh ride in Tolstoy’s War and Peace

    Composed 2016

    perusal score

    audio realisation




    "All Quiet Along The Potomac"

    SSAA, piano, drum set

    Setting of US civil war poem by Ethel Lynn Beers

    Premiered by the Columbus Women’s Chorus, Ohio, 2012

    perusal score recording extract (Columbus Women’s Chorus) youtube performance


    Aurora of the Soul

    SSAA, piano

    Based on a poem about the aurora borealis by Dinah Craik

    Composed 2013

    perusal score audio realisation


    Chinese Crane Song

    SSA piano

    Words by Edwina Towson

    First performed by Capital University Women’s Chorus, dir. Sandra Mathias, 2003

    Published by Canasg Music


    Earth Chant

    SSAA, drums

    An expanded version of The Earth Is Turning, developing from stately chant to whirling dance

    Composed 2012

    Premiered by the Women’s Choir of St Mary’s College, Indiana, dir. Nancy Menk

    perusal score  recording of the premiere


    Five Antiphons Honouring St Kentigern 

    4 soprano voices and wire-strung harp

    Based on a text from the medieval office of St Kentigern

    First performed by Canty (female voices of Cappella Nova), Glasgow Cathedral, January 2009

    perusal score 


    Gaol Ise Gaol I (My Love Is She) 

    SSAA, folk harp

    Traditional Gaelic waulking (cloth-working) song from the west of Scotland

    perusal score  recording extract  (Columbus Women’s Chorus, 2011)


    Garbe Rame  (Dancing with Gourds)

    SSAA, flute obbligato, optional percussion

    Gujarati (N W India) folk song depicting goddess Amba dancing with gourds

    Published by Lorenz  (also available for SATB voices)

    Selected for the Women's Voices Reading Session at the 2011 Ohio Music Educators Association Convention, Cincinnati, January 2011

    recording  (All Ohio Women’s High School Choir, Kent State University, 2010)

    recording  (Columbus Women’s Chorus, Ohio, 2010)


    Happy Birthday

    SSAA, alto sax, piano, optional drum set

    Funky arrangement of the traditional birthday song whose tune is now (as of 2015) out of copyright!

    Suitable for celebrating big choir birthdays (20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, etc.)

    perusal score  recording extract  (Columbus Women’s Chorus, 2009)

    full mp3 audio realisation


    Healing River 


    Arrangement of the gospel style song by Fred Hellerman and Fran Minkoff

    First performed by Calliope Women’s Chorus, Minnesota, dir. J Michele Edwards, 2006

    Also available for SATB (see Sacred Music)

    Published (with online perusal score and recording) by Santa Barbara Music Press


    Here We Come A-Wassailing 

    SSAA a cappella

    Arrangement of the traditional English carol

    First performed by Columbus Women’s Chorus, Ohio, December 2007

    Published (with online perusal score) by Canasg Music


    Here We Stand 

    SSAA, piano

    Commissioned in memoriam Anne Marshall Saunier (1946 - 2013) who worked tirelessly for women’s and workers’ rights in Ohio and nationally

    First performed by Columbus Women’s Chorus, Ohio, May 2014

    perusal score recording



    SSA a cappella

    Setting of three short medieval Japanese poems (with English translations by Kenneth Rexroth)

    First performed by the Magpie Consort, Columbus, Ohio, 2006

    perusal score  recording  by the Magpie Consort


    In Beauty May I Walk 

    SSAA, piano, flute obbligato

    Setting of a Navajo Indian poem

    Premiered by the Columbus Women’s Chorus, Ohio, November 2008

    recording extract   (Columbus Women’s Chorus, with Lea Pearson, flute)




    Traditional Gaelic invocation of St Brigit

    Commissioned and first performed by Canty of Scotland, 2002

    perusal score


    Irish Blessing 

    SA voices and organ

    Setting of traditional Irish blessings ('May the road rise to meet you', etc)

    Written for the wedding of Clare Brew and Chris Scarafile, New York, April 2009

    Published (with online perusal score) by Canasg Music


    Land o' the Leal 

    SSAA a cappella

    Arrangement of Lady Nairne’s lullaby and lament for a lost child (Scotland, 18th century)

    First performed by the Columbus Women’s Chorus, May 2009


    Likhvod Ha Chanukah (In Honor of Chanukah) 

    SSAA a cappella

    Arrangement of a traditional Chanukah song (in Hebrew)

    First performed by the Columbus Women’s Chorus, Ohio, December 2007

    Perusal score (currently in SATB format only) at Canasg Music


    Love is the Softest Thing


    Anonymous medieval English lyric


    Love: The Whole Story

    Five anonymous medieval English lyrics

    Composed for The Early Interval, and first performed at the NOW Festival of contemporary music, Columbus, Ohio, 2003

    1. Westron Wynd (Alto solo, harp, SATB recorder consort, treble viol, bass viol)

    2. Love is the Softestë Thing (Soprano solo, two treble viols)

    3. The man That I Loved Altherbest (Alto solo, folk  harp)

    4. Sir John (Soprano solo, S & A recorders, lute, bass viol)

    5. O Wicket Wemen (Three female voices, SAT crumhorns, racket)


    The Ocean

    SSAA, piano

    Suite of four pieces, with original lyrics

  • The Whale  MIDI realization
  • Coral Reef  MIDI realization
  • Gulls (aleatoric, a cappella)
  • Seascape  MIDI realization
  • Adapted from the original SA piano version, for the Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus, 2012


    Rosie the Riveter

    SSA, piano

    Arrangement of the World War 2 era song by Evans and Loeb

    Commissioned and first performed by Columbus Women’s Chorus, dir. Patti O’Toole, 2002

    recording extract (Columbus Women’s Chorus) 

    Full recording available on the CD Notes of Courage

    Permission from Hal Leonard (copyright holder) is required to perform this song


    Song of the Star Child

    SSA, piano

    Words by Glenn Watson, song framework by Edwina Towson

    Also available for SAB, piano



    SSA, synthesizer

    Based on the Medieval carols Tempus Adest Floridum and Sumer Is Icumen In

    perusal score recording (Women’s Chorale, Otterbein University, Ohio


    Sweet Sleep


    Words by William Blake

    Published (with online perusal score) by Canasg Music

    recording by the Wisconsin State Honors Treble Choir, dir. Patti O’Toole, 2002 


    Two Settings of Anna Akhmatova

    SA a cappella

    1. When Nothing is Needed (1964)

    2. Music (1958)

    In English translation by Lyn Coffin

    perusal score


    Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon

    SSA piano

    Arrangement of the traditional Scottish song (words by Robert Burns)

    Written for the Women's Chorale of Otterbein University, 2009

    recording by Otterbein Women's Chorale



    top of page