Written by Anna Lapwood and The Pembroke College Girls’ Choir
For SSAA a cappella with optional tambourine
Text: Latin
Duration: 2 minutes
Difficulty: 2/5

“Following a couple of experiments with whole group composition, we decided to do a full weekend of Girls’ Choir composition a few years ago. Gaudete is one of the arrangements which came out of it. I went to the girls with a list of suggestions and they jumped at the idea of writing Gaudete – I think this might have something to do with the fact that many rehearsals around Christmas time feature a ceremonial rewatching of the ‘Gaudete Shreds’ video on YouTube – if you haven’t yet seen this video, I thoroughly recommend seeking it out! We experimented with a couple of different approaches but all agreed we wanted something that had rhythmic impetus and drive, which is how we came up with the introduction. One of the girls then tried singing the melody over the top while we were throwing ideas around, and so the backbone of the arrangement was born. As usual, a couple of its features came about by accident. I often sit at the piano messing around with different possibilities while we are writing arrangements, weaving in suggestions from the girls with some of my own serious (and less-serious!) suggestions. I jokingly played a key change into the final chorus and the girls all loved it so much that we decided we had to keep it in. Similarly, when we were preparing to record this for our Christmas Album we all felt the final chorus was missing something. We happened to have a tambourine lying around for another piece we were doing, and one of our altos improvised a tambourine part. Everyone’s faces lit up, and we’ve performed it with tambourine ever since.” – Anna Lapwood