WOW!  That really sounds sexist doesn’t it?

In a way, though, it is the opposite.  

Over the last 3 decades I have had the opportunity to have 3 sabbaticals to do post graduate study in various subjects: music, theater, and advertising.  In virtually every class I took, there were more females than males—sometimes A LOT more!  Through that, I discovered that women are much more likely to “better” themselves by learning and discovering new things than that OTHER gender.

It starts early.  In high school, girls are more likely to JOIN things, including youth choir.  Guys on the other hand would often prefer to sit with a friend at a computer and play video games all day.  (Guys we REALLY need to step up our game!)

So how does this play out in youth choir attendance.  The girls are more likely than boys to participate and to make rehearsal the priority.  In a way, the actual selection of repertoire matters more to the guys than it does to the girls.

If you don’t believe me, just try packing your current music packet with “touchy”  “feely” “butterfly” songs and the guys will find other things to do—in droves.  (actually, don’t do that—you might not ever get them back)

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am always monitoring what the kids think about the music that we are singing.  I don’t require that they like or even love ALL the music, but I do want them to like the overwhelming majority of the music.

“I love this song!  I can’t sing it, but I love it”—said by no guy, ever!

And this leads us to the first principle.  For a guy to LIKE the song, he has to be able to SING the song.

That seems basic, right?  But there are so many songs out there that call on the guys to sing way too high or way too low.  In my experience, more often the former than the latter.

Music from the radio, sung (often) by tenors might simply be too high for the average high school guy to sing.  Of course, there are always exceptional guys with great tenor voices, but the stats show us that the average guy sings (at best) in a baritone range.

I never ask a high school guy to sing above an F and even those are few.  You will always have a some of us who were future 2nd basses for whom singing a middle C is a stretch!

“My favorite part of that song is where the guys get to rock out!”—said by guys all the time!

For a song to be a song that guys like to sing, there has to be some part of it maybe just 8-10 measures that really “features” them.  Usually that means it has a great line where the guys get to show off a bit.

This is not always a characteristic of a “favorite” but it helps.

“We’re crushing the girls on that song, aren’t we?”—said by guys all the time!

Remember, for a high school guy competition is never more than a nanosecond away from his next thought.  It’s true that guys can have a quiet, sensitive side, but from time to time they just need to win—at everything.  Singing is no exception.

I remember several times during a concert with the junior high choir, I would walk up to the guy’s section and quietly say, “hey, guys, the girls are out-singing you!” and that was like red meat to a hungry lion.  They starting singing—big time.

“I love what this song says, but even more I like HOW it says it!”—OK, I have never heard that either, but I can hope.

The subject of the text is important to the guys, even if they don’t realize it.

Guys tend to like songs that speak about Jesus being strong, a rock and refuge.  They like to sing about being victorious with the Savior.   They like to sing about strength and power.  

This list below I have been compiling for many years.  There is no way you can sing all of these, so make a special note of our guys current favorites indicated by the asterisk.  If you would like to check out any of these titles, you can borrow a copy from us.  Just send me an e mail at 

 [email protected]

Title     _____Composer/Arranger                               Category

A Call to Joyful Praise*   by Martin                                 General

African Sanctus   by Harlan                                            General 

Amazing Grace/Pachelbel Canon by Shafferman          General

Believer’s Creed*   by Hayes                                          General

Christ is the Rock   by Williams                                       General

Down to the River   by Curry                                            Spiritual 

Footprints in the Sand  by Martin/Angerman                    General

Gaudette    by Batastini                                                     Christmas

Go Tell it on the Mountain*  by Vangeloff                           Christmas

God is my Rock   by Harris                                                 General

God is our Refuge and Strength*   by Pote                         General

Grace     by Hayes                                                               General

Great Light    by Barrett/Angerman                                      Christmas

Hallelujah Amen   by Handel                                                General

Hark!     by Wolaver                                                              Christmas

He Is the Everlasting God*  by Martin                                   General

He Never Failed Me Yet*   by Ray                                         General

Hold On to the Rock*   by Choplin                                         General

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say*   by Larson                          General

I Will Rise*  Arr: McDonald                                                     General

If Any Man be in Christ  by Bryce/Harlan                                General  

I’m Going to Sing So God/use me by Pote                             General

Joyful, Joyful    by Beethoven/Warren                                     General

Know My Heart  by Harland                                                     General

Lay Up Your Treasures in Heaven  by Choplin                        General

Let Everything that Has Breath  by Ames                                General

Lightshine    by Martin                                                              Christmas

No Eye Hath Seen   by Smith                                                  Christmas

O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing   by MIller                        General

O The Blood*  by Miller/Kirkland                                              General

O Wondrous Star   by Shackley                                               Christmas

Praise Him    by Courtney                                                         General

Praise His Holy Name*  by Hampton                                        General

Praise the Lord   by Handel/Hopson                                         General

Praise the Lord our God Forever by Mozart                              General

Psalm 139    by Pote                                                                  General

Rejoice and Sing Out His Praises*  by Hayes                            General

Set Down Servant   by Shaw                                                     Spiritual

Solid as a Rock   by Sterling                                                      General

The Lord in my Shepherd*  by Pote                                           General

The Majesty and Glory of Your Name by Fetke                         General

The Mind of Christ*    by Mark Hayes                                        General

The Power and the Glory  by Bacak                                          General

The Third Day*   by Pote                                                           General

This Child is    by Frizzell                                                           Christmas

This is the Day the Lord/Made   by Hayes                                 General

Thy Will Be Done   by Courtney                                                 Good Friday

We Believe    by Cox                                                                  General

What’er My God Ordains  by Pachelbel                                     General

Wings Like Eagles  by Pote                                                        General

*2013-2015 Guy’s Favorites

Subscribe to our free newsletter!

Subscribe to our free newsletter!

Join our mailing list to receive news and insights from YouthCUE.

Subscription successful!