Getting Into Treble: Ensembles to Get Your Treble Choir Pumped

Does your treble ensemble need a morale boost at the beginning of the year? In many programs, treble choirs are a feeder into the top mixed ensemble, meaning that some of your students might feel disappointment at their placement in the treble ensemble. Maybe some of them have never sung in a treble choir before or share the belief that treble choirs lack depth in their sound without tenors and basses (even the movie Pitch Perfect references – and reinforces – this thought!).

Today’s post focuses on some incredible treble ensembles that showcase the range and complexity of treble voices to help inspire your choristers this year.


Cantus is a Norwegian choir and one of the top-ranked treble choirs in the world according to the Interkultur World Rankings. Even more impressive: the choir is composed of all amateur singers! Cantus was founded in 1986 by a group of teenage girls who wanted to sing in a group where they could be in charge (how many of us can relate to that??). Tove Ramlo is Cantus’ first and only conductor. Your singers will most likely recognize them from the Frozen soundtrack – did you know “Vuelie” was originally written for treble voices?

What to get pumped about:

Versatility of sound that ranges from a more bel canto style to chestier, visceral style of singing.

What to play: 


mirabai is a professional women’s ensemble whose aim is to elevate the artistic standards of women’s choral singing. Their mission is to amplify womens’ voices and experiences through their performances, creation of new musical works, and educational outreach. The singers in mirabai are professionals in a variety of music-related careers. Their artistic director, Dr. Sandra Snow, is a Professor of Choral Conducting and Director of Choral Programs at Michigan State University.

What to get pumped about:

A robust, full sound with the roundest vowels, repertoire that spans many eras.

What to play:

The Original Gospel Harmonettes

The Original Gospel Harmonettes (originally The Gospel Harmoneers) were an all-treble gospel group who achieved fame after an appearance at the National Baptist Convention in 1940. The original members included Evelyn Starks Hardy (composer and arranger for the group who led from the piano), Odessa Edwards, Vera Kalb, Willie Mae Newberry Garth, Mildred Miller Howard (their first lead vocalist), and Dorothy Love Coates, their most well-known lead soloist and the primary factor behind the group’s success. Many of Coates’ compositions were covered by artists such as Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. The Original Gospel Harmonettes were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2017.

What to get pumped about:

Ultra-tight rhythms and harmonies, incredible vocalists singing with their whole selves.

What to play:


The AcaBelles are Florida State University’s only treble a cappella group. Made up of fifteen singers at FSU, they achieved international recognition with their cover of Lorde’s Royals. They have four albums and several singles released on Spotify and Apple Music.

What to get pumped about:

Super blended pop sound, really low altos, and cool arrangements.

What to play:

Even More Treble Ensembles

This list is just four of the incredible and elite treble ensembles from around the world! Other groups you could play for your choir: Vox Femina Los Angeles, the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, the Benedictine Nuns of Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation, Elektra Women’s Choir, South China Normal University Female Choir, and if you’re a pop music person like me, The Andrews Sisters, TLC, and Destiny’s Child (for the record, I absolutely believe it’s worth mentioning Beyoncé as much as possible in any situation).

What ensembles get you pumped about treble music? Send me an email and let me know!

Dr. Hana J. Cai is a conductor, pianist, and singer based in Bethlehem, PA.  She is currently the Associate Director of Choral Arts at Lehigh University where she conducts Dolce, Lehigh University’s treble ensemble. 

If you would like to contribute to the blog with any questions or wisdom or pieces to share, I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to write to me at