Ready to program your upcoming holiday concert? Stanton’s suggests that you try one of these outstanding choices with your choir:
For a Medieval feel, try Gaudete!, a celebratory arrangement of a 16th-century song from the Piae Canciones. Marvelous choral writing is supported by a crisp rhythmic groove that flows throughout the piece as a natural expression of the text. Be Glad This Festive Day will bring a similar musical flavor to your middle school concert; partnered with “Deck the Hall” and possessing all the color and pageantry of a Renaissance court celebration, it’s a great concert opener.
If you’re looking for traditional carol arrangements, try He Is Born (with Pat-a-Pan). This tasty melding of two carol favorites creatively weaves the familiar tunes together with a hip, rhythmic groove and ostinati throughout. An absolute winner for young and developing choirs, it is sure to become a perennial staple. More mature ensembles will love the creative setting of I Saw Three Ships, featuring a cappella choir with flute on the traditional Celtic carol.
A cappella groups will excel with Have You Seen the Baby? A descending bass line is a firm foundation in the A section; B features the girls vs. the guys as a vocal stack builds in the middle; followed by a soaring descant that takes the final refrain up a notch!
Choir directors will no longer bemoan the lack of meaningful Chanukah material when they take notice of Chanukah Prayer for Children. The sheer beauty of this absolutely gorgeous, uplifting piece alone makes it destined to take its place among, and forever alter, the canon of Chanukah songs – and beyond. Original English lyrics serve as bookends to the Ma’oz Tzur prayer and lend the piece to a universally applicable theme of hope, unity, and freedom.
Looking for something lighter for your performance? Open with the exuberant Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas from “Home Alone 2,” feature a few outstanding soloists in Last Christmas, as heard on “Glee,” swing an a cappella version of Jolly Old St. Nicholas, and close with a stunningly orchestrated setting of Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!