“What Sweeter Music”

recommended by Judy H. and Jennifer F., Sacred Choral Specialists

Presenting a cantata with your church choir is a wonderful way to prepare your congregation to celebrate the birth of Christ. Stanton’s Sacred Choral Music staff highly recommends these cantatas for the Christmas season:

Morning Star by Lloyd Larson
The Christmas story is one of hope. It is a message for each of us at any stage of life’s journey reminding us that in our own dark nights Christ, the Light of the world, has come. This versatile musical is designed to be a worship celebration for choir, two narrators, and congregation. The blending of new and familiar Christmas melodies ensures a meaningful experience. The varied accompaniment options – from piano only to full orchestra – as well as the availability in both SATB or SAB versions enables this cantata to work for choirs large and small. This inspiring work can be presented in shorter segments through the Sundays of Advent or in a single 30-minute Christmas worship experience.

What Sweeter Music by John Leavitt
Capturing the varied moods and colors of the Christmas season, this extended work is delightfully written and highly singable, with a selection of carols that is pure Christmas joy. Ideal for both Christmas concerts and worship, it includes: Sing Noel, Alleluia!; The Angel Gabriel, He Is Born; O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; People, Look East; Resonet In Laudibus; Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day; We Three Kings of Orient Are; What Sweeter Music.

Joy! (A Gospel Christmas Celebration) by Joel Raney
Telling the Christmas story through six dynamic choral settings, Joel Raney brings his masterful ability to compose new and creative rhythms that showcase his grasp of the gospel style to this impactful presentation for SATB choirs. Christmas carols like you’ve never heard before, all performed with an interspersing of scripture readings on the theme of “Joy.” Accompaniment can be provided by just piano or Ed Hogan’s lively orchestration or a smaller set of rhythm parts. Performance time is 25 minutes making this ideal for fitting into a Christmas worship service or as a separate musical program.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2016, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Judy H. has been working in Stanton’s Choral Department since 1975. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. A member of the Grove City Chamber Singers, Judy also enjoys reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.

Jennifer F. is a graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has worked at Stanton’s for over 14 years specializing in Sacred Choral, Classical Vocal and Handbell music. Jennifer is a soprano section leader in the Chancel Choir at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, and is also the founder, Artistic Director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.

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Categories: Church Choral, New Publications, Staff Picks

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