Prepare the Way! Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Prepare for Christmas with your church choir with one of these outstanding anthems!
Listen, Children, Hear the Angels Sing!
This upbeat, a cappella offering from Victor C. Johnson features solid choral writing, close harmonies, and swing style. Repetitious phrases make it easy to learn, and delightful color chords and an optional short solo add to the fun in this selection that is great for worship or school. The original text centers on “Listen, children, hear the angels sing!,” and text from “Joy to the World” is also included.
Murmurs in a Stable
This tender Craig Courtney lullaby for SATB choir and keyboard, is perfect for Christmas Eve. It lyrically contrasts the murmurs of the stable sounds on that Holy night with the profound truths of the Incarnation. Your choir will love the gentle a cappella murmuring measures.
Never Been a Night Like This!
Celebrate the Christmas season with this rousing, gospel anthem from Lloyd Larson that is fun to sing and makes us witness to the birth of Jesus through the eyes of the shepherds and the angelic hosts who told them the good news. The addition of the soulful refrain, “O come, let us adore him,” is sure to make this a crowd-pleaser.
O Come to Set Us Free
Mary McDonald has created this wonderful Christmas arrangement in an easy blues style with a light swing. It opens with roots in the gospel hymn “Jesus Is My Lord,” then uses parts of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” before partnering the two together. The wonderful choral parts are supported by a fantastic accompaniment that can be enhanced with the use of optional instruments.
Prepare the Way of the Lord
A treasure from 1987 has been re-released in 2011 for the Advent season. Admonishing Christians to “Make straight his path, Prepare the way!” William Rowan uses words based on Isaiah 40:4-5, much as Handel did for his Messiah, telling parishioners, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together.” Prepare your congregation with this jewel!
A Silent Night Brings New Light
This quintessential Christmas Eve anthem is a beautifully refreshing take on the holy night of Christ’s birth. The keyboard introduction quietly evokes the mood with references to “Silent Night, Holy Night.” The poetic text references scripture illuminating the journey through Advent to Epiphany, and the contemplative choral opening offers the option to feature male and a female solos.
If you're looking for a cantata for this Christmas, Joseph Martin's Tapestry of Light is an excellent choice. The joy and hope of Christmas are celebrated in this new Celtic-styled cantata from the pen that brought you The Mystery and the Majesty and Winter’s Grace. This jubilant work is filled with tuneful carols, thoughtful narration, and sparkling orchestrations. Traditional melodies form the foundation of this tapestry of light bringing to your holiday presentation a pleasing mixture of choirs, carols, and candlelight. Other quality cantata options are Shout the Good News! by Lloyd Larson, and Jay Althouse's Joy to the World (A Celebration of Carols).