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Christmas Music for small SATB Community Choir

I'm looking for some Christmas music suggestions for a small (~20 voices) community choir.  The choir is capable of moderately easy 2-4 part a cappella music (the traditional SATB Carol of the Bells is about as challenging as the choir can handle at this point). I would love to find a lively Christmas spiritual (like Scott's 'Round the Glory Manger', only something a little easier) but am in search of any and all Christmas music.
 
More choir info:
 
non-auditioned community choir
ages 15+
SATB
~20 singers
a cappella OR accompanied (piano)
English language preferred
Any Christmas music
 
Any suggestions???
 
Thanks!
 
Replies (14): Threaded | Chronological
on September 10, 2012 10:35am
Philip:
 
I have written some Christmas music that might interest you.
 
William Thorpe publishes the following a cappella pieces
     The Brown Birds - Poem of Eleanor Farjeon - short and easy
     Carol of the Field Mice - Kenneth Grahame (from the Wind in the Willows) - short and easy
            (do not confuse this with the SA+piano version Thorpe also publishes)
     I saw a fair maiden - medieval poem - longer and moderately easy
These have accompaniment:
      The Shepherd and the King - Eleanor Farjeon - 3:15.  A bit more challenging.
            Intended for harp accompaniment, but piano works okay.  Professionally
            recorded by VocalEssence, so you can sample it on itunes.
      Kings Came Riding - Eleanor Farjeon - 3:30 - with oboe solo accompaniment,
which might be played on the piano or organ, if no oboes volunteer.
 
Visit William Thorpe's website for score and audio samples.  
 
I have written some additional pieces which are unpublished.  Visit the Composers Showcase
(where you will find additional Christmas music that may suit your needs) and
check out King Herod's Carol (my own poem) and The Shortest Day (a solstice
piece based on a great poem of Susan Cooper).
Some other a cappella carols that I have written are Mary's Burden and
A Carol for Christmas Eve, both relatively easy with texts of Eleanor Farjeon;
and Remember, which is not exactly a Christmas piece, but a star figures
prominently in Susan Cooper's nostalgic poem.
 
I have written quite a few additional carols (maybe forty) , but these are the ones
I think would best suit a smaller group such as yours.  Please contact me if you
neet additional information, scores, recordings, etc.
 
And DO let me know if you care to commission a new carol for your chorus.
I am a carol-writing fool!
 
Cheers,
Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 10, 2012 12:14pm
From Canasg Music's Christmas catalogue, I think these might fit your need:
  • A few of Fifteen Ukrainian carols (in English translation) - a complete celebration, from the reverential to the rowdy. Available in SATB or SSA arrangements, as individual songs (or as a full set).
  • Masters in this hall - vigorous and varied: 1m 45s. SATB or TB, a cappella or with piano accompaniment
  • Noël - a glorious fanfare, or a peal of vocal bells, to open your Christmas concert: 1m 15s. SSAB or TTBB
  • A sequence of carols — four settings of mediaeval Christmas texts mixing old and new idioms: 5m 30s. SATB or SAA
  • In the bleak midwinter - a swirling and utterly bleak setting: 3m 30s. SATB.
 
on September 11, 2012 3:15am
Hi Philip - we have some accessible SATB Christmas music at Modal Music
 
Would be interested in hearing your feedback on the music & web site!
 
Many thanks - Dorian Kelly
 
www.modalmusic.biz
on September 11, 2012 4:51am
Hi Philip. No particular suggestion; just take a minute and browse my webpage fabioalessi.webs.com ; you'll find some Christmas score. All scores are free. If you are interested just email me (the address is on the page). Best Regards.
on September 14, 2012 7:35am
Very refreshing, interesting arrangements of some traditional Christmas carols; definitely worth your time to visit Fabio's website.
on September 11, 2012 6:52am
Dear Philip,
 
You might enjoy my new SATB setting of "In The Bleak Midwinter" - it should work well for a small choir (no divisi), and the lines are tonal and fairly easy to learn. You can see a preview of the score here: http://www.hutchingsmusic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/inthebleakpreview.pdf - please email me if you'd like to see a full score or order a copy ($30, and you can print as many copies as you need) - chris(a)hutchingsmusic.co.uk
 
I also have an arrangement of "We Three Kings" - http://www.hutchingsmusic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/threekingspreview.pdf (fourth verse is quite tricky though).
 
I'm also happy to do arrangements to order - let me know if there are any carols that you'd like but can't find an arrangement of, and we can probably work out a fee in the $20-$30 range (as I'd be able to use it myself).
 
Chris Hutchings
on September 11, 2012 4:18pm
Hi Philip,
 
Musica Russica has two pieces in english that are worth considering: "An Offering Carol" by Maia Aprahamian and "What Shall We Call You Mary?" by Fr. Sergei Glagolev, two American composers in the Eastern Orthodox tradition.
 
We also have some Ukranian Christmas carols (in both Ukranian and English) available. Most of them are quite easy (homophonic and strophic).
 
Hope this helps!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 12, 2012 1:03pm
Dear Philip,
 
I encourage you to take a look at Richard Toensing's set of 24 New Orthodox Carols for the Nativity of Christ, which are beautiful, approachable, and varied, both in spirit and in musical idiom. Some are in the Greco-Byzantine style, some are in a pentatonic folk-like idiom, and still others are in standard Western tonality, yet all of them have a fresh twist to melody, harmony, or rhythm.
 
They are free to use, and PDFs of each carol can be downloaded at Richard Toensing's website, http://www.richardtoensing.com/orthodox.htm
 
Here are three carols to listen to, which were recorded by Cappella Romana:
Once Sorrow had Silenced Zion's Harps,
 
Feel free to contact me if you have questions about these glorious carols.
 
Janet Braccio
Bella Voce Communications
janetbraccio(a)comcast.net




 
 
on September 13, 2012 9:25am
Philip. You could look at In the Bleak Mid-winter by Philip Stopford on Youtube at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziZmAKk2hVA
This beautiful work involves very straightforward 4-part harmony and some solo sections. Piano accompaniment. Published by Hal Leonard.
 
 
 
on October 13, 2012 2:12pm
I have a lot of Christmas music that would work well in this kind of situation:
on October 14, 2012 10:51pm
Hi Philip,
Here are some of my favorites for my SATB church choir.  They are all arranged for a cappella singing and are all great concert pieces.  Each has its subtleties, but none are too hard.
 
Masters In This Hallarr. Alice Parker/Robert Shaw   I used an organ improv on the melody (could use piano) as the choir processed on stage and then we broke into this piece a cappella for a grand opening number.
My Dancing Day - arr. Alice Parker/Robert Shaw (Lilting carol in 6/8 time)
African Noel - Andre Thomas (great opener/closer and good for procession)  Jazz it up with a little percussion, if you choose.  Easy text to memorize.
The Word Was God - by Rosephanye Powell   (Gentry Publications) Very rhythmic and fun.  Some divisi within the piece.
He Is Born - arr. by Roger Wagner  This arrangement does use brief sections of SSA and TTBB.  (other good arrangements exist, as well)
 
You can probably find some of these in a YouTube recording.  Good luck with your selections!
Terri Schmidt
 
 
on October 16, 2012 3:13am
You might care to have a look at my arrangement of 'Rise up, shepherd and follow', publ. OUP - http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780193359277.do#.UH0xOZG9KSN
It's quite simple and effective.  There is an accompaniment for piano (with optional oboe of flute obbligato).
Or take a look at my website at www.newcarols.com for further ideas.
Best wishes,
Gordon (from UK)
on October 16, 2012 8:43am
Hi Philip,
 
I recommend that you take a look at Richard Toensing's set of 24 New Orthodox Carols for the Nativity of Christ, which are beautiful, approachable, and varied, both in spirit and in musical idiom. Some are in the Greco-Byzantine style, some are in a pentatonic folk-like idiom, and others are in standard Western tonality. They are not difficult to learn and all of them offer a fresh twist to melody, harmony, and rhythm.
 
They are free to use, and PDFs of each carol can be downloaded at Richard Toensing's website, http://www.richardtoensing.com/orthodox.htm
 
Here are three carols to listen to, which were recorded by Cappella Romana:
Once Sorrow had Silenced Zion's Harps,
 
Feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like additional information.
 
Janet Braccio
Bella Voce Communications
janetbraccio(a)comcast.net
 
 
on October 17, 2012 3:44am
Phillip,
Thanks for your inquiry.
 
I would invite you to take a look at the following:
 
In the Bleak Midwinter SATB/piano/oboe
 
 
 
and
 
All is Calm All is Bright
 
 
All the best,
Michael 
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