Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Holidays: New Year
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 13:07:47 -0500
From: "Betsy Burleigh"
Subject: New Year's Compilation


What follows is a compilation of responses to my search for New Year's Eve
repertoire. I started out knowing the Rossini Toast pour le nouvel an and
Beethoven's arrangement of Auld Lang Syne. After John Howell's suggestion
(below) I checked the "old" Oxford Book of Carols and found 3 Wassailing songs
and Nos Galan (Deck the Hall w/ New Year's words) that also fit the bill.
Many thanks to all for such wonderful suggestions!


================From: John.Howell(a) (John Howell)
One of the many sets of words to "Greensleeves" is for New Years. It may
be in the older Oxford Book of Carols (the one that people could actually
afford to buy!).
=================From: David Griggs-Janower
How about Champagne's Delicious Bubbles from Fledermaus? But you need
================From: "Michael Seredick"
I cam across a lovely piece that I happen
to be doing with my women's chorus entitled "The Kalanta of the New Year"
(St. Basil's Day) which is in Greek and English. Although it is scored for
three part treble, you could create a mixed choir use for it by having the
male voices sing the sop 2 part in their range. It is accompanied by
hammer dulcimer but the piano in the upper octave would do just fine. I am
actually going to write an accompaniment for ochestra bells.

It is in the Henry Leck World Folk Song Series by Plymouth Music HL-209
with English text and setting by Malcolm Dalglish. I love this piece!
================From: swa440(a) (Stephen Alltop)
The New Year Carol of Benjamin Britten is simple, and quite lovely.

From: CSRJ100 Chris Johns
There's a beautifully simple "New year Carol" for unison voices and piano
by Britten. It's in Carols for Choirs 2 (OUP)
================From: Hans Lundgren
G Rossini: Toast pour le nouvel an. Carus Verlag, Stuttgart, CV40281/30
Mixed chorus a.c. app. 4 minutes. French words. Allegretto brillante.
Wonderful piece.
================From: Chuck Peery
There's an old collection, "Winter Celebrations", by Arthur Frackenpohl which
has "The Old Year Now Away Is Fled" to the tune of Greensleeves. This text is
from the Oxford Book of Carols, is set for SATB with optional baritone soloist.
Off the top of my head:
The old year now away is fled,
The new year it is entered,
So let us now our sins downtread
And joyfully all appear.... (snip)
================From: rhouseh(a) (Richard Householder)
Have a look at William Walton's "What Cheer?" (Oxford 84.090). It is a New
Year's song.
================From: Wally Hinson
From: Brian Breeding
"Sei, lieber Tag, wilkommen" (SSATTB) is a wonderful motet for New
Year's Day by Johann Michael Bach.
===============From: bag(a) (Beth Good)
My mixed chorus is performing a piece called "Festival Procession" arr. by
Emily Crocker that is a piece of Notre Dame Conductus (adapted, 13th
century) with words from a medieval poem (Munich clm20153). The
translation of the text is "Today a new year urges us joyful praises to
begin. Ah! king, help us, who governs all." The piece is published by Hal
=================From: Julia Millen
What about following up the Epiphany idea of the star the wisemen followed?
There are lots of arrangements of various star carols. Chanticleer has a great
one. John Washburn also has some interesting arrangements and compositions on
the Vancouver Chamber Choir's CD Rise and Shine. I don't have it with me, but
if you want further information, contact me and I will dig out the CD.
Another idea, if you want something fun and secular, is The Twelve Days After
Christmas (I've seen it arranged for solo voice and piano as well as for SA and
piano. There may be other arrangements...).
=================From: Karen Weaver c/o
A couple of thoughts for your program -
1) The Western Wind American Tune Book (pub Broude Bros Ltd) includes a
TTB acappella number (not difficult, and you could play with the
voicing) called "Ode for the New Year" by William Selby (1738-1798).
Typical colonial-sounding thing with a selection of 8 stanzas praising
Washington and hinting at the dawn of a new victory. Might add nice
2) Good Company has performed selections from Rutter's When Icicles Hang
(pub Oxford Univ Press), a cycle of wintry numbers on Shakespearean and
other English texts. We particularly enjoyed, and learned rather
quickly, "Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind". It's published separately...
===========From: Jerry Troxell JTSAX(a)
I have a work published by Music 70 publishers "New Year's Carol" that
might fit you purpose for New Year's Repertoire. It's a bright up-tempo
work and short in duration.
=============From: Theresa TRonan6947(a)
There is a lovely arrangement of "Bashana Haba'ah" by Nurit Hirsch...
the translation (forgive me, I'm paraphrasing) is something like,
"You will see how good things will be next year"
================From: Fred Ford FordFred(a)
Ron Nelson, Ring Out Wild Bells (Tennyson), either mixed or men's voices,
piano 4 hands and percussion (and bass??). Ring out the old, ring in the
new. Boosey and Hawkes.
==============From: Ray Fahrner
Three pieces jump to mind:
Dufay - Ce Jour de l'an
Dufay - Bon jour, bon mois
Fahrner - What Cheer? Good Cheer!
The first two are three part, ATT (ATB?) without transposition. I like to
use them for solo or small ensemble work.
The third is the last of five pieces of mine entitled "Winterfest." The
text is Renaissance English: "What Cheer? Good Cheer! Be merry and glad
this New Year!" Let me know if you want to see a copy. It's four part,
the easiest movement of the set, and "easy to dance to." (I'd give it an
87.) Accompaniment was originally brass quartet, but the piece could
easily be done with piano, synthesizer or string orchestra.

Betsy Burleigh
Coordinator, Choral & Vocal Music
Cleveland State University
Euclid Ave. at E. 24th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115
phone: (216) 687-3998
fax: (216) 687-9279

Thanks for the help, everyone!

Listed below are responses I received. I also checked the Choralist archive and found the following helpful link:

Hi Cecil, I have a one minute song recently composed that will work
well in such a situation. I can send you a PDF if you would like to
see. A BLESSING FOR THE NEW YEAR. It's short and sweet.
- Wayland Rogers
Britten, New Year's Carol, unison
Jerry Troxell, New Year's Carol, SATB
Mendelssohn, Neujahr, SATB/SATB
- Kathy Bowers
St. Louis MO
there's a piece called New Year by John Rutter. Hinshaw i think.
- C Powell
I like "In The Bleak Midwinter" for New Year's (Epiphany), if you haven't already used it this season.
- Russell Thorngate
I attach a non-chorus version
of The Ending of the Year, with
a text of Eleanor Farjeon. I have
a version for unaccompanied
mixed chorus if you care to see it.
- Brian Holmes
How about using the hymn "Ring Out, Wild Bells" -- with any tune. The one
in our hymnal (SATB, but could be sung by a soloist if desired) shows text
by Alfred Lord Tennyson and music by Crawford Gates, one of our finest LDS
composers. If you'd like me to send you a copy of the hymnal page, I'll be
happy to. It's fairly lively, with three short verses. Also is very
appropriate for a New Year's Eve performance.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
- Ann Kapp Andersen

-Cecil Rigby
rigrax(a)earthlink .net

on September 10, 2003 10:00pm
A brief New Year's Song for unaccompanied SATB is "Anew". You can see and hear a digitized version of the piece by going to, clicking on "Repertoire," and then clicking on "Anew". If you'd like a copy of the score, e-mail me at
on July 22, 2004 10:00pm
Thank you very much for those interesting proposals. I should very much like to have a copy from Fahrner, What cheer? good cheer and from Anew.
Best wishes
Gudrun Schr
on October 2, 2007 10:00pm
I am seeking "Ring Out Wild Bells". This arrangememt should be prior to 1955.