Christmas by themes: Latin American and African-American
Hello List Members!
What a great response to my request!! Thank you all for sending me so many
interesting titles, and so much information about them. My conductor thinks
I am pretty sharp, to come up with so many ideas so quickly!! I really
appreciate all the time spent by list members to help folks like me. It puts
me in a wonderful position with knowledge at my fingertips--thank you
Here is the compilation after only two days. I put in some repeats so the
names of the list members can be seen and copied by those interested
William Grant Still's Christmas in the Western World
is a really neat set for this kind of program, requires piano or
strings. Still was Black. The piece has 10 movements or so, so you
can pick and choose. Some are South American, one or two Canadian
Indian, one Black spiritual style... Published by Peer Southern.
Conrad Susa's Carols and Lullabies, another wonderful piece, a bit
harder, is South American Xmas music as hear in the American
Southwest Requires guitar, harp and marimba, tho I suppose it would
work on piano just fine. Susa is published by EC Schirmer.
228 Placid Drive
Schenectady, NY 12303-5118
518/356-9155; 518/442-4167 (w)
Albany Pro Musica
PO Box 3850
Albany, NY 12203-0850
Ph/Fax: (518) 273-6510
SUNYA Music department fax: 518/442-4182
UAlbany Chamber Singers: www.albany.edu/~singers
The most obvious that springs to mind is Navidad Nuestro, a really
beautiful and characteristic set of six South American carols by Ariel
Ramirez (composer of Missa Criolla). It needs a tenor soloist, choir and a
few instruments, though piano will do.
Sweet Little Jesus Boy -- SSA, S.Solo, pno. -- 392-00952 -- Roberton
Publications -- $2.50
A la nanita nana -- SATB, pno. -- Spanish Carol/Artman -- 392-41716 --
Coronet Press -- $1.25
There Were Shepherds Three A-Watching -- Spanish/Ehret -- 312-41420 --
Presser -- $.90
If you would like perusal copies, or if you have any questions or
comments, please contact me at mbogue(a)presser.com
We also have free catalogs available if you would like any.
There are two excellent African-American ones by Jester Hairston. One is
"Mary's Little Boy Chile" and the other escapes me because I am having a
Senior moment, but they would be found in any Hairston section. There is
also a really "neat" arrangement in an African dialect called "Siya Hamba"
"We Are Singing." It is not strictly Christmas, but would work well. There
is the Spanish suite "Nuestra Navidad" which is marvelous and tells of the
Nativity in a very lilting way. Of course, there is always "Feliz Navidad"
by Jose Feliciano, which is available in a good arrangement, but I don't
know if you wish to get that secular.
If you are not looking for only major works, we have a Puerto Rican piece
suitable for your theme, in Spanish "Si Me Dan Pasteles". Easy SATB with
piano and percussion. A traditional strolling song for Three Kings Day. I'd
be happy to send you a copy if it is of interest. Judith
Judith Cook Tucker, Publisher
World Music Press
Intercultural Understanding through Music
18 Kilian Dr., Danbury CT 06811-3461
Phone: 1-800-810-2040 Fax: 203-748-3432 E-mail: WMPress(a)aol.com
www.worldmusicpress.com (Under construction - includes listings of titles
descriptions - will be expanded gradually to include sound clips and more
May I suggest Shout for Joy representing the African American and Carols
and Lullabies by Conrad Susa for the Hispanic.
You oughta check out "3 Venezuelan Carols," arranged by Bruce Trinkley (of
Penn State). I did them last year, and both the choir and the audience
loved 'em. GIA Publications, #G-4316.
Robert M. Copeland Ph: 724-847-6665
Department of Music FAX: 724-847-5017
Geneva College E-mail
3200 College Avenue
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
There is a suite of six pieces called "Navidad Nuestra" by Ariel Ramirez,
for solos and mixed choir. It is published by Editorial Lagos in
Argentina. Their email is:
I hope you will enjoy it.
I have an arrangement of a carol that is
known in both Meso-America and the Southwest of U.S. DUERMETE, NINO LINDO.
It is a lovely cradle song which I have arranged for SATB, soprano solo and
Piano, or harp. Let me know whether you would like to see it. It is
2236 West Dickens
Chicago, IL 60647
I live in Houston, TX, though I am originally from Argentina. I went home
for my Summer break and brought with me a bunch of CDs from two choirs
that are conducted by good friends of mine. One of those CDs is
"Convidando esta la noche" entirely dedicated to Latin American Christmas
Choral Music of the Colonial era. For choir, soloists and period
instruments. It's a great recording, done by the Grupo de Canto Coral, one
of the most respected ensembles in the Country. Most of the repertoire in
the recording is published by Ediciones-GCC in Argentina. If you would
like to purchase this recording, please send a check for $ 18.00 (15.00
for the CD and 3.00 for shipping) addressed to:
4515 N. Braeswood Blvd. Apt 304
Houston, TX 77096
Try Bruce Trinkley's arrangement of 3 Argentinian (Venezuelan?) Carols.
SATB with piano or marimba accompaniment.
Irvington High School
The standbys for Latin-American would be Ariel Ramirez's *Navidad Nuestra*
(Lawson-Gould) and Conrad Susa's *Carols & Lullabies* (ECS)
There are also loads of spirituals for Xmas, so it's necessary to weed
through them carefully. I'd recommend anything by William Dawson (Kjos) or
Jester Hairston (Bourne) first; Dawson in particular.
Hope this helps,
Robert Ross, Artistic Director
Voces Novae et Antiquae
Philadelphia, PA USA
AA - Ballad(?) of The Brown King ...I think. I'll check the official title
A La Nanita Nana
El Cant Dels Ocells--Carol of the Birds
En Belen Tocan A Fuego--A Fire Is Started In Bethlehem
Pastores A Belen--Shepherds to Bethlehem
El Rorro--The Babe
Vamos, Pastorcitos--Hasten, Little Shepherds
...que le vaya bien, y Feliz Navidad Ann B.
Here I am in Brownsville, Texas, on the border of Mexico, by the shores of
the Gulf of Mexico, and I have had some experience with Spanish Christmas
music. The first thing that comes to mind is a song called "Los
which refers to Mary and Joseph on their search for lodging, and is a part
the central Hispanic event of the Christmas season called "Las Posadas."
Robert Shaw did some wonderful Spanish carols on an old LP from RCA Victor,
which may be on CD by now. Included on "Christmas Hymns and Carols, Volume
II" were "Fum, Fum, Fum," "Hacia Belen," "Ya Viene la Vieja," and "La Virgen
Lava Panales," which needs a tilde, but this is an English program, and I
don't have Spanish markings available.
There are also brief "major works" by Hispanic composers from various
countries, but I am retired from choral conducting and do not have many of
resources from those good old days available to me any more. "O magnum
mysterium" by Vittoria might serve your purpose, although it has a Latin
text. If you could possibly do a presentation of "Las Posadas," or "The
Search for Lodging" as the Spanish part of your program, it could be very
effective. Maybe you have a local expert like a Spanish teacher who could
help you. Hispanic music is wonderful! Are you acquainted with "Missa
Criolla," whose composer's name escapes me right now? Ask around at the
music dealers, etc. That would give your group a challenge and a "high old
time." Get out the guitars and the wonderful percussion instruments.
Anyhow, good luck in your search.
Ann Buchanan, retired choral director, Hanna High School, Brownsville, Texas
The Cathedral Choral Society did a Joy of Christmas Concert about three
ago which featured the Coral Cantigas, directed by Diana Saez. Check their
web site "coralcantigas.org" and get in touch with Diana. She can give you
the program, which was quite successful. If you have a problem, e-mail me
again, and I'll pull a program for you.
Cathedral Choral Society
Washington National Cathedral
A real crowd pleaser and great fun for the choir is an extended
collection by Conrad Susa (contemporary San Francisco composer) (in
Spanish,plus) called "Carols and Lullabies from the South West". Also
calls for guitar, harp and xylophone. Can be done complete or any
number of carols (not the familiar ones).
Lucy Allen Tenenbaum
19 Catherine Drive
Rutland Vermont 05701