New choral music for Christmas, arrangements of unusual Christmas songs, seems like an easy sell. Doesn’t every choral director need something fresh for the regular December concert?
I have a soft spot for obscure Christmas songs, and I was quite taken with Carols and Lullabies by Conrad Susa when I first heard it on the same program with Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. (Here’s another Massachusetts chorus doing the Britten/Susa program [Chorus Pro Musica].) Right away, I wanted to my own set of carols with harp. My set Shepherds and Angels includes a prelude and 9 songs: early New England and Appalachian songs, both earthy, energetic revivalist singing and the most tender and gentle lullabies. I added a violin for some fiddling flavor.
So how do I get the word out to all the choral directors who need music like this? The 200+ postcards and 300+ emails I sent are just a drop in the bucket. There is also the ChoralNet forum, which includes a community of composers. From that effort, I’ve arranged two performances and I hope there will be more.
The Mastersingers will give the eastern Massachusetts premiere and Geneva College will premiere it in Pennsylvania.
Listen to the demo of Shepherds and Angels and tell me what you think. (Scroll down to the Listen heading. No words – it’s computer-generated. You can follow along in the PDF score as you listen.) [Update: The title now links to the Spindrift store where there are links to a PDF preview score, and audio for the premiere performance and the no-words demo.]
Do you know a chorus that might be interested? If you sing in or direct a chorus, is it too hard or too easy for your group?
Is Shepherds and Angels the programming you need for your local Christmas concert?