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Christmas by themes: American

Here are the results of my query about American Christmas music. I've
arranged the list according to two categories: specific pieces listed
alphabetically (including repeated suggestions to give an idea of
popularity) and collections & general recommendations. Many thanks to all
the people who responded!

A Christmas Carol (Chas. Ives)
A Christmas Carol Charles Ives
A Medley of Christmas Spirituals (arr. Joseph Jennings) - Published?
A Star in the East (Malcolm Dalglish) - Recorded by St. Olaf Choir
A Virgin Unspotted - Billings
"A Virgin Unspotted" (Judea)
A Virgin Unspotted (William Billings) - Recorded by Chanticleer
Adam Lay Ybounden - Frank Ferko
Advent Procession - Donald Pearson
Alleluia Brenchley
Alleluia Randall Thompson
"American Christmas" Randall Stroope by Allaince Music
And the child grew Randall Thompson
Ave, Ave, the Angel Sang - Robert Lau
"Away in a Manger" CRADLE SONG
Away in a Manger - tune - Away in a Manger
"Babe of Bethlehem" from Southern Harmony Setting by Fred Gramann
"Behold, I Bring You Glad Tidings" by Stephenson was a real showpiece for
our chamber choir--it's like a 4-minute cantata!
Behold the star W.Dawson
Blessed Be! by Greg Scheer. A gospel/rock composition for solo, choir,
piano, brass and rhythm section. greg(a)
"Brightest and Best" Appalachian Carol Arranged by Wayland Rogers
"Brightest and Best" It stays within the rather stark style of "sacred
harp". Wayland Rogers wrogers3(a)
Canticle of Carols - brass, keyboard and handbells (three carols: Good
Children, Go Where I Send Thee (Gospel, arr. Andre Thomas)
Christian Men Rejoice, O Come Little Children and O Come All Ye Faithful)
"Chill of the Nightfall" Gary James (grades 6-8 choir, treble voices)
Christmas Processional - opt tambourine, hand drum and keyboard. Linda Spevacek
"Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus" from Southern Harmony (3 octave handbells)
Arranged by Cathy Moklebust
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus - Sacred Harp (NOT the traditional hymn-tune)
Early American Christmas Tryptych by van Camp
Epiphany Alleluias - John Weaver
Fait mundus justus Alberto Grau
"From Shepherding of Stars" Setting by Richard Hillert
Go Tell it on the Mountain - Arr. Harold Best
"Go, Tell It on the Mountain" African-American spiritual
"Go, Tell It on the Mountain" Arranged by Paul Manz (organ?)
Go Tell It On the Mountain (arr. Carolyn Jennings) - Spiritual
"Go Tell It on the Mountain" for chorus a cappella, or chorus with strings
and percussion. Boosey & Hawkes The verses are at a slow blues tempo, with
soprano, alto and bass soloists (but could also be done by one soloist as
well) and the familiar chorus is and upbeat and rhythmic. Steve Barnett
"Great Gettin' Up Mornin'!" African-American Spiritual (grades 9-12 choir -
SSA) Arranged by Mary Goetze
"Great Light" by Joseph Martin (or maybe Michael Barrett). Shawnee Press.
"Hail Mary!" African-American Spiritual Arranged by William L. Dawson
Hail Mary (Wm. Dawson) - Kjos Pub
"Huddle Close! (Carol of the Animals)" Hank Beebe (combined children's
choirs - grades K-5)
I Believe This is Jesus (Spritual, arr. USMoore)
I Wonder as I Wander (arr. JJNiles or STerri) - Classic Apallachian
"If I'd Been There" Robert Leaf (combined children's choirs, grades K-5)
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear - tune: Carol
"Jesus, Born in Bethl'em". a short, modal, unaccompanied carol based
somewhat on a Sacred Harp carol: San Francisco Symphony Chorus premiered
the piece several years or so ago. It is published by Lux Nova Press
copies are $1.00 each. See: --Mark Gresham
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree - Elizabeth Poston
Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head (arr. Salli Terri) - Recorded by Nordic
Choir/Weston Noble
Jesus, Jesus rest your head Flummerfelt
"Joy to the World" by Abraham Wood is a lot of fun (especially if you
follow the performance practice of not taking all the cadential rests
literally--they seem very long otherwise!)
La peregrinacion Ariel Ramirez
Las estrellas del cielo Harm.: Modesta Bor
Light Everlasting (OCChritiansen) - Kjos Pub
"Little Town (Brooks' Carol)" American Carol (grades 9-12 choir - SSA)
Original setting by Andrew E. Simpson Edited by Henry Leck
"Lo, How a Rose" arr. by Greg Scheer in a jazz ballad style.
"Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth" MIT FREUDEN ZART (AMERICAN TEXT)
Lullabye on Christmas Eve (F. Melius Christiansen)
"Lullee, Lullay" by Peter Niedmann (Thorpe Music Publishing) - piano, SATB
YOU DO NOT WANT TO PASS THIS PIECE UP!! It is one of the most georgeous
pieces (and texts) that I have done in quite a while. It is simple,
accessible, and beautifully intimate for a smaller choir.
MARY HAD A BABY for soloist, SATB and piano - it also has an orchestration
for strings and piano. I wrote it for a gospel singer in my choir. Thomas
F. Savoy (tcc97(a)
"Mary"s Little Jesus Child." Jester Hairston -very lovely
"Nine Carols" which are new settings of the tradtional carols texts that
are usually associated with the traditional nine lessons (Adam lay bound,
Lo how a Rose, etc.). They are for unaccompanied 4-pt choir. by William
Stevens 72240.2427(a)
"Noel, Noel, a Boy Is Born" Natalie Sleeth (grades 6-8 choir - treble voices)
"O Little Town of Bethlehem" ST. LOUIS
O Little Town of Bethlehem - tune - St. Louis - Phillips Brooks 1868
O magnum mysterium M.Lauridsen
"Rise Up Shepherd and Follow" (Presser, 1958), a black carol
Riu, riu chiu is a traditional Spanish carol ... there are several
arrangements of that around.
"Shepherd's Carol" Billings
Shepherd's Carol (Wm. Billings)
"Shepherd Lad's Gift" Austin C. Lovelace (older children's choir, grades 3-5)
Star In the East - Sacred Harp
Sweet Little Jesus Boy (arr. Salli Terri)
"The Chanticleer's Carol" by Conrad Susa (ECS Publishing) - piano, SATB,
tpt. may be a little bit rangy for a church choir, but can be done with 25
"The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns" from Kentucky Harmony Setting by
John Ness Beck
The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns - Tune: Consolation (John Wyeth's
Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second 1813
The Blessings of Mary - Arr. Mack Wilberg - tradiitional song of North
Carolina - Journal of American Folklore 1935
The Hills Are Bare at Bethlehem - tune - Prospect - Walker's Southern
Harmony 1835 - text by Royce J. Scharf, altered
"The Story of the First Nowell" which is for trombone trio and SATB chorus.
The carol is a setting of the traditional text of the "First Nowell" which
ultimately metamorphoses into the traditional carol which the congregation
is invited to sing with the chorus during the last refrain. The work is in
computer notation and is available for perusal or order by contacting me at Randall Davidson
The twelve days of Christmas Traditionnel - Tom Mitchell
"Three Nativity songs" which are not particularly intended for carol
services but which work beautifully. by William Stevens
'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime (Canadien, arr. Rutter)
"Twas in the Moon of Wintertime, the famous Canadian Carol has just been
published here. my setting was orignially for double choir, but can easily
be done with choir plus semi-chorus, or choir plus youth or children's
choir. It is published by Canadian Computer Printing 2-334 Wilson Street
West, Ancaster, Ontario, CANADA L9G 1N5 TEL 1-905-648-5607 FAX 905-648-7223
E-MAIL palindromes.ccp(a)
"Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy," arranged by Stephen Hatfield for SSAA, but
can also be done by SATB (Boosey& Hawkes, 1996) - a Trinidadian carol
"What Troubles You, Old King Herod" is by David Lantz--great telling of the
3 wise men's visit to the King, and a song with a jazz flute
part--challenging but my choir loves it . Shawnee
Where Is This Stupendous Stranger? - tune: The Servant Song - Richard
Gillard 1976
Augsburg has a great collection of American carols that is well done
Wonderful Anerican composers include William Billings, Daniel Pinkham,
Conrad Susa, Alice Parker... all have music for Christmas.. most have
brass music.
The Alfred Burt Carols
[Several spirituals] (arr. William Dawson)
[Several Christmas works] (Dave Brubek)
Langstaff, The Christmas Revels Songbook (Boston: Godine, 1985) has some
great American Christmas music from various American traditions: for
example, black ("Mary Had a Baby," "Go Tell It on the Mountain"); white
folk ("Kentucky Wassail") and shape-note ("Wondrous Love")
And the Concordia Book of American Carols (again I may be a word or two off
on the title) has some winners in it, including Jeremiah Ingalls's neat
little "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" and my personal favorite, "The Hills
Are Bare at Bethlehem."
There was an old Robert Shaw recording of shape-note hymns and anthems. I
don't know if it's still around, but I think most of the music is still in
Don't forget to look at Moravian and Mennonite Christmas music ... there's
a LOT ... I can't point you to titles and publishers offhand, but a lot is
for SATB and strings. Maybe Central Moravian Church has a website ...
It wouldn't be "American" without the carols of William Billings! There is
a collection out there with readings and all, comingled with the Billings'
carols. I can dig it out if you'd like more info. I did it several years
ago with a similar size group. Gotta have a few good tenors though, as
they usually have the tune!
EC Schirmer publishes two collections entitled something like "Christmas
Music from Early America"--they have some good stuff in them and are fairly
economical, though the editing is a little dated, and if you look closely
you'll discover that at least two of the texts aren't Christmasy at all
(one is Easter all the way!).
I'm doing a set of three American carols with my choir that I've arranged:
I wonder as I wander, Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, and a shape note
version of While shepherds watched. The first two are SAB with piano, but
the shape note carol is SATB and would be great with brass. Mark Mitchell

Greg Scheer
2000 N Meridian Rd Apt 282 Tallahassee FL 32303 850-383-4213

on July 14, 2004 10:00pm
We are looking for repertoire for a program entitled "Christmas South of the Border". One of my colleagues has submitted Conrad Susa's "Carols and Lullabies - Christmas in the Southwest" and we are looking for Latin American choral music (with and without orchestra) to complement this piece. Does anyone have suggestions of obtainable music from Latin American traditions or, failing that, from Iberia? All suggestions, popular or folk pieces as well as art music, gratefully received!

Rich Pitre
New Camerata Singers/Conservatory Orchestra
Portland Conservatory of Music
116 Free Street
Portland, Maine 04101
on November 23, 2004 10:00pm
I would like to know where I might get my hands on a copy of Natalie Sleeth's "Baby, What You Gonna Be?" in SSA voicing. I know it exists, as I sang it with a youth chorus in Fresno, CA in the early-mid-80's. (It was Cheryl Fogg's Young Inspirations if any of you have heard of us!) I have Googled this piece every way I can think of and I'm coming up empty...
Thank You!
Chrysta Richards
on December 6, 2007 10:00pm
I am searching for an available download of Salli Terri singing "Jesus Jesus Rest Your Head," on the "Joy To the World Album," whose date of realease I'm not certain about. I want to send this to a wounded Soldier in Iraq for a wee bit of comfort at Christmas so far from home. Thanks for the help.