Kevin Hildebrand’s skillful writing for strings and keyboard make this collection a must-have. Three hymns are included: “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice,” and “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.” All are written with the reflective warmth of Christmas Eve in mind and are scored for string quartet (or ensemble), with an independent organ or piano part. Each setting is approximately four minutes, making them useful throughout a church service or Christmas program.
John A. Behnke
John A. Behnke’s setting of O JESULEIN SÜSS for flute and organ or piano is the perfect addition to the Christmas season. The melody flows back and forth between the flute and accompaniment until the middle section, which features the tune AWAY IN A MANGER. The final statement concludes with a beautiful flute descant.
David Maxwell has crafted nine extensive organ settings for Advent and Christmas. Maxwell uses a variety of styles ranging from introspective (W ZLOBIE LEZY) to strong and majestic (CONSOLATION). The collection also includes a joyful toccata of ANTIOCH and a lively swung setting of GO TELL IT. These settings will be enjoyable for all levels.
Edwin T. Childs
Edwin T. Childs has composed short, one-stanza organ settings of eighteen familiar Christmas carols. These have been designed for organists with minimal pedal skills, and each setting is of an easy to easy-medium difficulty level. They may be used as introductions to congregational singing or as preludes, voluntaries, and postludes.
Kevin Hildebrand’s popular series of easy organ preludes continues with this collection for Advent. Written with the easy- to intermediate-level organist in mind, these settings offer adequate variety and creativity to make them useful for advanced-level organists as well. Some compositions are manuals only, while others include an emphasis on long note values in the pedal and frequent use of predictable alternate feet pedaling.
James Marriott has crafted three distinct Christmas settings on familiar hymns that are intended to be vibrant—full of energy, majestic, and bright. Featuring toccata figures, flourishes, and trills, this collection will bring joy to the organist and listener alike.
Bernard Wayne Sanders
Bernard Wayne Sanders has composed settings of STILLE NACHT that reflect American, German, and French styles. Unique to this edition is the nomenclature provided for each style. “Three Nocturnes” hints at the existing melody. “Ciacona” is reminiscent of Buxtehude, with the bass motive shifting to different keys. “Pastorale” uses impressionistic elements, including the seventh and ninth chords, horns, and tertial harmonic relationships. This will be a great addition to Christmas worship and recital repertoire.
Christopher M. Wicks
Christopher M. Wicks has set three hymns of expectation in a way that is fresh and exciting. These extended settings offer a unique flavor on traditional Advent hymns, and organists will find these particularly useful as preludes to worship.
The Proclaim! series provides organists with substantive service music and hymn harmonizations for the Hymn of the Day as found in the One-Year and Three-Year Lectionaries of Lutheran Service Book. Since this series features a broad representation of composers, the expression of different composers’ voices creates a variety of artistry and style. With this volume, organists have service music and alternate hymn accompaniments for every Hymn of the Day during Advent.
The Proclaim! series provides organists with substantive service music and hymn harmonizations for the Hymn of the Day as found in the One-Year and Three-Year Lectionaries of Lutheran Service Book. Since this series features a broad representation of composers, the expression of different composers’ voices provides a variety of artistry and style. With this volume, organists have service music and alternate hymn accompaniments for every Hymn of the Day during Christmas.
Valerie A. Floeter
This set of Christmas arrangements includes a catchy and fun setting of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and a haunting and elegant setting of “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” Several hymns rarely seen for piano are included as well, such as “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light.” With this volume, Floeter continues to provide expressive pieces that are easily learned by church musicians and loved by the congregation.
Christopher M. Wicks
The three settings of “O Morning Star” begin with the night of the nativity with staccato triads in the high register suggesting the twinkling of stars. The second verse has the character of a pastorale or musette as if to suggest the shepherds serenading the Lord. The third variation, an extroverted toccata, looks forward to the glory to come. Consider using this set at Christmas and Epiphany.
Linda Lamb’s arrangement of the tune GO TELL IT provides 2–3 octave ensembles with an exuberant arrangement of a favorite Christmas spiritual. Filled with stopped-bell sounds, the music will motivate the listeners to tell the Good News! Level III.
Patricia Hurlbutt’s arrangement of the tune ADESTE FIDELES is a fun, fresh treatment in 3/4 time. Arranged for 2–5 octave handbells, this arrangement incorporates techniques such as echoes, marts, and swings to create and build energy. Level II.
Patricia Hurlbutt has arranged a graceful and dance-like setting that alternates between a lilting 3/4 and a spritely 6/8. Two key changes highlight these shifts, and the piece culminates with a brief passage marked presto. Level III.
Following a brief introduction, the theme rhythmically illustrates the title in a lilting 7/8 meter accompanied by a playful, malleted eighth-note bass line. Handchimes take over at a lively pace. A return to handbells brings back the original joyful melody, rhythms, and techniques of the beginning, and the piece ends with a flourish of martellatos. This piece will be a challenging yet entertaining addition to your repertoire. Level IV.
A set of three German chorales for 3-octave handbells by Tyleen Stults. These pieces highlight the exuberance of Christmas and calm beauty in the birth of Christ. VOM HIMMEL HOCH features historic change-ringing patterns and gyros to help illustrate the angels’ and shepherds’ travels and the mysterious wonder at the news of Christ’s birth on that momentous night. Level II.
A transcription of Mendelssohn’s Oratorio Christus by Lee J. Afdahl, this arrangement is a perfect addition to any Advent, Christmas, or Epiphany-themed concert or worship service. The tune WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET is used throughout the piece. Scored for 3–5 octave handbells and handchimes. Level III.
Patricia HurlbuttPatricia Hurlbutt presents a lovely arrangement of the tune WARUM SOLLT ICH MICH DENN GRÄMEN. This piece begins gently with quiet excitement, builds to a climax, and ends in hushed awe, making a wonderful opportunity for expressive ringing. Scored for 3–5 octave handbells and optional 2 octave handchimes. Level I+.
This collection of time-honored Christmas carols is perfect for the busy Christmas season when you are shorthanded for church services or would like to travel with a small group to other venues like schools, nursing homes, or business events. Each piece uses only twelve bells, spanning F5 to C7, and includes suggested assignments for each bell. Because not every piece is in the key of F, this collection offers a wider variety of harmonic possibilities while still maintaining a small number of ringers. Level II–III.
This is the second set of handbell pieces by Sandra Eithun for when churches are shorthanded for church services or would like to travel with small groups to other venues like schools, nursing homes, or business events. Each piece uses only twelve bells, spanning F5 to C7, and includes suggested assignments for each bell. Because not every piece is in the key of F, this collection offers a wider variety of harmonic possibilities while still maintaining a small number of ringers. Level II–III.
Carl F. Schalk
One of the final contributions to the CPH choral catalog by the late Carl F. Schalk, 1929–2021. Schalk’s soaring tune and captivating setting of the beloved Christmas carol is set for SATB, strings, tubular bells, and timpani. Useful for concerts, services, and pageants, the piece was envisioned to be used as a processional carol. The new tune and unique combination of instrumentation will engage listeners and set the tone for concerts and worship.
Volume 1, edited by William Braun includes, the SAB chorale settings of Michael Praetorius, making this collection accessible to most choirs. The settings may be used as a complete selection by the choir, as an anthem, or in alternation with the congregation for the Hymn of the Day. Includes settings for Advent through Easter.
Benjamin M. Culli
A Christmas text by Michael Henrichs is paired with a lovely tune and setting by Benjamin M. Culli. The profound text ponders the marvelous mystery of Christmas— that Christ entered history to unite with us. This setting for SATB and organ will be cherished by choir and congregation alike, making this an endearing addition to the Christmas repertoire.
Part of the Concordia Children’s Series, this setting of the Basque hymn is simple and accessible to modest musical forces. Set to the tune GABRIEL’S MESSAGE, this two-part choral piece by Philip Gehring includes instrumentation for flute and organ or piano.
K. Lee Scott
“And Christ Shall Be Our Peace” is a two-part mixed voices anthem with organ and optional small handbell ensemble. The text is also useful for any Sunday with the theme “Christ the Good Shepherd.” The two-part texture allows for some singers to ring bells as needed.
David von Kampen
This lively and joyful piece composed in 2/2 by David von Kampen begins with a beautiful piano introduction. When the choir joins, a playful dialogue occurs between the Latin refrain and English verses from Psalm 98. With a somber middle bridge, the song finishes with a triumphant ending, declaring “Cantate Domino.”
This gentle SATB a cappella setting by Jonathan Kohrs features an ostinato figure between the ATB voices, while the soprano part sings the melody. Satisfying harmonies add to the character of the piece, making this an enjoyable anthem to sing and hear. A welcome addition to the Christmas choral repertoire.
Celebrate the birth of Christ with this moving concertato for SATB, congregation, organ, and flute by Jeffrey Blersch. Using his tune CONSTANT STAR, this setting features a full accompaniment sound, attractive choral writing, and a flute part that adds color and interest. The setting finishes with quiet choral alleluias, allowing the congregation to reflect on the mystery of the incarnation.
Jacob B. Weber
Jacob B. Weber has composed a thrilling Gloria for SATB, organ, and brass quartet. Featuring joyous, symphonic writing, the piece begins with a fanfare interplay between brass and organ, leading directly into angelic strains of “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” Moments of warm, rich choral writing complement the text. Set entirely in Latin, this setting can be a featured addition to any high school or college-level Christmas concert, or, when appropriate, a festival Divine Service setting during the Church Year.
Jacob B. Weber
A tender, flowing setting of the German tune GOTT IST DIE LIEBE by Jacob B. Weber, this concertato features SA voicing, congregation, organ, and flute or violin. Perfect for children’s choirs, this setting will be loved by women’s choruses as well. Feature this setting at a children’s Christmas pageant or use it anytime during the Church Year.
William Braun has arranged this longtime Christmas favorite in a bright new setting for SATB and piano four-hands. The vocal parts of this anthem are accessible with several modulations in the second stanza. The final stanza incorporates a choral descant over the melody. The piano four-hands accompaniment gives this setting drive and excitement and makes for a festive addition to worship services and Christmas concerts.
Benjamin M. Culli
An Epiphany text by Lisa M. Clark is treated with a bold new tune and setting for SATB, congregation, organ, and trumpet by Benjamin M. Culli. An optional shortened introduction, an easy SAB setting of the choral stanza, and an easier trumpet descant offer flexibility. This majestic piece is practical for choirs and congregations of any size and ability.
Kenneth T. Kosche
An accessible setting of the canticle “Magnificat” for SATB, congregation, organ, and C instrument, this piece is set up in verse/refrain format and includes congregational participation on the refrain. This piece offers a great way to add liturgical variety to evening worship or anytime during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
William Braun presents a new edition of Georg Böhm’s cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland for SATB, two violins, violoncello, and continuo. Following a short sinfonia, this edition presents the first stanza in a unison setting. The second stanza is a free SAB setting, and the third stanza features a duet between alto and tenor, which imitatively paraphrases the tune. Stanza four is a straightforward SATB setting with the violins soaring over the ensemble. The pattern repeats for stanzas 5–8.
An arrangement for SATB a cappella of a thirteenth-century French carol translated by Charles Winfred Douglas, this piece uses homophonic textures, canon, and drone to bring the text to life. All will appreciate Thomas Keesecker’s skillful writing in this relatively unknown Christmas carol.
Composed in celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Concordia Publishing House, this piece features the text of Isaiah 40:9–11 set in a lilting and lively manner. Following the first unison section, the voices split into a two-part call-and-response interplay. Much of the two-part harmony parallels the melody at the third, making this an accessible and fun addition for choirs of all ages.
Part of the Concordia Children’s Series, this setting by Mason Koertiz of the tune IN DULCI JUBILO is for two-part choir and piano. This piece utilizes an echo effect to provide a simple introduction to two-part singing. The natural dancelike tune is supplemented with a flowing piano accompaniment.
This is a touching arrangement of the traditional Christmas carol for SATB and piano by John Leavitt. A beautiful, haunting piano accompaniment cradles the singing with gentle but rich harmonies.
David von Kampen
This is a breathtaking Christmas carol for a cappella SATB choir—a new Christmas classic! Lisa M. Clark’s enchanting text brings to focus the Lamb of God through a skillful retelling of Psalm 23. David von Kampen’s musical interpretation brings to life every word with beauty, using expressive dynamics and lush harmonies.
David von Kampen
David von Kampen’s “Lift Up Your Heads, O Gates” for SAB, organ or piano, and optional strings has a baroque feel. The text uses Psalm 24:7: “Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Alleluia.” This piece is especially useful during Advent, as well as for Christmas and Epiphany.
Gentle and stunning, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” is set for two-part choir, organ, flute, and optional handbell and is well within the range of the typical church or school choir. Matthew Machemer captures the essence of this lovely Christmas hymn by incorporating elements of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” in a way that is both musically satisfying and technically accessible.
Brian L. Hanson
This familiar Christmas carol is given an ethereal setting by Brian L. Hanson. Supported by a gentle, lilting accompaniment, the strains of “Still, Still, Still” interweave in both the accompaniment and choral parts. Soaring vocal lines, rich harmonies, and imaginative text painting point to the wonder and mystery of Christmas.
Benjamin M. Culli
This English cathedral-style anthem features a memorable tune accompanied by dramatic and thrilling organ writing. The full dynamic ranges of both the choir and the organ are used, yet careful use of unison, two-part, and four-part writing makes this majestic piece accessible to even modest-sized choirs. The lovely ancient text is most often associated with the Epiphany season but is useful year round.