Edwin T. Childs
Edwin T. Childs provides a collection of hymns for Advent season ideal for organists with limited pedal abilities and also for seasoned organists who need something in a pinch. The collection of inventive preludes will work as hymn introductions, preludes, voluntaries, and postludes.
Organists of all levels will enjoy David Maxwell's nine organ settings for Advent and Christmas. These settings use a variety of styles, spanning from introspective to strong and majestic. The collection also includes a joyful toccata of ANTIOCH and a lively swing setting for GO TELL IT.
Jacob B. Weber
Jacob B. Weber's Simplified series provides attractive new settings that are accessible to novice organists and interesting for experienced organists. This collection features twelve easy hymn preludes and includes settings of Christmas favorites like ADESTE FIDELES, GOD REST YOU MERRY, and SUSSEX CAROL. Organists will find the settings are easy to master yet artistic.
Jeffrey Blersch created a Christmas carol collection designed for four hands and one piano. The settings are fun to play, and congregations will enjoy hearing these during the season. Titles include "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," "The Angle Gabriel from Heaven Came," and "Angels We Have Heard on High." Styles range from warm and contemplative to exciting.
This Christmas Eve collection includes "From Heave Above to Earth I Come," "Now Sing We, Now Rejoice," and "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming." These are scored for solo violin with an independent organ or piano part. Settings are about four minutes each, making them useful throughout a church service or Christmas program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cathy Mokelbust's arrangement of the AUSTRIAN CAROL Christmas song is a light and joyful rendition of the original melody. The first statement of the tune is supported by an LV accompaniment, followed by a second section featuring malleting and thumb-damping. The third section incorporates STILL, STILL, STILL into the main tune, using chimes and bells together. Level II.
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.
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.
David McCarthy's setting of "Once He Came in Blessing" pays homage to J.S. Bach - it's written in the style of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." This one-stanza setting is scored for SATB and organ or piano. It functions either as a standalone piece or as a choral stanza during the singing of the hymn.
John A. Behnke
John A. Behnke has set the texts from Luke 2 and Isaiah 9 to a festive tune, making it perfect for the proclamation of Christ's birth on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This piece has settings for SATB and organ or piano and features a memorable refrain of "Gloria in excelsis Deo" with contrasting verses that feature triplet rhythms.
A setting for two-part organ or piano is also available.
The text focuses on Christ and His Word, the true light and guide in the darkness, making it appropriate for evening services, End Times, or Advent. This melodic anthem is written for SATB voices and violin or C instrument. The C instrument part quotes the hymn tune CONSOLATION, making this setting especially fitting for evening midweek Advent services. An optional keyboard part is included.
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.