Thursday, September 05, 2013

More Choir

So, here's another choir subject:  Christmas Choir Music

I am working on putting together the Christmas Sacrament Meeting Program.  I really need to get the choir working on the songs, but I'm having some issues choosing music.  I loved the program I put together last year.  I didn't have my choir last December, so I put together four separate musical numbers to be performed during sacrament, interspersed with three short testimonies/talks.  I thought it was a lovely program, filled with great music and speakers.  The only downside for me was that it required a whole lot of outside rehearsal time for me.  Not entirely un-doable, but tricky and time-consuming.

Since I have the choir this year, I'd like to use them.  Personally, I love the Christmas hymns and most carols, and so I try to stick with that when I'm choosing music for my choir.  I want everyone to have the Christmas Carol Singing experience.  I have been in choirs that have done very non-traditional and unknown Christmas music, and I have left feeling unsatisfied.  Granted, that was a secular college choir, not church.  But I would also like to stay far away from Joe Blow's Sappy Original Christmas Compositions that are so prevalent while I look through the music filed away in the stake choir library.  Those tend to leave me with the same kind of unsatisfied feelings, only worse because I don't like the songs.  That's another discussion topic for another day.

I have sort of decided that I would like my choir to do two songs on the Christmas program this year.  At the moment, it feels like it will be too much to ask of them, considering the things we discussed in my last post.  But also, I am having an extremely difficult time finding good/beautiful arrangements that are easy enough to be accessible for them!  Preferably, I'd like SAB arrangements, and there are very few of those.  I feel like my current options are either a) bad songs/arrangements, or b) nice arrangements, but too hard so it won't end up sounding good.   It's very frustrating.

My questions:
If you are to sing in a church choir, and you are to participate in the Christmas Sacrament Meeting program, what do you prefer to sing?  

What types Christmas Programs have you enjoyed in past years?  (This is keeping in mind that I'm not going to do a whole big program with narration of the Christmas story.  Not my style.)


cfg said...

I like carols which are not the ones in the hymnbook, because those get tiresome and the congregation wants to sing those anyway. This year ECC is doing "the Dream Isaiah Saw" written by Glenn Rudolph, words by Thomas Troeger, which I find very moving. Do you have a protestant hymnbook? The gems like In the bleak midwinter and O come Emanuel are in those.

Mhana said...

One thought that I had would be to sing a Christmas song that is common in other Christian denominations. If you listen to a classical Christmas station (say, Pandora) you hear a lot of the same songs over and over, but they aren't OUR songs. That way you're avoiding pop, singing something that is probably at least somewhat familiar sounding without being exactly the same ol same ol. Maybe listen to a pandora station for some inspiration?

I LOVE John Rutter, but the only time a ward choir ever attempted one it was way beyond their ability and eveyrone struggled.