It's July 9, which can only mean one thing - it's time to start listening to Christmas music! As a church musician, I do a lot of planning in the summer, especially for Advent and Christmas. We attended a number of reading sessions at Lake Junaluska a few weeks ago and came home with a stack of our favorites.
Here are my top 5 (new!) anthems for adult choir:
Sweetest Music, Softly Stealing (Elaine Hagenberg) SATB Choir with some divisi with Piano
Lovely text and gorgeous setting by a new name in church music - Elaine Hagenberg.
The Work of Christmas (Dan Forrest) SATB Choir with some divisi, a cappella
Beautiful text by Howard Thurman and lovely setting by Dan Forrest. Great for the Sunday after Christmas or during Epiphany.
Pilgrim Song (arr. Lloyd Larson) SATB Choir with optional Flute
The adult choir at the Lake did an arrangement of this American folk hymn that was gorgeous but beyond the capabilities of most church choirs. Looking for something a little simpler? Here is a very nice, accessible arrangement by Lloyd Larson.
The Wexford Carol (arr. Howard Helvey) SATB Choir with Piano
This is a great setting of a classic, beloved carol. I love Howard Helvey's arrangements! Check out his arrangement of Ride on King Jesus, if you don't know it.
Thou Who Wast Rich (arr. Molly Ijames) SATB Choir with Piano
A lovely setting of a lesser-known Christmas carol, with text by Frank Houghton (based on 2 Corinthians 8). Beautiful!
Would you use any of these anthems with your choir? Which one is your favorite?
Next up: my favorite new anthems for children's choirs!