The second weekend of December will probably include more church Christmas concerts, cantatas, pageants, and services than any other time in the month. Indeed, my own church choir will be presenting two performances of its concert this weekend. The program will include beautiful Christmas carols and songs, performed by our 110 voice Sanctuary Choir, Handbell Choir, organ, and percussion, along with meaningful and tasteful narration and lighting. The music will include settings by such luminaries as John Rutter, Malcolm Archer, and Mack Wilberg. Wilberg, Music Director of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, composes or arranges much of the music for his choir, and many of the pieces are especially well suited for a large choir such as mine. We will sing three of his pieces, Suo-gan, a beautiful Welsh lullaby, The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy, a joyful West Indian Carol, and O Holy Night, an absolutely breathtaking setting of that well loved Christmas song.
All this leads me to my question of the day. There is so much beautiful Advent and Christmas choral music available for performance. My challenge each season seems not to be what to select to perform, but rather what to exclude! So, what is your favorite Christmas selection (or selections, if you can’t narrow it down to just one)? Who knows, you might see your choice included in one of my programs next year!