Oldies but goodies for the holidays!

July through September is typically when most choirs endeavor to plan the programs for their holiday concerts. And for artistic directors and chorus singers who have discovered the YRM catalog fairly recently, we thought it might be helpful to provide lists of those holiday pieces which have proven to be the best-selling and most popular. Perhaps even loyal customers may find that information to be of use. So, after a careful and thorough review of sales reports… here they are (for each voicing – mixed, men’s chorus and women’s chorus, with titles listed alphabetically)!

SATB Most Popular_

CHRISTMAS (ORIGINAL WORDS and/or MUSIC)

YR1213v2 Christmas Brunch (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR1212v2 Coming Out on Christmas (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR2301v2 Christmas is the Warmest Time of the Year (Hall/Mamey)
YR1117v2 If Not At Christmas (MacDuff/Henderson)
YR1401.2v1 Shines a Star (Perry/Carlson)
YR3508v2 This Holiday (Steve Milloy)
YR3102v2 Tomorrow Shall Be My Shopping Day (Sturgis/Moore)
YR1J17v2 What a Gay ‘Ol Christmas Tree (Ravetch/Judd)
YR9115 The Work of Christmas (Thurman/Hardin)
YR1103v2 You’re Home for the Holidays (Daggett/Henderson)

CHRISTMAS (ARRANGEMENTS)

YR1N11 All Hayle to the Days (Elizabeth Norton)
YR8700 Carol of the Bells (Leontovich/Saladino)
YR5505 Hark! (in ⅞) (Mendelssohn/Landau)
YR3501v2 In the Spirit (Three Spirituals) (Steve Milloy)
YR7700 O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree) (Glenn M. Carlos)

HANUKKAH

YR1121v2 Flame of Faith (Marcus/Henderson)
YR7121v2 Flames So Bright at Chanukah (Dennis W. Rosenbaum)
YR6701v2 For All To See (Jerald Thomas Hawhee)
YR2600v2 Three Hanukkah Songs (Charles Baker)
YR3131v2 Likhtelekh (Light the Lamps) (Bachlund/Moore)

KWANZAA

YR5203v2 Harambee (Joseph Jennings)
YR2508 Kwanzaa Spirit (Ginger Starling)

WINTER SOLSTICE/SEASON

YR1109 Circle Dance (Gwiazdowsky/Henderson)
YR1401.1 Hymn of Winter (Longfellow/Carlson)
YR6204v2 Kore Evohe (Kelleher/Schrag)
YR9916v2 The Longest Night (Middleton/Shelton)
YR9305v2 A New December (David Frank Long)
YR1600v2 A Season for Lovers (John-Michael Albert)
YR6407v2 Solstice Carol (Diane Benjamin)
YR4304v2 Song of the Solstice (Near/Langley)
YR1112v1 Under the Holly Bough (Mackay/Henderson)
YR9301v2 Winter Solstice Moon (David Frank Long)

TTBB Most Popular_

CHRISTMAS (ORIGINAL WORDS and/or MUSIC)

YR1212v1 Coming Out on Christmas (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR3507 The Davey Dinckle Song (Crom/Milloy)
YR1011v1 Fa la la (Blah blah blah) (MacDuff/Bourland)
YR9713 Homo for the Holidays (Strangis/Smith)
YR1117v1 If Not At Christmas (MacDuff/Henderson)
YR3R11 Santa, Won’t You Please Come Back (Pingree/Richardson)
YR3508v1 This Holiday (Steve Milloy)
YR3102v1 Tomorrow Shall Be My Shopping Day (Sturgis/Moore)
YR1200 Welcome! Sing, Be Merry! (Dean X. Johnson)
YR1103v1 You’re Home for the Holidays (Daggett/Henderson)

CHRISTMAS (ARRANGEMENTS)

YR3113P Appalachian Carols (Larry Moore)
YR3504v2 Behold That Star! (Steve Milloy)
YR3817 Three Christmas Carols (Eric Helmuth)
YR7500 God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Alex Rybeck)
YR8202 Hallelujah Chorus (Handel’s “Messiah”) (Ralph R. Hays)
YR3110 The Holly and the Ivy (Larry Moore)
YR3124 Masters in This Hall (Larry Moore)
YR3303 O Holy Night (J.A. Kawarsky)
YR1C11 Procesión jíbara (Puertorican Carol) (Edgar Colón-Hernández)
YR4903 There Shall a Star (Mendelssohn/Trinkley)

HANUKKAH

YR6101 Dreidel A-Go-Go (Jeffrey Moidel)
YR1102 Hanukkah (Gerson/Henderson)
YR1903 Hanukkah Blessings (David York)
YR2600v1 Three Hanukkah Songs (Charles Baker)
YR2L13v1P Oseh Shalom (Paul Leavitt)

KWANZAA

YR5203v1 Harambee (Joseph Jennings)

WINTER SOLSTICE/SEASON

YR9305v1 A New December (David Frank Long)
YR1600v1 A Season for Lovers (John-Michael Albert)
YR2403v1 Triumphant Light Fanfare and Hymn (Donald Skirvin)
YR1112v1 Under the Holly Bough (Mackay/Henderson)
YR9301v1 Winter Solstice Moon (David Frank Long)

SSAA Most Popular_

CHRISTMAS (ORIGINAL WORDS and/or MUSIC)

YR1213v3 Christmas Brunch (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR1212v3 Coming Out on Christmas (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR1011v3 Fa la la (Blah blah blah) (MacDuff/Bourland)
YR3508v3 This Holiday (Steve Milloy)
YR4321 Why Oh Why (Joan Szymko)

CHRISTMAS (ARRANGEMENTS)

YR4012 Angels We Have Heard On High (Naomi Stephan)
YR4014 In Dulci Jubilo (Naomi Stephan)
YR3501v3 In the Spirit (Three Spirituals) (Steve Milloy)
YR9107 Maria durch ein Dornwald ging (Clif Hardin)
YR1C12v2 Tres Estrellitas (Three Little Stars) (Edgar Colón-Hernández)

HANUKKAH

YR6701v3 For All To See (Jerald Thomas Hawhee)
YR2600v3 Three Hanukkah Songs (Charles Baker)
YR6700v3 Nes Gadol Haya Sham (Jerald Thomas Hawhee)

KWANZAA

YR5203v3 Harambee (Joseph Jennings)

WINTER SOLSTICE/SEASON

YR6204v1 Kore Evohe (Kelleher/Schrag)
YR9916v3 The Longest Night (Middleton/Shelton)
YR9305v3 A New December (David Frank Long)
YR3406v1 Sacred Circle (Ruth Huber)
YR6407v1 Solstice Carol (Diane Benjamin)
YR1112v1 Under the Holly Bough (Mackay/Henderson)
YR9301v3 Winter Solstice Moon (David Frank Long)

When it is summertime and your mind is on holiday music…

holiday
For many choral directors, the holidays REALLY begin in the summer as they consider what music to program for their upcoming concerts in November and December. It can be tricky trying to focus on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Winter Solstice when you’re dealing with July-August heat, vacations, and fireworks!

YRM customers frequently inquire, “What’s new in the catalog regarding holiday music?”

So, here’s a breakdown of the latest additions from the past three years (Click on the voicings to see a few pages from each score as PDFs. For those pieces which were featured in our 2010 Holiday Sampler, the links will take you directly to that download page):

All Hayle to the Days YR1N11 – traditional English carol arranged by Elizabeth Norton. SATB a cappella. Category: Christmas/Winter season

Campana Sobre Campana YR1C18v1-3 – traditional Andalucian carol arranged by Edgar Colón-Hernández. TTBB, SATB or SSAA a cappella. Category: Christmas

Christmas is a Season YR4C11 – original music and words by Jennifer Covert. SSAA, cello, piano and sleigh bells. Category: Christmas

Christmas Wish, A YR1D12 – original music and words by Ann MacDonald Diers. SATB a cappella. Category: Christmas/General holiday

Davey Dinckle Song, The YR3507 – original song by Rick Crom, arranged by Steve Milloy. TTBB, solos and piano. Caategory: Christmas/humor

Festive Joy and Peace YR3C11P – original song by Rich Cook and Cathy Bridges, arranged by Rich Cook. TTBB and piano. Category: General holiday

Marrying on Christmas Day YR9307- original words by John Sobrack and music by David Frank Long. TTBB (with optional soloists) and piano. Category: Christmas/humor

Mary’s First Lullaby YR5S13 – original music and words by Jonathan Santore. SATB and cello or piano. Category: Christmas

Peace In Your Heart YR2D11v1-2 – original music and words by Michael Davis. TTBB or SATB and piano. Category: General holiday

Still, Still, Still YR3C12 – traditional Austrian carol arranged by Rich Cook. TTBB a cappella with tenor solo. Category: Christmas

These Holidays! YR2D12v1-2 – original music and words by Michael Davis. TTBB or SATB a cappella. Category: General holiday

This Holiday YR3508v1-3 – original music and words by Steve Milloy. TTB, SAB or SSA and piano w optional guitar, bass and drums. Category: General holiday

Together This Christmas YR7502 – original words by Barbara Fried / music by Alex Rybeck. Solos, TTBB and piano. Category: Christmas

Winter Blessing YR5M12v1-3 – original music and words by Lynn Fisher McCanne. TTBB, SATB or SSAA a cappella. Category: Solstice/Winter Season

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Upcoming holiday concerts featuring YRM pieces!!

huntington-mens-chorus

The Huntington Men’s Chorus
www.huntingtonmenschorus.com
Thomas W. Jones, Conductor

Date/Time: Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Huntington High School Auditorium, Huntington, NY

Featuring: If Not at Christmas (Music by Scott Henderson, Lyrics by William MacDuff)

Quarryland Men’s Chorus
www.quarryland.org
Barry Magee, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
Location: First United Church, Bloomington, IN

Featuring: what matters (song by Randi Driscoll, arranged by Kevin Robison)
Enjoy Your Life (Music by Diane Benjamin, Lyrics by Barbara McAffee and D. Benjamin)
The Davey Dinckle Song (Song by Rick Crom, arranged by Steve Milloy)

Special note from Barry Magee: “Using the title of Randi Driscoll’s song as a prompt, I ask the men of the chorus to tell me what matters in their lives. Based on those responses I developed seven themes: music, loving community, enjoying life, holidays, mentoring and learning, faith, and friends. From this I choose two or three songs for each theme. Chorus members will read selections of what they wrote to introduce each theme. It fits the spirit of the holidays but it doesn’t limit use to just doing holiday music. “

Des Moines Diversity Chorus
www.desmoinesdiversitychorus.org
Julie Murphy, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Grace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA

Date/Time: Monday, December 13, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Wesley Acres Retirement Center, Des Moines, IA

Featuring: Winter Solstice Moon (Music and words by David Frank Long)
A New December (Music and words by David Frank Long)

Special note from Julie Murphy: “The name of our concert is ‘Season of Light.’ Music is drawn from diverse sources using texts that cross religious and ethnic boundaries. As the darkness of winter enfolds us, we sing of light, the symbol of peace, love, faith and joy, in hope that this light will continue to brighten our world.”

New Wave Singers of Baltimore
www.newwavesingers.org
Adam Koch, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Bolton Street Synagogue, Baltimore, MD

Featuring: Christmas Brunch (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)
Coming Out on Christmas (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)

Special note: The New Wave Singers are celebrating their 25th anniversary year! They were founded in 1985 and continue to thrive and grow.

Aurora Chorus
www.aurorachorus.org
Joan Szymko, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Date/Time: Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Lincoln Hall Auditorium, PSU campus, Portland, OR
Guest Artist: Claudia Schmidt

Featuring: Coming Out on Christmas (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)

UUCC of Washington County Choir
www.uuccwc.org
Allison Wilski, Music Director

Date/Time: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Hillsboro, OR

Featuring Elizabeth Norton’s arrangement of All Hayle to the Days

Are you in a chorus that will be performing music published by Yelton Rhodes on an upcoming concert? Please let us know about it (david@yrmusic.com) and we’ll promote your concert on Choralicious as well as on our Facebook page!

Michael Davis: Peace In Your Heart

Publisher | choral music,christmas (secular),men's,mixed,uu,winter solstice | Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

peace
It’s the first full week of October! Most choruses have already started their fall rehearsal season, many in anticipation of an upcoming holiday concert this December. Some of those choruses may still be figuring out their program… and that’s where this blog tends to come in handy! :)

YRM put out holiday samplers earlier this summer featuring all of our newest publications. This blog can go even further, however, in giving you a little additional insight to some of those pieces.

To start… I’d like to introduce you to a new YRM writer, Michael Davis, and his recently published Peace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol). This vibrant, up-tempo work has a touch of jazz attitude, and offers a positive message for the holiday season.

Michael shared the following thoughts about composing this piece:

I wrote Peace In Your Heart for the 2008 holiday carol competition sponsored by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. The theme was “peace” and I didn’t want to write the slow, pretty song with a flute solo that I imagined people would expect from me (I’m a flutist, LOL). I thought that there would already plenty of those kinds of songs on the program and that something with a little more attitude and bite would have a better chance of being selected.

My plan worked. It won, and they sang it more beautifully than I could ever imagine. Some people even told me it was their favorite song on the program (no small compliment with some of the master works the chorus sang on that concert).

I wanted to convey the message that embracing diversity could be a path to inner peace, but I didn’t want to preach. I think I achieved that by asking questions instead of issuing statements. Hopefully, I wasn’t too subtle. Above all I wanted to write a fun song. If it doesn’t make people move and smile, then I’d be very disappointed.

By the way, it looks a lot harder than it actually is because of the jazz/blues influence. One guy in the chorus told me it “scared” him when he first saw it, but the words flow with the music very well and when he figured it out it was a piece of cake.

I hope to see a video one day with lots of diversity and hilarious costumes.

Peace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol) is available in both SATB and TTBB voicings (click on the links to check out the first and last few pages of each score as PDFs).

Listen to Michael DavisPeace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol) as performed by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus:

Diane Benjamin: Solstice Carol

Publisher | children's,choral music,mixed,winter season,winter solstice,women's | Friday, August 31st, 2007

snow tree

Deep in the heart of late December,

Softly the snow begins to fall.

Slowly the night turns into darkness,

As we begin the longest night of all.

Watching, waiting

Light is fading,

On the longest night of all.

Thus begins Diane Benjamin‘s Solstice Carol, a straightforward and tuneful work celebrating winter solstice. Its beauty is in the simplicity of line and message, devoted to the subject of darkness, light and renewal.

A newly engraved edition of the original version for women’s chorus and piano was made available just last year, and Diane recently arranged the piece for mixed chorus and piano as well. Click on the links to view a partial scores as downloadable PDFs.

Ruth Huber: Sacred Circle

Publisher | choral music,composers,mixed,winter solstice,women's | Friday, July 27th, 2007

wreath

Among Winter Solstice pieces in the YRM catalog which were composed initially for women’s chorus, Sacred Circle by Ruth Huber has been one of the most popular for more than 10 years! Her spirited melody touches not only on specific Winter Solstice symbols and meanings, but it gives a wink and a nod to other traditional holidays of the season.

Ruth writes the following:

My first chorus, Tapestry (the Austin Women’s Chorus) was invited to take part in a holiday concert with other choruses in Houston… I believe. It was a big event for us and we were excited to go, but what to sing? I wanted something that would celebrate the connection between traditional holiday carols and ancient Winter Solstice rites, using the symbol of the wreath to unite and include everyone. Such a piece didn’t exist. So I wrote it, and the wonderful women of Tapestry learned it in just a few weeks… shifting meters, key changes and all!

Ruth was kind enough to indulge our request that she prepare a voicing/arrangement of the piece for mixed chorus as well, and we’re happy to announce that it is now available! She also prepared a new edition of the SSA voicing which contains some minor revisions.

You can view the first few and the last few pages (as a PDF) of both the mixed chorus voicing and the women’s chorus voicing by clicking on the links.

Sacred Circle

David Frank Long: A New December

Publisher | choral music,composers,men's,mixed,winter season,winter solstice,women's | Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

for new december

Los Angeles is experiencing a heat-wave right now, and it seems odd to be writing a blog entry about a piece called A New December right before the Fourth of July! But seeing how the summer months are indeed the time when many choruses are planning ahead for their holiday concerts and making their programming decisions, it felt right to feature this particular work today.

With both original words and music by David Frank Long, this piece expresses many sentiments associated with the Winter Solstice. In particular, it addresses the subtle ironies of the season… that although it is a time when…

days are shorter now,

darker the sky,

colder blows the wind,

as nature sleeps all around us

… it’s the turning point of the year, marking a fresh start as the cycle of life begins again.

It also gives a nod to other holiday celebrations, noting that December is a time when people in general are celebrating light and beauty, providing a tie-in with both Christmas and Hanukkah festivities.

For it’s a new December!

And even though it’s winter,

There’s a brighter hope,

A deeper joy,

And a warmer love, love, love.

It almost seems like springtime!

The chorus sings in colorful, bold harmonies above a gentle, flowing piano accompaniment.

A New December is available for mixed chorus, women’s chorus and men’s chorus. Click on each voicing to view the first four pages of score as a PDF. The recording is of the voicing for TTB, featuring the Tenor & Bass sections of the West Coast Singers.

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