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!

David Hahn:Tirlee! Tirlo!

Publisher | a cappella,choral music,christmas (sacred),mixed | Friday, July 17th, 2009

Shepherds with their pipes
With the bright sunny sky overhead and the heat of July permeating throughout the city of Los Angeles, I’m contemplating Christmas. Many choruses are beginning to plan their upcoming holiday concert now, so I decided to feature a newly published work by a new YRM writer, Seattle-based David Hahn. Tirlee! Tirlo! is a jubilant Christmas carol for mixed chorus a cappella. The text is from 15th century England, and the music is original. This piece is a wonderful example of how contemporary musical settings can bring such unique layers of meaning and expression to centuries-old texts.

When asked for some special insights about the piece, Hahn shared the following words:

The image of the three Kings visiting the manger and delivering their rich gifts is well represented in text and iconography. Tirlee! Tirlo! shows what the lowly shepherds had to offer the new-born Christ child: the spirited sounds of their pipes. The lyrics depict the joy which the shepherds felt as they witnessed the happy events and signs surrounding the birth of Christ. This is a song of celebration and the brief chorus following each verse mimes the pipes of the merry shepherds as they mark the day.

I am a scholar of renaissance and medieval music and find the most inspired vocal music–both sacred and secular–from those periods of music history. Consequently, for the Christmas carol Tirlee! Tirlo!, I set a text from a 15th-century England found in Bodleian Library at Oxford University. I set it in a way that the music would be compelling and fun to sing while remaining accessible for amateurs.

To see how the piece begins and ends, just click on the links to download score excerpts as PDFs.

Listen to David Hahn’s Tirlee! Tirlo!:

Steve Milloy: Children, Go Where I Send Thee

Publisher | choral music,christmas (sacred),composers,men's,mixed | Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

exeter

Steve Milloy is one of YRM’s most popular arrangers. It’s because he always brings a little something extra to everything he does… there’s typically some kind of twist that one may not expect. Children, Go Where I Send Thee is a perfect example of his exceptional talents as an arranger. A traditional African-American spiritual, this piece gives a count-down not unlike The Twelve Days of Christmas, where each number has a specific Biblical reference. It’s a piece meant for Christmas because the “one” is the “little bitty baby born in Bethlehem.”

Steve’s extremely clever arrangement was inspired by 40′s big band sounds, most notably Woody Herman’s Four Brothers in which a quartet is featured in front of the band. So, if you’ve think you’ve heard pretty much all the stylistic settings of African-American spirituals possible… you better hold on until you’ve heard this arrangement! It begins with a bang with a fast big band swing, and the energy is non-stop until the very end.

Children, Go Where I Send Thee is available for two voicings, one for TTBB quartet, men’s chorus and piano, and one for SATB quartet, mixed chorus and piano (click on the links to view the first six pages of score as a PDF).

And if you’re hungry for more, please check out Steve’s other unique settings of African-American spirituals, Mary Had a Baby and Behold that Star!

Children, Go Where I Send Thee (as recorded by the London Gay Men’s Chorus)

Jerald Thomas Hawhee: Two Rossetti Carols

Publisher | choral music,christmas (sacred),composers,famous poets,mixed | Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Rossetti

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was an English poet whose words touched not only upon the spiritual (she was a strong high-church Anglican… so much so that she turned down two suitors due to religious differences, breaking her heart in the process), but also on physical beauty and the sublime in nature.

Jerald Thomas Hawhee has set two of her poems as Christmas carols, In the Bleak Midwinter and Love Came Down At Christmas with original music. The composer himself writes himself about his concept of these works available together in Two Rossetti Carols:

I’ve always liked Christina Rossetti’s simple, understated use of imagery. There’s a kind of home-spun quality to the poetry that makes it very immediate and personal, and I tried to convey something of this hearth-like warmth in my settings. Especially in “In the Bleak Midwinter” the harmonies are dense and quite closely written in order to evoke contrasting colors/feelings of isolation and warmth, exultation and humility. Each verse represents a variation on the same theme. The piece begins in a low–almost cramped–register and slowly, verse by verse, different voices take up the theme in their own idiomatic fashion, culminating in the song of the angels; the women (divided into four parts) soaring high into the stratosphere. The final verse brings us down to earth again to look inward and “turn all these things over in our hearts.”

The setting of “Love Came Down At Christmas” is simpler and more straightforward. The contrast between the introspective, personal nature of the holiday versus collective/community worship is highlighted by the use of an alto soloist (who introduces the theme) and the full choir which then takes up the theme and expands upon it. I revised the piece in 2000 to include a modulated section for a solo quartet to play on this dichotomy, create greater contrast and coloristic interest.

Two Rossetti Carols: You can view the first four pages of In the Bleak Midwinter (for SSAATTBB chorus a cappella) by clicking here, and the first three pages of Love Came Down At Christmas (for SATB chorus a cappella) by clicking here.

Reger/Moore: The Virgin’s Slumber Song

Publisher | choral music,christmas (sacred),men's,virgin mary | Monday, June 11th, 2007

Mary and Jesus

Amid the roses Mary sits and rocks her Jesus child,

While amid the tree tops sighs the breeze so warm and mild…

It almost seems standard to include a Christmas lullaby on most holiday concerts. And rather than turn to the typical tried and true repertoire, why not consider something different this year? Published originally as a vocal solo in 1912, Max Reger’s evocative lullaby The Virgin’s Slumber Song, Op. 76, No. 52, has been arranged for soprano or tenor solo, men’s chorus, harp and strings by Larry Moore. A piano-vocal score is also available. Choruses have the option of singing either the original German text by Martin Boelitz, or the English translation by Edward Teschemacher.

This song is a tender allegretto piece, full of the beautifully voiced harmonies for which Larry Moore is so well-known. He’s taken Reger’s wonderful solo lullaby and reinvented it in a masterful way!

Browse through the first six pages of the full score, and the piano-vocal score (as PDFs).

The Virgin’s Slumber Song (solo, men’s chorus, harp and strings)

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