Music suitable for Christmas:
Clingan, Judith. Hymn to the Virgin.
Clingan, Judith. A Sparrow’s Noel.
Words by Judith Clingan. English, SSA with cello or double bass, medium difficulty. Sample page and purchase available at the Australian Music Centre. Contact Judith Clingan via her website with further enquiries.
Koontz, Justine. In the bleak midwinter.
English, unison voices with piano, easy. [Purchase download] [Download from CPDL] This dialogue between angels and shepherds is on the long side and needs considerable vocal agility, but might be suitable for Christmas Day in a church with appropriate musical resources.
Phillips, Sheena. A Christmas Carol.
Words by G. K. Chesterton. English, SSAATBB, 4:25, Medium to challenging. [Order sheet music] [Listen (Soundcloud)] Based on the beautiful depiction by English poet G.K.Chesterton of the Christ Child in Mary’s lap.
Pinnock, Jenni. Let the heavens rejoice.
English, SATB. [Purchase download (Payhip)] Psalm 96, one of the psalms for Christmas Day.
Rose, Kathryn. I walked in darkness.
Words by Marnanel Thurman. English, SATB, 2:45, Medium difficulty. [Download from CPDL] [Listen (Youtube)]. Originally written for Epiphany, but also used for Advent processions and Christmas carol services.
Veitch, Leanne D. Mary Sings A Lullaby.
Words by Leanne Veitch. English, SSAA with piano or guitar accompaniment, 3:00, easy. [Download score] [Listen (mp3)] [Listen (Youtube)] This work imagines the Virgin Mary singing a lullaby to the newborn Christ Child as he lies quietly in the manger, watching the stars as they circle overhead. Please contact Leanne Veitch if you are going to sing this work. Three-part version also available.
Watson Henderson, Ruth. Lullaby for the Christ Child.
English, 2:10, various voicings available from unison to SATB, piano/organ accompaniment, easy to moderate. [Purchase from Good Music Publishing] [Listen (Youtube)] In the version for unison voices, this beautifully haunting melody should be quite straightforward, though the syncopation can take a bit of getting used to.
Williams, Helen. The Light Shineth in Darkness.
Words by William Tyndale. English, SATB (AB divisi),viola, 2:00, Medium difficulty. [Download from Canossa] This short anthem uses the translation of the opening of St John’s Gospel by William Tyndale, which preserves the Greek word order. The device, known as chiasmus, puts “”Word”” before “”God”” in the first part and reverses the order for the second, balancing part. The music reflects the text, with crossings over and inversions of lines and motifs. Most distinctive is the gentle sonority of the viola, treated as an extra wordless line. Free for use in Christian worship. For other use please visit Canossa.