Here’s a piece I’ve used a couple of times at Christmas, both with my ward choir and the Institute Choir. It’s called “O Tidings of Comfort and Joy,” a medley of the traditional French carol “Sing We Now of Christmas” and the traditional English carol “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” arranged by Betsy Lee Bailey.
In spite of the minor key of both songs, this arrangement is upbeat and quite cheerful. My choirs found it a bit of a challenge, but by no means impossible. Don’t be fooled by the mostly-quarter-notes look of the accompaniment. It’s written in cut time, and it’s very quick. You’ll need a very capable accompanist.
After we had this one learned, it was one of those songs that we couldn’t help smiling over when we finished. It definitely passes the Fun Test.
If you listen to the audio demo, you’ll notice that it is accompanied on the organ. We used piano instead–I just preferred the sound of this one on piano. The percussiveness definitely adds to the effectiveness of the piece. You’ll also notice that this sound file includes only the first three pages of the song, which is too bad. Oh well.
Definitely one of my favorites. Enjoy!