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Winter Holidays Around the World

Aloha,
 
I'm hoping to program a December concert this year with music of winter holidays from around the world.  NOT a program with Christmas songs from various cultures and countries and NOT a program with songs about snowflakes and winter wind, but a program that recognizes various winter holidays celebrated around the world - anywhere from Thanksgiving to post-NYE - sacred and/or secular.
 
I have four ensembles that would be performing - a HS chorus, a MS chorus, a 4/5th grade chorus, and a small show choir-like ensemble of HS singers.
 
Repertoire suggestions?
 
Mahalo,
Philip Steinbacher
Lihue, HI
on June 5, 2014 1:45pm
Philip, you might find some of these useful:
 
Please to See the King is a traditional English Twelfth Night carol (SATB a cappella)
 
Guillaneus is a traditional French new year carol (SATB a cappella)
 
A more pagan take on new year is this modern carol Dies Natalis Invicti Solis (SATB a cappella)
 
Auld Lang Syne is the classic Scottish song sung on Hogmanay (New Year's Eve)
 
This Ukrainian carol lists several feast days around the Christmas period (SSA a cappella, also available for SATB a cappella)
 
Likhvod ha Chanukah is an easy Chanukah song for SATB, optional guitar 
 
For your younger singers you might like Two Carols for Treble Voices
 
Best wishes
 
Sheena Phillips
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 5, 2014 2:55pm
Neesa, Neesa is an elegant, simple round with beautiful harmonies.  It's on one of Libana's CDs, derived from Seneca Indian traditions, and means "Winter moon, we thank you."
The various grade level books of the Macmillan music series Spotlight on Music (grades 1-8?) each have at least one "winter-holiday-but-not-Christmas" song.  For example, one I used a few years ago is from a Japanese winter holiday celebrating temple bells.  These textbooks have CDs with perfomance and accompaniment tracks, too. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 5, 2014 5:13pm
I have composed The Shortest Day.  It is about the Winter Solstice.
It will be published by William Thorpe later this year.  Meanwhile, you
can find more information in the Composers Showcase, here.
 
Let me know if you have any questions,
Brian Holmes
Applauded by an audience of 1
on June 5, 2014 8:01pm
Aloha Philip,
 
My wife and I were in Lihue this winter...  sorry we didn't connect! 
You might like the traditional settings of Las Posadas by Ramon Noble. It's the Mexican celebration of Christmas, but in Mexico a much bigger deal than 12/25 is Los Tres Reyes, also known as Epiphany.  You might also look for songs in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose feast is December 12th, a VERY big deal.
There is a extremely difficult piece by Vanraj Bhatia (earthsongs) about Winter in India, that I've programmed a few times.
If you're willing to start as early as November 22nd, which is St. Cecilia's Day, I have an SSAA a cappella setting of the Litany to St. Cecilia, written for a very good HS women's choir;  eval copy available on request.
 
Best,
Jonathan Miller
singwow(at)comcast.net
Applauded by an audience of 1
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