The Stellenbosch University Choir from South Africa is one of my favourites- their Christmas themed recording “Somerkersfees” released in 2014 contains this Bob Chilcott’s beautifully restrained arrangement of the spiritual, ‘Behold the Star’.
My favourite part of this advent musical tour is that even after five years, I still come across carols and Christmas songs that are new to me. One in this year’s lineup is “Brightest and Best” a Christmas hymn written by British composer Reginald Heber in 1811. This lively version, sung by the USC Thorton Chamber Singers, is arranged by Shawn Kirchner.
I’m one of a very few people who grew up in a household where resident musical instruments included a full sized marimba. I thought this instrumental version of the hauntingly beautiful “Wexford Carol” performed by the University of North Texas Percussion Players would bring make my mom smile.
Today’s music is an uplifting version of the Spanish folk song Riu Riu Chiu, where the first verse translates,
For this second Sunday of Advent, our music is a stunningly beautiful new setting of “O Little Town Of Bethlehem” by American composer Dan Forrest.
Florida group Voctave has a more poppy sound than most choirs I feature here but their vocal range is astounding and their version of “All Is Well” is too lovely not to share.
The Philippine Madrigal Singers, under the direction of Mark Anthony Carpio, have been a longtime favourite group. Here is their wonderful version of “God Rest Me Merry Gentlemen”.