35013991, SATB, $2.50
Infused with excitement at the birth of “God’s Son so dear,” Hayes’ arrangement of this centuries-old French carol brings a fresh touch to sacred or secular holiday concerts. The text, written by William Morris in the nineteenth century, tells the story of one who meets the shepherds as they travel to Bethlehem to see Jesus. The form of the piece is short verses with a repeated refrain, but Hayes’ treatment of it is anything but repetitious. He uses a lively 12/8 meter and the techniques of singing in round, augmentation, harmonic chord substitution, and transposition to lend variety to the simple, minor-mode melody and achieves dynamic results. The vocal parts are not difficult and are delightful to sing; some SSA divisi. The sprightly tempo presents the only challenge to the pianist who will enjoy providing the impetus to the piece through running eighth notes; don’t miss the opportunity to hear the orchestration!