21594, SAB, $2.95
Date released: 2003
A worthy addition to your library of Christmas anthems, this collaboration by Mark Hayes and John Parker will electrify any holiday service or concert. Parker’s text is a first-person account of the shepherds’ receiving the joyful news from the angels about Christ’s birth and making their way to Bethlehem to worship Him. The 9/8 meter and spirited tempo lend excitement to the melody, which is modal in nature. Open fourths and fifths in the voice parts and the accompaniment give the piece a Celtic feel, especially when the optional recorder and violin parts are used, and the harmonies move seamlessly from the minor to the relative and parallel majors. Rhythmic and exciting, delightful to sing and hear, accessible to any choir, youth or adult – this is a must for fall!