19152, SAB with opt. congregation, $2.95
The exuberant joy of the Christmas season is captured in this festive arrangement by Mark Hayes as he incorporates “Joy to the World,” “For Unto Us a Child Is Born,” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in a wonderful celebration of the birth of Christ. He masterfully pulls these three classics together, combining traditional voicing with new harmonic colors; “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is set with some particularly lovely chord substitutions. The Handel excerpt lacks the pesky melismas that sometimes prevent choirs from performing this beautiful Messiah selection, but none of the grandeur of the singing of the names of God is sacrificed! A glorious soprano descant floats over the last verse of “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and the anthem majestically draws to a close with the last verse of “Joy to the World,” both arranged for congregation/audience involvement (reprintable portion included in octavo). Be sure to check out the orchestration parts or accompaniment CD – dynamic! This one’s destined to become a holiday tradition in worship or educational settings! Medium difficulty, brief 4-part divisi at the end.