New Christmas Musicals

Joy: A Gospel Christmas Celebration by J. Raney

Christmas Musicals for Church

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 81

Foreword There are many definitions of the word "gospel," but two favorites are: (1) the story of Christ's life and teachings as narrated in the New Testa- ment, and (2) impassioned, rhythmic, and spiritual music rooted in African-American churches of the American South. I've wanted to bring these two definitions together in a musical work for a long time, because what's more joyful than the good news of Christ's birth and what sounds more joyful than gospel music ? This work can easily be mastered by the average church choir. It will be especially attractive to congregations with both contemporary and tra- ditional services, providing a unique opportunity to combine the two musical forces into one exciting presentation that will appeal equally to both groups. Joy! tells the story of Christ's birth through six choral anthems in a variety of styles based on both familiar Christmas carols and original material. There are upbeat blues-gospel numbers as well as slower bal- lads in a gospel groove, plus one calypso tune. There is optional scrip- tural narration to provide a unifying thread, but each anthem stands alone as a powerful Christmas message in its own right. Accompaniment can be provided by just piano, or Ed Hogan's dynamic orchestration or, as another option, we are offering a smaller set of rhythm parts, which includes parts for piano, electric bass, acoustic gui- tar, drums, percussion, and two keyboard parts: one for B3 organ and electric piano and one for Synth Strings. Performance time is 25 min- utes, making this ideal for fitting into a Christmas worship service or as a separate musical program. – Joel Raney For Preview Only

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of New Christmas Musicals - Joy: A Gospel Christmas Celebration by J. Raney