12 Christmas Carols

for Intermediate Piano Solo

Angels We Have Heard On High and Far, Far Away On Judea's Plains

It’s always much trickier to write fast music for intermediate players, but I had fun with this one. Very big and enthusiastic!

The First Noel

You would think with a melody that basically repeats the same phrase three times, this tune would get tiresome, but the odd form is satisfying and I find this melody a deep well of expressive possibility.

Good King Wenceslaus

Based on my choral arrangement, this is a vigorous, muscular interpretation.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

I wrote this solo on the famous Christmas carol by Mendelssohn for an intermediate piano student of mine. Mendelssohn’s hymn was originally written in praise of Gutenberg!

I Wonder As I Wander and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Two traditional carols in the minor mode, one collected in North Carolina in 1932 by John J. Niles and the other an English tune from the 1600’s or earlier.

O Come, All Ye Faithful and Joy To the World

Two of the most famous Christmas carols, I enjoyed intertwining the melodies of these masterworks.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

This melody is first seen in a 15th century manuscript in the French National Library, with the text “Bone Jesu dulcis cunctis”, a funeral procession. This medieval manuscript is a two-voiced setting, and I have used that countermelody in my piece.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

This solo uses both of the tunes commonly used for this well-known carol, mixing them with each other.

Silent Night

This early intermediate arrangement has echoes of my choral arrangement.

We Three Kings

A piano arrangement specially requested by one of my early intermediate level students.

What Child Is This? and Away In A Manger

This arrangement is unusual in the set: it uses a jazz style of complex harmony that makes for a unique musical interpretation.

Wexford and Coventry Carols

The Wexford Carol comes from Ireland and Coventry Carol from England. Both have a lovely, ancient modal character that I so much enjoy working with.

12 Christmas Carols - printed book

Coil-bound book with glossy cover and 39 pages, including background notes on each carol.

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