Whether you’re a Christmas music junkie or just looking for something besides the latest radio rendition of We Three Kings on a Silent Night in O Little Town of Bethlehem, here are some free, mostly lesser-known tunes for you to enjoy!
- 10 Free MP3′s from worshiptogether.com
- Free Christmas carol sheet music — I use this every year for our string ensemble Christmas Eve music
- Free streaming of Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God CD
- Three free songs from Sojourn music: two via Justin Taylor and one via their website
- Tips for hearing free holiday music using Pandora
- History and past service programs of King’s College’s Festival of Lessons and Carols (includes a free mp3 the commissioned Stardust Carol)
- Some holiday cheer from the New York Philharmonic brass quintet:
- And I can’t resist posting everyone’s favorite Silent Monk Hallelujah Chorus:
December 22, 2010 No Comments
Christmas is easily my favorite time of the year; but often I don’t pause to consider what I appreciate about this season until after it has passed. So, in the interest of savoring these last few days before the holiday, here are 25 reasons I’m grateful for the Christmas season.
- Watching cities transform overnight after the trees are lit and the window displays change.
- Witnessing audience sing-a-longs at Christmas concerts. (Yes, I know that the orchestra and audience rarely match up tempo-wise. But it doesn’t matter — it’s cool seeing people of all ages singing together without caring what people think about them.)
- Seeing my students get excited about learning their favorite Christmas carol or song.
- Watching The Muppet Christmas Carol.
- Playing Christmas party gigs (the food is usually the best at these…).
- Preparing for and playing the Christmas Eve candlelight service at Living Hope Bible Church.
- Choosing a Christmas vacation book to read and not moving until I finish it.
- Having the whole family home and trying to take a decent picture together (difficult these days).
- Playing Britten’s “Interlude” from A Ceremony of Carols, preferably in a dimly lit church (hear a clip here — it’s at the end).
- Trading Christmas gig stories with fellow musicians in the green room.
- Enjoying the creative new ways people share the Christmas story, such as this:
- Eating gingerbread and candy canes.
- Singing my favorite Christmas carols…
- And learning some new ones.
- Driving through Crown Hill in Seattle (traditionally some of the prettiest home light displays in the area).
- Turning off the alarm and sleeping in the morning after the last Christmas gig.
- Baking delicious things with friends.
- Reading Christmas letters and cards from old friends and relatives.
- Shopping in downtown Seattle with my mom.
- Meeting up with old friends back in town.
- Cooking Christmas breakfast for the family.
- Taking a requisite sip of eggnog (actually don’t really like it, but I always think, “Maybe I will this year…”).
- Walking through the Bellevue Botanical Gardens light display (invariably we seem to choose the coldest day of the year to do this).
- Trying to sightread through my mom’s vast Christmas music piano collection.
- Marveling again, but still not nearly enough, over God’s immense love for us in the giving of His Son.
What are you grateful for this Christmas?
December 20, 2010 No Comments