We wish you a Merry Christmas all year round. Music teachers have to be thinking about Christmas and Hanukkah all year round. In order to program our winter concerts, many of us must plan and place music orders in the summer time!
We Wish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)
When it comes to the holiday season, everyone is looking for something different. As a result, I wanted to offer a few things. First, I wanted to offer some freebies. Next, I wanted to share a round that encompasses Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve: this is a perfect song to acknowledge all of the December festivities at once! Third, I wanted to present a want to infuse Hanukkah and Kwanzaa into your Christmas Carols. And finally, I wanted to offer two Hanukkah pieces that are sure-fire winners on stage!
At Choral Clarity, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. We always offer free downloads of Christmas pieces that are ideal for caroling. You can download the following holiday pieces for free: We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Deck The Halls (SATB), Joy To The World (SATB), Jingle Bells (SATB), and even have O Come Emmanuel (unison with SATB/descant ending). I know teachers are always scrambling for these pieces and as a result, made the decision to offer high quality, standard versions for free.
What’s the catch?
There is no catch, but I do sell a few Hanukkah arrangements. As a Jewish composer/arranger, I decided that I could create a few fun Hanukkah arrangements to infuse a holiday concert and enhance caroling. In fact, I wrote a few “Hanukkah Carols” to put into a traditional Christmas Caroling Packet. To hear most of the carols, including the 2 Hanukkah Carols, I’ve linked a recording from last year. My choir was unable to carol due to a Covid outbreak, so we made this video instead (with 30% of our choir absent).
Hanukkah Caroling, you ask?
Well, if you are caroling around town, why not add Hanukkah into the mix? Between adding the 2 Hanukkah carols, the additional lyrics of We Wish You A Merry Christmas that incorporates Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and the brand new December Holidays Round that incorporates all 4 festival holidays, we can spread even more joy to our community!
These are 1 minute long versions, easy to learn and full of excitement. They will fit right in with your Christmas Carols!
This version is written to be placed into a caroling packet. The first 55 seconds of the arrangement in this video is included in this caroling arrangement. (the entire version is available here). Also, Dreidel is available for SA and SSA.
The Total Caroling Packet
Holiday Caroling Packet; for Christmas and Hanukkah! (also Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve)
This product includes:
2. Dreidel (SATB), caroling version
7. O Come Emmanuel (unison with SATB/descant ending) – I realize this is for Advent, but we sing this annually at our Winter Choir Concert.
8. December Holiday Round – this BRAND NEW Round encompasses Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve. I have written it out for SATB, SSAA, TTBB, and in simple round form to be easy to learn in all circumstances.
We Wish You A Happy Concert
If you are looking for some fun Hanukkah selections for a concert, I hope you will consider the following two arrangements:
The concert version is similar to the caroling version but has an ending. This is a crowd-pleaser. It is a-cappella and easy to learn! It is also available for Dreidel (SSA); for Caroling or Concert and Dreidel (SA); for Caroling or Concert.
Oh Hanukkah (SAB accompanied) – THIS IS NOT AT ALL LIKE THE CAROLING VERSION – FULL PIANO!
This arrangement is not the same as the caroling version. This is a full-out stage performance with awesome piano accompaniment. It is available both SAB and SSA. The video is the SSA version. Oh Hanukkah (SSA; accompanied)
This piece is really easy to learn. I teach it by rote every year!
We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Hanukkah all year round!
As a choral director in a public school that has a large Jewish and Christian population, I try to maintain balance in my program every year. I do this by repeating the same songs, year after year. We carol with the same packet. At our Winter Concert we sing Carol of the Bells, Oh Hanukkah, Dreidel, and Night of Silence each and every year!
I’m aware that some choral directors find the repetition boring, but for my students, these pieces have become a Winter tradition. It creates annual balance, and allows me to spend a lot more time on non-holiday repertoire!
I hope this blog post spreads some summer holiday joy and possibly offers some new ideas for December! Now, back to summer!