I just published an early advanced piano arrangement of “O Come All Ye Faithful” and a beautiful rendition of “What Child is This” for violin solo w/ piano accompaniment.
“O Come All Ye Faithful” is written in more of a prelude style but can suffice as a Christmas offertory. This particular arrangement was also one of my homespun pieces…featured on the Christmas CD entitled “Simply Christmas”. I did make harmonic corrections here and there in the written version because I couldn’t help myself! 😉
We hope to create youtube videos for both of these arrangements by the weekend.
Many church pianists have already been practicing for their church’s Christmas program.
In many cases, the church pianist IS the choir leader and has the task of deciding what to do for a Christmas program.
My son is our choir director. He works at least 50 hours a week and the father of three small children. Needless to say, I help out by coming up with a simple program to fit our 40 minutes per week choir practice time. (this accounts for starting roughly two months in advance; which may vary from church to church depending on your choir’s ability)
My son and I have about a 40 minute commute to church so we’re very time conscious!
In recent years, we have experienced a much more pleasant, relaxing time through having easier Christmas programs.
I have written two VERY easy Christmas programs…one of which is FREE HERE. I’m still editing the second FREE Christmas program.
Now…ideas for enhancing your Christmas Program…
Lyrics taken from cantata books make for great narration when coordinating a chronological list of songs together for a short choir concert. (That’s what we’re doing this year)
Include congregation by having them sing a song in the program. ( the choir could sing a descant taken from a hymnal while the congregation sings the melody) Another neat idea…have Pastor lead congregation in reciting Luke 2:14 at the appropriate time during the program. Very effective! (Tip: Include Luke 2:14 in the Christmas program bulletin)
The congregation could also stand and sing a song following their verse (Luke 2:14) Song suggestions: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World (include lyrics in the program bulletin)
Easy Christmas Program Suggestion:
Several different adults recite the Christmas story(Luke 2:1-19) in microphone off stage while children in appropriate costume act out the narration.
Stage setup: Only two scenes: Manger scene center stage, shepherd scene on left or right of manger scene. (props for shepherd scene not necessary).
Songs can be inserted appropriately throughout the narration.
Extra tip:Remind children that they must listen to what’s being read so they can act accordingly…to avoid appearing mechanical
Also a good idea to remind narrators to read with conviction! It brings the story to life!!
Hopefully this will help church pianists or choir leaders trying to find last-minute ideas for an easy Christmas program.
Please feel free to leave comments or ideas below.
A reminder: I do have over a dozen FREE piano and vocal Christmas arrangements available HERE.
Sharing a few links that may give you an idea as well (don’t fully endorse all the ideas at these links… but you can sift out what you like)
Moderately advanced Christmas piano solo, 3&1/2 pgs. Approx. 2:22 length
Nice arrangement for offertory or other special event.
The key change in the middle of the second verse soars into a joyful ending!
One of my readers shared this video with me this week…of her son playing my free piano arrangement of Jesus Paid it All. I also enjoyed hearing the cello play along with it too! ( I liked how she changed registers for variety)
What a blessing to hear my music can reach as far as Romania and beyond. 🙂
So thankful God can use me through the ministry of music.
I just published an early intermediate sacred piano solo of “Am I a Soldier of the Cross”. One of my male students specifically requested this song for an offertory arrangement. Knowing this hymn was rather short…I asked him if he would like a medley with this song in it but he didn’t seem interested in my suggestion….so…I had to add an interesting intro, interlude and ending just to make this arrangement last long enough 😉
You’ll notice more structure in this piece since it was written for the student in mind.
Early intermediate sacred piano solo, arranged by Jenifer Cook, 3 & 1/2 pgs.
Written for the student in mind with ample fingering suggestions. Well-structured for easy learning. This piece does have a slight celtic flair.
I wrote this for one of my former male piano students who LOVED hymns in minor keys. He's in college now but still considers this his all-time favorite.
I’ll be publishing a new piano arrangement this week for the early intermediate church pianist….”I Will Arise and Go to Jesus” or may be better known as “Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy”. Which title do you suggest? I seem to find more internet results with the title…”Come Ye Sinners Poor & Needy”.
I may place the lesser known title in parenthesis underneath the well-known title on the first page of the arrangement.