Silent Night

A few years ago I stayed in a house at Montreat to do some song-writing. One of the things I experimented with was an alternate tune for "Silent Night." I realized that it was such a familiar song that the alternate tune would need to be also familiar so I modified the tune for "Amazing Grace" to use with it. No one I've played it for could pick that out, but they said it seemed familiar and singable, so I guess it worked! Our worship team did the arrangement the following Christmas with the congregation. During the next year our music director asked me if I would arrange it for SATB choir and that is what is below.

One feature of this choral arrangement is that, in digging into the lyrics, I believed the second verse with the heavenly hosts singing was the climax (and with a choral arrangement each verse can be treated differently), so I tried to reflect that with the dynamics and accompaniment.

I also realized in digging into the lyrics of verse three that I had not been correctly reading one line that is intended as one thought: "love's pure light radiant beams from Thy holy face." When we sing the hymn we pause between 'light' and 'radiant' and it sounds like baby Jesus is shooting light beams from his face rather than radiant love. ('beams' is a verb!) Anyway, that's a fine point that I got to sharpen in my adaptation of the text.

The audio above is a recording of the Good Shepherd choir singing the arrangement, with Rick Bean playing the piano accompaniment and Eric VanderHeide directing.

And if you'd like the simple worship team arrangement, here's a link to that. (LINK) and audio:

Also, here's a piano version of that worship team arrangement that I did on Christmas Eve 2017: