Ancient Carols from Around the World

Kerry Calverley, Director • Kelly Kaye, Piano

Angelus Chorus

Still, Still, Still

Arr. Patricia Lou Harris
Heritage Choral Series

The melody for “Still, still, still” is a traditional folk tune from the Austrian state of Salzburg. The carol appeared for the first time in 1865 in a folksong collection (Salzburgische Volks-Lieder mit ihren Singweisen) by Maria Vinzenz Süß (1802–1868), founder of the Salzburg Museum. The words, which run between four and six verses in German, describe the peacefulness of the infant Jesus and his mother as the baby is sung to sleep.

Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella

17th century Provencal Carol
Arr. Shirley W. McRay
Choristers Guild

This song is based on a French tune that dates to the 1400s. The lyrics to Un Flambeau, Jeanettte, Isabella come from the Provence region of France. The song was originally written as a dance tune for the nobles, not as a Christmas carol. renowned French painter Georges de La Tour in a nativity painting. In the painting there are two young milk maids come to the stable to milk the cows. Jeanette and Isabella, the milk maids, are so excited to find the baby Jesus that they light torches and rush back to their village to share the news.

Fum, Fum, Fum

A Spanish Dance Carol
Arr. Judith Herrington and Sara Glick
Pavane Publishing
Jessie Kay, Hand Drum

Fum, Fum, Fum is a traditional Catalan Christmas carol. It is thought to have originated in the 16th or 17th century. The word “fum” means smoke in Catalan , and it may simply refer to the smoke rising from a chimney as seen from afar, or, as indicated in the New Oxford Book of Carols , “may imitate the sound of a drum (or perhaps the strumming of a guitar)”.

Rising Stars

Gesu Bambino
by Pietro Yon

Gesù bambino is an Italian Christmas carol composed by Pietro Yon in 1917. The melody was used by Frederick H. Martens in his English language carol “When Blossoms Flowered ‘mid the Snows”. The melody and lyrics of the chorus are derived from “Adeste Fideles” (O Come All Ye Faithful).

Excelsior Chorus

Ave Maria
Vespers, which means “Evening Prayer”
Rachmaninoff/ Arr. Donald Neuen
Lawson-Gould Music Publishers/Alfred

Ave Maria comes from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s well-known choral work, All Night Vigil, which is a 15-song movement depicting various parts of the Russian Orthodox Church liturgy. This piece, #6 praises the Virgin Mary, mother of The Christ, asking her to pray for us sinners, now and in our hour of death.

Ave Maria, gratia plena
Dominus tecum,
benedicta tu In mulieribus
et benedictus Fructus ventris tui Jesus.
Sancta Maria,
ora pro nobis pecatoribus,
Nunc et in ora mortis nostrae.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou amongst women,
And blessed is the fruit thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death.

Bell Carol
Kolyadkah, A Ukrainian Christmas Song
Leontovich/ Arr. DIck Thompson
Santa Barbara Music Publishing
Opening: Will Thompson and Colin Fuhrman

A Kolyadkah is a Ukrainian Christmas Song. These songs were often used for caroling at the homes of friends and neighbors much the way of the English “wassail”. After singing, the carolers would request food, drink or a gift from the host.

The Angel Gabriel
A Basque Advent Carol
Arr. John Raymond Howell
Boosey & Hawkes
Soloists in order: Colin Fuhrman, Will Thompson, Logan Spengler

A Basque folk carol, originally based on Angelus Ad Virginem, a 13th or 14th Century Latin carol, This piece was paraphrased into English by Sabine Baring-Gould, an Anglican priest, who had spent winters as a boy in the Basque country.

Hiney Mah Tov
Hebrew Folk Song (Psalm 133:1)
Arr. Iris Levine
Fostco Music Press/Shawnee Press

This following song, I felt is very appropriate for this time in our world. We have so many opposite opinions and perspectives that get in the way of feeling inner peace. This Hebrew piece is about feeling unity with others in our world.

הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד

Hineh Mah tov umah na’im
Shevet achim gam yachad. 

Yea, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Traditional English Carol
Arr. Elizabeth Campbell
Carl Fischer Music

The final carol dates back to the 16th century England and even referred to in Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” back in 1843! This is a fun a jazzy rendition of the piece and a fun way to close our holiday presentation.

Special Thanks

Erin Retelle, Owner of Sew Boise
Kea Loveland
Lori Gerrish