A Message from the Author

All of my life, it seems, I have enjoyed the season of Christmas, the giving spirit, the special feeling that somehow we are all connected in this world and part of some greater community.
During no other season does this seem to touch the heart in quite the same way. For me, singing has that same quality of uniting people across disparate borders, reaching inside to touch a common thread, irrespective of our day-to-day jobs and livelihoods.

All of this, combined in the singing of traditional English Christmas carols, has remained a special part of my holiday celebration and the intent of this Songbook and the practice CD is to spread that feeling and joy to others who wish to share in the same way.

Approximately 22 years ago I wrote harmonies for some of my favorite Christmas carols and organized a small chorus to perform for others. Having no real formal training in music I had to come up with a method for teaching my harmonies to others in a way that would be easy and efficient. Myself included, many members of the chorus were all working people who did not necessarily read music (at least not easily) and for whom practice time was at a premium.

I devised an instrumental method similar to that used with this live vocal version: the featured voice channel is on the right, and all of the other vocals are combined on the left channel. While the early MIDI version was adequate, it required having the sheet music to follow the lyrics while listening to the instrumental playback. Now, many years later, I am very pleased to present this much improved version, complete with live vocals and lyrics. Now you don’t necessarily require the sheet music, although many will find that it reinforces the learning process if you read along while practicing.

The season of Christmas places great emphasis upon sharing and giving to one another. In this spirit of promoting the Season of Joy, I encourage you to organize your own chorus and perform on the street, in public venues, retirement homes, convalescent centers and assisted living communities. The joy of song will return to you a hundred fold when reflected in the eyes and hearts of those who join in or simply listen to your gift, so heartfully shared. I hope you will enjoy caroling and listening to Sing We Now of Christmas!

Walter