An Unexpected Christmas was recorded last year with the Virginia Girls Choir. You can buy the CD from the Girls Choir directly (click the title), or use the pretty blue link to your right for both downloads and CDs. The Virginia Girls Choir is a diverse group of almost two dozen girls from one dozen schools, 10-15 years old, and so freaking adorable I can hardly stand it! They are directed by the sweet and inventive Dan Moriarty, with whom I collaborated on this project. It was a labor of love, and we know you'll love it. Everyone else does. 75% of your purchase supports the girls choir program, which teaches the girls skills that will serve them their entire lives, and 25% supports me. If you're not yet convinced to take out your wallet, here's the deal from The Description Writing Department (it wasn't me): "The recording contains one gem after another of new and old, imaginative arrangements, fresh accompaniments using instruments often not heard in church (ever seen an udu?), sweet singing by the girls choir, and the warm sound of Ana Hernández's voice and guitar. “The Little Drummer Boy” will fascinate you, the Pachelbel Canon in “The First Nowell” will surprise you, the dances at the end of “Break Forth, O Beauteous, Heavenly Light will delight you, and you’ll be touched by the beautiful simplicity of “Silent Night”. Don’t miss Shirley Erena Murray’s text “Carol Our Christmas” about how New Zealanders experience the season and the lovely Welsh lullaby “Suo Gan.” You’ll discover more . . ." You really will discover more.
If you've already got a copy, please think of someone who, if you give them a copy soon, will be moved to buy copies for all of their friends. On the off chance you're still not convinced, listen to some complete tunes (5, 11, 12, & 13) here.
Those of you who think I peaked in 1993 (Keepin' the Baby Awake: Music for Advent and Christmas) will be pleased to know that if you download The Greatest Hits of The Miserable Offenders (for the low, price of $9.99), you will find my tune for A Stable Lamp is Lighted (text by Richard Wilbur) along with a dozen other cool hymn arrangements, both Christmas-y and not. I'm as surprised as the rest of you, having missed the fact that the MO's had even one "hit", much less an entire album of them! Yes, Breathe on Me, Breath of God is there, too. Tell your friends.
If you don't know about The Miserable Offenders, the following tutorial is brought to you by The Description Writing Department (still not me): "The duo of Deborah Bly and Ana Hernández, known at The Miserable Offenders, created imaginative and enduring music together. Their short-lived but powerful collaboration leaves an archive of performances and recordings that remain examples of how the ministry of two dedicated musicians can instill a liveliness to music the church has long sung and yet maintain a depth of spirit and message.
As always, please forward this info to all your friends, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.