WEST COAST MENNONITE COLLECTION
CHRISTMAS MUSIC – FROM A PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE
Each year Cypress receives MANY submissions of Christmas Choral Music. This theme dominates all other categories of subject matter. We receive arrangements of the classics and a few originals. We need to be very selective.
Here are a few thoughts from Cypress Choral Music editor – Dr. Larry Nickel.
- Christmas concerts are often well attended – as people are winding down for the holiday season. For many it will be the only choir concert they attend all year.
- Nearly every choir presents a Christmas concert each year.
- Composers can arrange most Christmas classics without a concern about copyright restrictions.
- Christmas music is limited by the season. Choirs don’t sing Christmas music in March, for example. There is a small window of time when directors consider and buy new Christmas selections.
- Many of the most beloved Christmas classics are in the public domain – and choirs can obtain them at no charge.
- The market is FLOODED with Christmas options. In the Bleak Mid-Winter, for example, has hundreds of arrangements to choose from.
- Choirs tend to draw on the tried and true selections they have in their choral libraries – for good reason – and here it is; Most choirs present an autumn concert in November and therefore have little more than a month to put their Christmas concert together. Since learning new Christmas music often needs more time than five rehearsals, they gravitate to selections they already know. Ever notice how often the Messiah is performed? The Vancouver Cantata Singers – for example – present Biebl’s Ave Maria EVERY year – and the audience loves it every time.
In short, Christmas music is difficult to market. So – winning Christmas submissions need to be; 1) user-friendly stunners with 2) pristine recordings to match. (easy to learn with quality and effective results). Yes, this is a tall order. Speaking from experience – this piece has been presented at many Christmas concerts. However, it is not occasion-specific and can be performed at any time of year. Publishers look for such “timeless” compositions. When people google Lord, Help Us Live in Peace they are led directly to our website. Try googling Silent Night!
My five cents worth,