Arrangements for Advent and Christmas

Here are some of our Guilford Community Church Choir favorite anthems for Advent and Christmas:

Watts Cradle Hymn

words by Isaac Watts – traditional American tune “RESTORATION”

      Watts Cradle Hymn
Simple SATB harmonization with an easy piano part. We sing this in our Christmas Pageant when Mary comes out with baby Jesus.

So Far from Home

words by Rev. Tom Mousin, music by Peter Amidon
Rev. Thomas Mousin’s poem speaks of Jesus and Mary the refugees. I composed the SATB version for the youth of our church, but then couldn’t get any youth to sing that year, so I wrote the more accessible unison/piano arrangement for our adult choir.

SATB/piano version.



set to music by Peter Amidon
I could not find a setting of the Magnificat for our Guilford Community Church Choir that was simple and short so I wrote this one.  Here is a Guilford Community Church virtual choir performance.

Shout for Joy

traditional African American spiritual arr. by Mary Alice & Peter Amidon
      Shout for Joy
Mary Alice and I were eating dinner at our friends Doug and Susan Hamilton’s house when suddenly we heard our friend Lisa Neustadt singing this terrific Christmas spiritual. The Hamiltons happened to be playing the cassette tape album “Shout for Joy”, great traditional Christmas songs sung by Lisa and more of our Cambridge Massachusetts singing friends. Mary Alice and I transcribed/arranged it and we have sung it many times with our Guilford Community Church Choir.

Bright Morning Stars

traditional American – arr. Peter Amidon
Originally arranged, like so many others, for the Guilford Community Church. Hereis more information that you could ever possibly want to know about Mary Alice’s and my life with this song.

Brightest and Best

Jean Ritchie’s version of a traditional American Christmas carol, arr. Peter Amidon
      Brightest and Best
This is Jean Ritchie’s version of “Star In the East” from the 1844 “Southern Harmony” collection of American shape note songs.  I first wrote this arrangement for a group of teenage singers for one of our Guilford Community Church Christmas Eve services; I added the harmonizations of the last two verses for Amity Baker’s “Social Band” in Burlington, Vermont.

Soltice Song

by Alouette Iselin, arr. Peter Amidon
A song about sharing your fire “just for an hour” with a lonely visitor. Alouette is our neighbor a bit to the east of us in New Hampshire. We have been blessed to hear her lead many beautiful songs at our pre-pandemic monthly pub sings. Mary Alice and I sang this song a lot as a duo before I arranged it for our Guilford Community Church Choir.