A glorious morning of music with full orchestra, choirs, carols and photos with Santa and his reindeer
St. Andrew Methodist Church hosts its annual Christmas Music Festival, a joyful celebration featuring favorite carols, choirs, full orchestra, and more, on Sunday, Dec. 10, at both 9:30 and 11 a.m. (two performances), in the sanctuary, 5801 W. Plano Parkway. Before or after the festival, guests are invited to visit with Santa and his reindeer and pose for a photo in his sleigh – complete with falling snow.
Performed live for the first time will be five new Christmas carol arrangements by Taylor Davis, creative director of traditional music and worship, St. Andrew. The carols, including “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night, “and “O Come All Ye Faithful,” are newly released by the Decca Classics record label in A Choral Christmas, which also includes a five-movement centerpiece, “Magnificat,” also written by Davis and receiving its Carnegie Hall premiere in New York in May 2024.
As described by Opera Today, Davis’ carols’ “imaginative instrumentations, new chord progressions and textures, re-harmonisations, and added melodic strands bring freshness to the familiar themes.”
Davis first began working on the pieces in A Choral Christmas in September 2021, when England’s VOCES8 Artistic Director Barney Smith, a long-time friend and collaborator, asked him to arrange the carols for choir and orchestra for an upcoming holiday broadcast. Davis and VOCES8’s Barney and Paul Smith (brothers) first met at a conference in 2012 and became instant friends. Since then, VOCES8 has become well known in the Collin County community performing at St. Andrew and working in partnership with The St. Andrew Arts Foundation’s educational outreach with local school choirs.
“I had to have all parts and scores to him by the first of November, so I essentially had to write a carol arrangement per week,” said Davis. “I flew over, still masking and having to test before and after the journey since we were still in the grips of COVID, and we recorded these new carols. The broadcast was a hit, and the reviews were glowing. A year later, the Decca Classics record label (Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Pavarotti, to name a few of their artists) wanted to create a Christmas album, and five of the six carols, plus my Magnificat (previously recorded by VOCES8), would be the main tracks. The album was released November 3, 2023, and just recently received five stars from BBC Music Magazine. This is, without question, a high-water mark of my career.”
There is no cost for this event. For more information on this and other St. Andrew Christmas events, concerts, and worship, visit standrewmethodist.org/Christmas
“The music for this year’s festival captures the essence of Christmas and is designed to fill our souls with joy in celebration of the birth of our Savior,” said Davis. “This annual event is a glorious opportunity to come together, warm our hearts and give us each a beautiful time to reflect on the true meaning of the season. We hope you will ‘Carry the Light’ by bringing others to share in this uplifting and glorious morning.”
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St. Andrew Methodist Church, founded in 1986, is located on 21.2 acres in Plano, Texas, and has more than 7,000 members. The church hosts over 2,000 people each weekend for worship services in both a traditional style with the classic pipe organ and a contemporary style with an LED center screen and lighting technology. St. Andrew extends an open invitation for all to be a part of a community ready to embrace faith in Christ that is real, practical, and life changing. Many opportunities are provided to gather on campus and serve locally, regionally, and globally. Through Invite Ministries, St. Andrew’s publishing house, and Beacon of Light, a mental health ministry, St. Andrew offers innovative ways to reach Christians within its congregation and out in the community. The new 300-seat Hasley Chapel provides worship and other gathering opportunities in a scenic and more intimate setting. In 2022 St. Andrew became an independent Methodist Church seeking to live more like Jesus every day and to learn in deeper ways what it means to follow His teachings, live in community, and serve the world. 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas 75093. Visit www.standrewmethodist.org; call (972)380-8001.