An Unexpected Christmas

MP3 album and single tracks

Virginia Girls Choir & Ana Hernández

Dec/2010, MP3

SKU: 846863015818



Jeannette Lindholm’s text “Unexpected and Mysterious” (Track 15) speaks not only of the central theme of the Advent/Christmas cycle, but also of the nature of God and the grace that continually wraps us in care. That those who produced this recording chose to connect its title to Lindholm’s text says a lot about the thought that brought this collection of songs together as a gift for this season.  

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.”

The Virginia Girls Choir, founded in 2008, is an auditioned group of girls in grades four through eight who come from across the greater Richmond area. The girls work to sing with spirit and understanding in a variety of musical styles, with the music of the Anglican tradition taking pride of place in their repertoire. While the choir is in residence at St. Stephen’s Church, choir members come from every part of the city. Some are St. Stephen’s parishioners, though most choir families come from other traditions. 

The choir, directed by Dan Moriarty, leads Choral Evensong twice a week and sings at other weekly and special services. They have performed in concerts and at special events throughout the community including the Virginia gubernatorial inauguration in January 2010, and with the American Boychoir. The choir has toured in Virginia as well as New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Ana Hernández is a performer, composer, recording artist, retreat leader, and author who has several recordings published and available from Church Publishing: Voice of Angels; Eternal Spirit; HARC; and Blessed by Light. Several of her compositions are in these books: Music by Heart, Voices Found, and Enriching Our Music 1 and 2.


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