This Saturday marks my return to the Kennedy Center stage singing as part of The Washington Chorus in our annual series of holiday concerts. I’ve been a part of this large ensemble for about three years now, and our December concerts are some of our most popular. There’s nothing like singing yuletide carols to get people in a festive spirit, and our audience is always encouraged to sing along.
During the holidays, we all have tried-and-true tunes we enjoy. A search for “Christmas” in the National Jukebox uncovers recordings of holiday classics and some not-so-classic.
Some favorites on tap for the chorus program include “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “Good King Wenceslas” and “The Hallelujah Chorus.”
Developed by the Library of Congress, with assets provided by Sony Music Entertainment, the National Jukebox offers free online access to a vast selection of music and spoken-word recordings produced in the U.S. between the years 1901 and 1925. More than 10,000 historic sound recordings are available to the public for the first time digitally.
Visitors to the National Jukebox are able to listen to available recordings on a streaming-only basis, as well as view thousands of label images, record-catalog illustrations and artist and performer bios. In addition, users can further explore the catalog by accessing special interactive features, listening to playlists curated by Library staff, and creating and sharing their own playlists.
Also as part of The Washington Chorus program, we’re singing two versions of a carol previously unfamiliar to me, “In Dulci Jubilo” – one by Praetorius and the other by Scheidt. This year, why not incorporate some new songs to your yuletide collection – how about “Sylvia’s Christmas Song” or “It’s Not a Regular Christmas, Unless You’re with the Folks Back Home.”
Thanks to the Library’s Historic Sheet Music Collection, you can gather around the piano and try your hand at approximately 9,000 items published from 1800 to 1922.
What are some of your favorite holiday carols?