A superb 1973 "Choir Reference Recording" by Shawnee Press, Inc., and I think it's the bit where you sell your outfit's choral accompaniment by having top musical pros sing them--sort a demo disc, really. It's the notion that, if you buy our scores, you'll sound like this. Sure, if your choir consists of studio-quality vocalists.
So, the arrangements and performances are fantastically good, and we get to hear some material that doesn't show up on every other LP of this type, though In Sweetest Jubilee is just our old friend In Dulci Jubilo with an English text by Roy Ringwald. I have no idea what "English text" means--a translation? A new text that happens to be in English? Why, for instance, designate the text to an American folks song (Sweet Mary...) as English? But I'm only the blogger, so I typed the credits as written. Well, except in the case of Jesus Christ Is Born Today, because "Text and music: Roy Ringwald, to a 16th century carol tune" makes no sense at all, because I can see writing a text to a tune, but not writing music to a tune. How do you write music to music?
Mind you, they're not talking about a tune "based on" another tune, which might make sense. Or an arrangement of a tune. They're talking about music "to" a tune. But you didn't come here to listen to me obsess, so.... Bottom line--these are high art performances, and this blog doesn't typically go there (high art). This is many levels above your usual choral holiday effort, and I wonder what happened to the "complete music scores" promised on the front (the back jacket is blank)? Kind of makes one think that this came as a package--a promotional sort of package. That would explain the title of the third track--The Alfred Burt Carols, Set 1. It was probably the name of a collection sold by these folks.
"Produced to assist church, school and community choir directors in the selection of new music." Right--Shawnee's.
Oh, and we get a selection by Alec Templeton (words and music)! And Roy Ringwald sounded familiar, and then I realized he worked as a composer and arranger for Fred Waring, among many others. I knew him from Waring.
DOWNLOAD: The Shawnee Choir--The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (1973)
Christ Child, Christ Child (Marian Chaplin)
The Alfred Burt Carols, Set 1
Antiphonal Gloria (Houston Bright)
Unto Us a Child Is Born (Text: Isaiah 9:6, Music: Nancy M. Roberts)
Sweet Mary, Guard Thy Precious Child (English Text: Walter Ehret, Music: American Folk Song)
A Babe is Born in Bethlehem--Text: Latin, 14th cent., Music: Paul C. Van Dyke
Nowell Sing We--Text: From two 15th century carols, Music: Richard Dirksen
Alleluia, Sing Noel (Alec Templeton)
God Is With Us (Maxcine Woodbridge Posegate)
Christmas Calypso--Text and Music: (See label scan)
White Christmas (Irving Berlin, arr. Roy Ringwald)