December Delights

About the Delights

Welcome to my recording project at the end of 2022, December Delights. All of the video recordings are hosted on my new Vimeo showcase December Delights. You can browse these videos inside Vimeo, but you won’t get the background blurbs I’ve written below.

I’ve cross-posted a couple of my best videos to my YouTube channel. All listens and likes are appreciated!

Delight #1 – For the Beauty of the Earth

Michael Burkhardt arranged this theme and four variations for organ that I recorded while at First Methodist of Bella Vista. It’s still fall through December 20th, but I promise to get to some core Christmas repertoire before then! Released 2022-12-01

Listen on Vimeo (4:51)

Delight #2 – O Christmas Tree

Vince Guaraldi’s jazz arrangements from Charlie Brown’s Christmas are getting even more attention this season due to Charles Schulz’s recent 100th birthday. This was the first time I performed any of these pieces, in December 2019 at my annual Christmas recital.Released 2022-12-02

Listen on Vimeo (2:43)

Delight #3 – Deck the Halls

This jazzy arrangement by Daniel Kelley was recorded with bassoonist Cynthia Augspurger last December but never released until today.Released 2022-12-04

Listen on Vimeo (1:50)

Delight #4 – Troika

The full title of this work is Troika (November) from The Seasons by Tchaikovsky. It was commissioned by a monthly St. Petersburg classical music magazine. The difficulty of this set of 12 pieces is modest compared to his iconic works. Once you hear this piece, you’ll understand why it was one of Rachmaninoff’s favorite recital encore pieces.Released 2022-12-05

Listen on Vimeo (3:15)

Delight #5 – Christmas Time Is Here

I did a short Charlie Brown Christmas set on my annual Christmas recital in 2019, and this one was one of my favorites by Vince Guaraldi. I’d love to play it in a more authentic jazz style eventually. For now, I’m very happy that the composer took the time to notate many of these pieces so that classical players like me could enjoy and share them with others.Released 2022-12-07

Listen on Vimeo (1:43)

Delight #6 – Sleigh Ride

I was so happy to be invited by my colleague Shiloh Jones to participate with her family in this recording. It’s amazing that this recording took place at all, since it was made in December 2020 before Covid vaccines were available to the public. Enjoy this classic Christmas song by Leroy Anderson arranged by Michael Edwards, on your choice of Vimeo or YouTube.Released 2022-12-09

Listen on Vimeo (2:52)
Listen on YouTube (2:52)

Delight #7 – Trio of Piano Trios

The first two trios of this set were made to provide special Advent/Christmas music for my former church job. We also played the Trepak from The Nutcracker just for fun, and released it in a separate Music Monday feature on the church’s Facebook page. Last year, I packaged them all up for my Advent calendar, and share them again this year as a December Delight!Released 2022-12-12

Listen on Vimeo (6:46)

Delight #8 – Carol by the Lake

Bassoonist Cynthia Augspurger plays the Christmas carol Hark, the Herald Angels Sing outside her lakeside home. It’s a reminder that good music making can take place pretty much anywhere.Released 2022-12-14

Listen on Vimeo (2:13)

Delight #9 – I Wonder As I Wander

I recorded this Mark Hayes arrangement along with several others in audio-only format, and posted them to my SoundCloud account. John Jacob Niles adapted this from an Appalachian folk song, with the second verse telling the Christmas story.

This song is reflective, which makes it particularly good for people who experience grief at Christmas. I’ve enjoyed providing music for Blue Christmas services at the winter solstice. They provide comfort and joy without the overwhelm.Released 2022-12-16

Listen on SoundCloud (4:12)

Delight #10 – Guilmant at Christmas

The Offertoire Sur Deux Noëls begins with a large introduction, followed by a very unfamiliar French carol. That’s followed by the very-well known Adeste Fideles. Alexandre Guilmant was one of the first composers to compose for the symphonic organ that emerged in 19th-century France, with organ designer Aristide Cavaillé-Coll leading the way.

Most of Guilmant’s works, even smaller scaled ones like this, are composed for a three-manual console. That meant I had to make some adjustments to play it on this two-manual Casavant. I’m a big fan of Guilmant; I wrote this blog post largely based on playing this piece.Released 2022-12-22

Listen on Vimeo (7:17)
Listen on YouTube (7:17)

December Delights is a last-minute replacement for the full-fledged Advent calendar I enjoyed presenting last year. I’d rather underpromise and overdeliver than do the opposite this year!

Support December Delights

If you’ve enjoyed these delights, consider supporting my programming. A cup of coffee is always appreciated, as are donations via Venmo or via PayPal.

Please share my page with friends and family via the blue icon at the bottom of the page. Happy Advent and Merry Christmas.

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