A cantata is choir music that tells a story in sections. The Christmas cantata, first performed in Italy, tells the music of the angels, shepherds and cradle songs of Christmas.
If you haven’t experienced a Christmas cantata, many incorporate narrations connecting the songs to create the whole story. Christmas cantatas are popular across Italy, France, Germany, Romania … and in America this 3rd week of Advent This weekend I spent time practicing for our annual cantata performance.
The most well-known cantatas are those of Johann Sebastian Bach. However, we are singing Lloyd Larson’s “Sing Joy to All the World” with the theme of “Come, Lord Jesus!” It celebrates the promise of joy that comes to those who wait, following the long dark night, the breaking of dawn brings joy for the new day. The music incorporates original melodies with familiar carols in a work that ranges from contemplative to celebratory that I hope everyone enjoys.
Invite the presence of God into your heart this season as you sing and celebrate with family and friends.