It’s that time of year again. As an international teacher, you would think there is even less pressure to put on a holiday-themed concert. The end of term lends itself to a culminating performance, sure, but with such a diverse clientele, surely no one is looking for the children to sing “Away in a Manger”. But every year, after I spend weeks looking for secular seasonal repertoire, I get bombarded by parents asking about the “Christmas concert” and wondering why we didn’t sing “Joy to the World.”
One of my recent December concerts was programmed around a winter theme, but I felt that it lacked variety. Another year I chose songs from a variety of winter festivals (beyond the ubiquitous Christmas/Hannukkah/Kwanzaa triumvirate). One year, I left Christmas behind entirely and focused on the spirit of the holidays by selecting songs around a theme of peace, harmony, and compassion.
How have you put together a successful winter/December concert? Please feel free to add your repertoire suggestions in the comments below. I’m in the process of updating a Google Sheet for organizing suggestions, which I will share when it is ready.