Just in time for, as I like to call it, Christmas Eve Eve (the day before Christmas Eve, of course), here’s a stunning live performance of a well-known Christmas carol, like you’ve definitely never heard it before.
I’ve shared music previously on this blog by Millennial Choirs & Orchestras, an all-volunteer choral and orchestral organization that spans 5 states and counting. The quality of their music is top-notch, and their arrangements are absolutely incredible. A few days ago they posted a video recorded from one of their annual Christmas concerts this month, featuring the East Valley Millennial Choirs & Orchestra in Mesa, Arizona. It’s a performance of the beloved Christmas hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
As the video title states, this performance is live and unedited. Yes, it’s nearly 11 minutes long, but if you’re like me, you’ll be so drawn in by the music that those minutes will pass by all too quickly. Make sure to heed the advice in the video description to use headphones, as it really makes for a richer listening experience. Without spoiling too much musically, I’ll say that this arrangement completely turns “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” on its ear. Just when you think it will go one way, or ask, “how is this going to go on for 7 more minutes?” (actual thought I had as I listened, I admit), arranger Brandon Stewart, a conductor of one of the MCO ensembles, zigs when you expect him to zag. This is especially true in the second half of the song, featuring a heartstopping cresecndo, culminating in an ending that is absolutely jaw-dropping and incredibly moving. Just take my word for it and listen to this beautiful celebration of the true reason we celebrate this Christmas season, our Savior’s birth.
A quick note: I had meant to share much more Christmas music this year than I ended up doing. I’ve been busy with finals and the end of the year, sure, but more than anything I think I’ve been focusing on really getting into the Christmas spirit myself this year, and I feel like that’s really helped my Christmas music listening be much more meaningful. I commented last year in a post that I was having trouble getting into holiday music, and this year I didn’t really run into that problem, which was great. I’ll share one more Christmas-themed Throwback Thursday post tomorrow on Christmas Eve, and after that, I’m very excited to share with you my annual Best Albums list, along with a few other fun end-of-the-year festivities. Thank you, as always, for checking things out here. I can’t wait to share more excellent music with you. I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas season.