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    What about Advent?

    Are you getting ready for Christmas, or are you getting ready for Advent?  Advent is the season of expectant waiting and anticipation that is celebrated by most Western Christian churches beginning the 4th Sunday before Christmas Day.

    You may not realize that what you thought of as your favorite Christmas songs are actually Advent songs.  Songs like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” and “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” are just a few of my personal favorite Advent tunes.

    This year, the First Sunday of Advent is December 2.  Some churches have a strict rule of only playing Advent music during the Advent season.  Other churches are anxious for Thanksgiving to be done so that they can start singing Christmas carols.  Whatever your specific tradition might be, I would encourage you to check out some of the new Advent arrangements for this year.  Who knows, you might just find some new favorites!

    If you are looking for some suggestions, check out the following:

    Mark Hayes has a beautiful new Advent piece, “Awaken and Prepare Us,” that adds an exciting anticipatory feel using the hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” in one of the verses.

    Joseph Martin (one of my personal favorite composers) has a beautiful new composition filled with longing titled “O Come to Us, Emmanuel” that uses snippets of the familiar Advent tune.

    Maybe you want something that is more like a spiritual?  Then check out this new Larry Shackley a cappella piece with percussion.  “The World’s Been a-Waitin’ So Long” is contagiously catchy and fun.

    There are so many fantastic Advent pieces out there.  I invite you to check more of them out using our Editors’ Choice Online. You can listen to complete recordings and see full octavos BEFORE you purchase.  I know you will find the perfect piece to suit your needs.

    Happy Singing!

    Wendy McKeehttp://jwpepper.com
    Wendy Martinez-McKee worked as a director, soloist and private voice teacher in the Chicagoland area for 20 years. Ms. McKee holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from DePaul University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Wendy is the founder and Music Director of Brava! (a professional women's ensemble) Ms. McKee has worked as the Artistic Director of the Palatine Children's Chorus, and Allegro, a community chorus also in Palatine. Wendy also enjoyed a brief, but memorable association with the Northwest Choral Socitey. She directed one of the ensembles of the Contemporary Children's Choir in McHenry county. In addition to maintaining her own studio, Wendy taught private voice for the community group ArtReach. Wendy also served as the Music Director for St. Paul UCC in Palatine for 7 years.

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