New CD brings holiday music up a notch

If you’re tired of the same old Christmas music, either popped up with flash and perkiness, or rife with stodginess that is more old than classic, you might enjoy the new offering from LA Master Chorale, available for purchase or download.  Press release follows:

LAMC-FOC-cover-only-FLos Angeles Master Chorale releases “Festival of Carols” CD and digital download featuring beloved Christmas carols recorded live at Disney Hall

  • Chorale’s First Holiday Recording in Nearly 20 Years,
    Conducted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon,
  • Includes Selected Christmas Carols from Performances of
    Chorus’ Annual Live Holiday Program “Festival of Carols”
  • Available on, iTunes,
  • Recording Makes Perfect Holiday Gift

Now everyone can enjoy Christmas at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s release of “Festival of Carols,” a CD and digital download album recorded live at Disney Hall featuring favorite Christmas carols performed by the Grammy nominated-chorus and conducted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon.  The Chorale’s first holiday recording in nearly 20 years, it includes gorgeous arrangements of such beloved classics as “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Silent Night”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and “White Christmas”, sung masterfully by the LA Master Chorale.  The album also shares new audience favorites of carols arranged by former Los Angeles Master Chorale composer-in-residence, Shawn Kirchner.  His beautiful and inventive arrangements of such holiday treasures as “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”, “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”, and “Brightest and Best” evoke a sense of familiar holiday warmth and cheer.  The music, much of it a cappella, was recorded during the Chorale’s annual live holiday program “Festival of Carols” at Disney Hall in 2012 and 2014.  A perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer, the recording also features special guests Lisa Edwards, piano; Shawn Kirchner, piano; John West, organ; and Doug Masek, soprano saxophone.  The remarkable acoustics of the landmark Disney Hall, the Chorale’s home venue, complement the choir’s rich sound, which is captured on the recording.   

The Chorale has long been recognized and hailed by critics for its exceptional holiday programming. Downtown News proclaims, “There aren’t many cultural institutions that do the holidays like the Los Angeles Master Chorale.”

“It is such a joy to bring the voices of the Los Angeles Master Chorale into homes around the world with this holiday recording,” says Gershon, who personally chose the featured musical selections.  “We hope listening to this seasonal album becomes a treasured holiday tradition for families for years to come.”

Tracks include:
  1. Angels We Have Heard on High | French Carol, Arr. Donald McCullough    
  2. Deck the Hall | Welsh Carol, Arr. John Rutter
  3. The Christmas Song | Mel Tormé, Arr. Jerry Rubino
  4. One Sweet Little Baby | W. Kinneson & G. McClure, Arr. Shawn Kirchner    
  5. En lo más azul del cielo (In the Deepest Blue of Sky) | Emilio Dublanc, Arr. Ariel Quintana
  6. Silent Night | Franz Gruber, Arr. David O    
  7. Ding Dong Merrily on High | French Carol, Arr. T Frederick H. Candlyn
  8. Brightest and Best | Reginald Heber, Arr. Shawn Kirchner    
  9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane, Arr. Ken Neufeld
  10. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem | Appalachian Carol, Arr. Shawn Kirchner    
  11. Sing We Now of Christmas | French Carol, Arr. Salli Terri
  12. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year | George Wyle & Eddie Pola, Arr. Bob Krogstad
  13. Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella | French Carol, Arr. Shawn Kirchner    
  14. White Christmas | Irving Berlin, Arr. Deke Sharon
  15. Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming | Michael Praetorius, Arr. Shawn Kirchner    
  16. The Twelve Days of Christmas | English Carol, Arr. John Rutter
  17. Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King | Arr. Moses Hogan    
  18. Bonus Track: Carol of the Bells | Mykola Leontovych, Arr. Peter J. Wilhowsky
  19. Bonus Track: We Wish You a Merry Christmas | English Carol, Arr. Arthur Warrell

To purchase the recording, please visit, or iTunes.

About the Artists

Giving a voice to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Grammy-nominated LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE is led by Artistic Director Grant Gershon.  Proclaimed “the nation’s most pioneering major chorus” (Los Angeles Times), it has also been hailed as “inspired” (The New York Times), “magnificent” (Chicago Tribune) and “a superb vocal ensemble” (The New York Observer).  The Chorale is currently in its 52nd season as a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles County and its 13th as the resident chorus at Disney Hall.  Presenting its own concert series each season, it performs choral music from the earliest writings to the most recent contemporary compositions.  To date, the choir has commissioned 47 and premiered 94 new works, of which 64 were world premieres, and has been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America’s prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence.  The Chorale has performed in more than 500 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and has toured with the orchestra to Europe and New York City.  It has also appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival and the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in leading venues throughout the Southland.  Its discography includes five commercial CDs under Gershon’s baton.  In addition, in 2013, as part of its 50th anniversary season celebration, the Chorale released a digital recording featuring signature a cappella works available online-only at, iTunes and  LAMC previously released three CDs under former Music Director Paul Salamunovich on RCM, including the Grammy-nominated Lauridsen-Lux Aeterna.  The Chorale is also featured with Gershon on the soundtracks of such major motion pictures as Lady in the Water and License to Wed.  Serving more than 30,000 audience members of all ages annually, the Los Angeles Master Chorale also provides education outreach to some 9,000 students each year.

GRANT GERSHON is currently in his 15th season as the Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and also serves as Resident Conductor of LA Opera.  The Los Angeles Times declares that the Chorale “has become the most exciting chorus in the country under Grant Gershon” and Opera News proclaims him “a first-rate conductor.”  During his tenure with the Chorale, he has led more than 100 performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall, including virtually all of the major works in the choral repertoire.  A champion of new music as well, Gershon has led world premiere performances of major works by John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Lang, Louis Andriessen, Christopher Rouse, Steve Reich, Morten Lauridsen, Ricky Ian Gordon, Gabriela Lena Frank, Shawn Kirchner and Chinary Ung, among many others.  His discography includes two Grammy Award-nominated recordings: Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic Special Editions) and Ligeti’s Grand Macabre (Sony Classical); five commercial CDs with the Chorale: Glass-Salonen (RCM), You Are (Variations) (Nonesuch), Daniel Variations (Nonesuch), A Good Understanding (Decca), and Miserere (Decca); and a digital recording featuring some of the Chorale’s signature a cappella works available online-only at, iTunes and

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