Every day in our advent calendar, "Today's Concert" is a chance for us to feature many of our talented choirs and bands. Relive their performances from Christkindl Market in 2019, and read their profiles on each page.
We hope you continue to enjoy a new concert each day!
Christmas carols, as opposed to contemporary songs about Christmas, celebrate the birth of Jesus. Many carols – the lyrics and/or the music – have been written by Germans. Some of these carols may be more familiar than others, but each is a beautiful celebration of the birth of Christ and the season:
O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum); lyrics by Ernst Anschütz, 1824, after Melchior Franck, 1500s.
To Shepherds, As They Watched by Night (Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar); lyrics by Martin Luther, 1543.
How Brightly Shines the Morning Star (Wie Schön Leuchtet der Morgenstern); lyrics by Philipp Nicolai, 1597.
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (Es ist ein Ros entsprungen); lyrics anonymous, about 1599.
Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light (Brich an, du schönes Morgenlicht); lyrics by Johann von Rist, 1641.
Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachts-Oratorium); composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, 1734.
O Come Little Children (Ihr Kinderlein kommet); lyrics by Christoph von Schmid, 1798.
Silent Night (Stille Nacht); lyrics by Josef Mohr, 1816.
All My Heart This Night Rejoices (Fröhlich sikk mein Herze springen); lyrics by Paul Gerhardt, 1853.
Want to know more about the history of Christmas carols? Ask your local library to borrow:
The Carols of Christmas: A Celebration of the Surprising Stories Behind Your Favorite Holiday Songs, written by Andrew Gant, published in 2015 by Nelson Books.
The Swiss Farmer Band was originally founded in 1993 by a group of Swiss immigrants most of whom, as the name implies, were farmers or involved in farm-related businesses. The goal of the founding members was to continue the European brass band music tradition in their new homeland.
Today, the band of around 20 members has diversified and now includes Swiss, German and Canadian musicians alike. They practice weekly in Listowel or Milverton, Ontario, and come from all over southwestern Ontario to do so — from Moorefield to Cambridge, from Blyth to Grand Valley.
Their lively mix of traditional Swiss, German, and concert music can be heard at various functions throughout the year including the Swiss National Day Celebration in Moncton and their annual fall concert and dance held in November of each year in Milverton.
They have performed at the Christkindl Market since its inception and it has now become somewhat of a band tradition to end each year with a Sunday afternoon performance at the Market. It’s an event that reminds many players of their European backgrounds as much as their music does.
When Christians began replacing pagan winter festivals with Christmas, bishops across Europe requested certain hymns to be sung at Christmas services.
Many composers wanted to write their own carols, but since they were always in Latin, they weren’t terribly popular.
Then in 1233, St. Francis of Assisi started putting on Nativity plays, which included canticles that told the story of Christ’s birth. These were usually all in a language that audience members could understand, so they sang along.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
O Come All Ye Faithful
O Holy Night
What Child Is This?
We Three Kings
The First Noel
Away In A Manger
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Joy To The World
The modern lyrics were written in 1824, by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz. A Tannenbaum is a fir tree. The lyrics do not actually refer to Christmas or describe a decorated Christmas tree. Instead, they refer to the fir's evergreen quality as a symbol of constancy and faithfulness.