St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Virginia Girls Choir | "An Unexpected Christmas"

The perfect gift for family, friends and neighbors | Where to buy it | About the Virginia Girls Choir
 
An evocative collaboration between the Virginia Girls Choir and Ana Hernández
 
"The very creative and often surprising arrangements of both familiar and unfamiliar Christmas tunes, the sweet singing of the Virginia Girls Choir, as well as Ana’s soulful voice, make for a wonderful and truly unexpected Christmas CD." –Ruth Cunningham, founding member, Anonymous 4
 
"A lovely Christmas CD to add to your holiday collection. Best of all, the recording is by Richmond's own Virginia Girls Choir at Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church."--Bobbie Barajas, music director, WCVE FM
 
In 2010, the Virginia Girls Choir and Ana Hernández released “An Unexpected Christmas,” a 17-track CD featuring a fresh, distinctive mix of new pieces and traditional Christmas favorites arranged with Celtic and other world music influences and instruments.
 
“The Little Drummer Boy” takes on a soulful sound. There’s a rhythmic mash-up of “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Love Came Down at Christmas.” A tune familiar in many churches, St. Helena (There’s a wideness in God’s mercy), provides a gorgeous, haunting setting for “Unexpected and Mysterious.” The ancient texts “Adam Lay Y’Bounden” and “Mater Ora Filium” and the traditional Irish favorite, the Wexford Carol, receive original treatments. 
 
The angelic voices of the choir provide the perfect counterpoint to Hernández’ rich, sonorous alto. Several Girls Choir members perform solos as well.
Arrangements by Hernández and choir director Dan Moriarty include guitars, cello, uilleann pipes, whistle, flute and other instruments.
 
The CD was a sensation that led to appearances by the choir on "Virginia Currents," a weekly TV magazine produced at Central Virginia's PBS station, and they were joined by Ana for a live performance on Lite98's "Wake Up Show" Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins. Several tracks from the CD became part of the annual Thanksgiving Day program on WCVE FM, and the CD received airplay on radio stations around the country.
 
Sales of the CD help the Choir raise funds for tours and stipends. 
 
Where to buy "An Unexpected Christmas"
The CD is available in the Bookshop @ St. Stephen's for $15 each plus tax. The shop is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
 
"An Unexpected Christmas" is also available for online ordering for $15 plus shipping and handling. The online order form for CDs sent via USPS is here. If you prefer FedEx shipping, please contact Elise Ridley in the parish office. (A chart showing costs for available shipping methods and quantities is here.)
 
MP3s are available from CDBaby, Amazon.com, or Church Publishing 
 
Retailers may contact Gene LeCouteur about obtaining copies of the CD at wholesale prices, 804.288.2867. 
 
Track Listing:
The Little Drummer Boy
If in Your Heart listen
Adam Lay Y’Bounden
The First Nowell listen
Break Forth O Beauteous, Heav’nly Light
I Will Kindle My Fire listen
Carol our Christmas
Mater Ora Filium
The Holly and the Ivy
Angels We Have Heard/Love Came Down
The Wexford Carol
Christmas Lullaby
Where is this Stupendous Stranger? listen
Suo Gan listen
Unexpected and Mysterious
Silent Night