Jonathan Santore, Composer
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One Christmas

Listen to a performance by the Sandwich Singers conducted by Peggy Johnson:

  • Score and parts: $1.50 (for reproduction rights; minimum purchase of 10 required; additional charge for hard copies)
  • For SATB chorus, horn, and piano
  • Sacred text by Peggy Johnson
  • 2:45
  • Difficulty rating (1-5): 2
  • View a PDF score excerpt
  • Purchase, request full review copy or more information, etc.
  • Commissioned by the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts for the Sandwich Singers, Peggy Johnson, conductor

For several years, my composition students at Plymouth State University and I have had the unique opportunity to create new works for a holiday concert series by the Sandwich Singers, a community chorus in a town near our campus. This opportunity comes courtesy of the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts and its director, the polymath artist Peggy Johnson (who also conducts the Sandwich Singers). Despite our close collaboration on these holiday projects, I’d never gotten the opportunity to work directly with one of Peggy’s poems until "One Christmas"; her beautiful evocation of the universal aspects of the Christmas story makes this work appropriate for a variety of sacred and secular performance contexts.

One Christmas

A young girl had a baby.
All mankind’s born like this.

Remember this at Christmas,
with reverent awe and bliss:

a young girl had a baby,
she gave him his first kiss.

Just so is each child holy,
east, west or high or low,

born on the wide dry desert,
or mountains white with snow,

so welcome each new saviour
in arms of loving bliss,

so welcome every neighbor,
All mankind’s born like this.

—Peggy Johnson

Text copyright © 2009 by Peggy Johnson. Used by permission.

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Jonathan Santore
Plymouth, NH
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