Photo Credit: Deseret News
One of the great joys of the long dark month of December (talking Northern Hemisphere here) is the music. There is so much gorgeous Christmas-related music that lights up our lives and warms our hearts – both sacred and secular. One album released this year is especially winsome to me because it incorporates multiple sweet elements. It is Hollens Family Christmas and I wanted to share a few particulars about why I bought it.
I didn’t know Peter Hollens until our son Nathan told us he was submitting a cover of one of Hollens’ songs for a music contest. Still, until his arrangement was published and the competition results were announced, I didn’t pay much attention.
Peter Hollens is a YouTuber, an acapella singer, and collaborator. All of things parts of who he is resonate with me. So now, I guess I’m a part of the Hollens Family…more a distant relative compared to being a part of the Beyond the Guitar family…but definitely won by the winsomeness of this other musician, Peter Hollens.
[Sidebar: one more sweet bit of trivia about him is that he is married to Evynne Hollins who was co-founder of the University of Oregon women’s acapella group Divisi. She and the group Divisi are featured in the book and later film Pitch Perfect. Clearly Evynne and Peter make beautiful music together.]
Back to yesterday…I had forgotten about Nathan’s arrangement submission for the music competition. Peter Hollens had sponsored this contest offering the grand prize of a collaboration with him on a future music project. Yesterday the results were announced.
Nathan didn’t win… There were 600 contestants who had submitted covers for Hollens’ composition December Song. Nathan landed in the top 17. We’re proud of him.
Not surprisingly for you who know me/read this blog, I listened to Nathan’s arrangement of December Song before even listening to Peter Hollens’ own version. The melody was so beautiful…wow!Photo Credit: YouTube
Searching on YouTube, I found Peter Hollens’ official version of the song….and we bought the album. Just like that.
Besides the beauty of Hollens’ music, his inclusion of others and his joyful exuberance are so winsome to me. December Song is a celebration of the Christmas message of “peace on earth, good will toward all”. It also expresses the longing for that to continue past this season…this season of Christmas.
Peter Hollens, in his own way, owns that desire through his many collaborations…lavishing love on and delight in others through the medium of music.
“to Silent Nights
And Angels Singing
Heaven and Nature
Singing Good Will To All… To All”*
December Song arranged by Nathan Mills