The Ballad of the Brown King

multicolored Christmas lights decorating a guitar
Chris Combe / Flickr

It happens every year – there’s so much to do in preparation for the holidays that by the time the holidays actually roll around, you’re plum tuckered out. Some wondrous Christmas music can help keep the wind in your sails.

And there is no shortage of wondrous Christmas music. As a special gift for you, I’ve included here some spectacular performances of some of my favorite works of Christmas music. Some are restful and awe-inspiring. Others are exuberant and joyful. And all of them can take your mind off everything that “must” get done, so you can enjoy the season.

color photo of the Dessoff Choirs performing
publicity photo/The Dessoff Choirs /

She was an African-American woman trying to make it in a white man’s world – and she succeeded, performing with world-class orchestras and winning three highly coveted ASCAP Awards, among other accolades.

Recently, Margaret Bonds’ music received another honor with the release of the world-premiere recording of The Ballad of the Brown King (Avie Records).  Bonds considered it her magnum opus... a Christmas cantata set to a text by noted Harlem Renaissance poet, and Bonds’ longtime friend, Langston Hughes.  The work will be featured this Christmas season on The American Sound.

Malcolm J. Merriweather leads the New York City-based Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra in a performance featuring soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart as soloists.