Gift of Hope (A Christmas Journey)
- Artist: Peace Together
- Format: CD
- Release Date:8/24/2004
'Gift of Hope: a Christmas journey' is the second release by Peace Together, and a 'must hear' for anyone who loves to plug in the Christmas tree, turn out the rest of the lights, and listen to good Christmas music. The 22-voice choir, accompanied by some of the area's finest instrumentalists and under the direction of John Buckenberger, takes the listener on a journey through all the emotions of the season with a collection of music that spans the centuries. The journey begins with that longing feeling that 'things could be better,' expressed in an original arrangement of the ancient chant O Come, O Come Emmanuel and the song Little Altar Boy, popularized by Andy Williams. A beautiful adaptation of 'Joy to the World,' written and performed by pianist Alex Dilan, immediately clues the listener into the fact that this is not just good music, but an album that is going to take you somewhere...and it does! Through the joyous frenzy of Pat-a-Pan, March of the Kings (an old Carolingian Carol that everybody recognizes, but nobody knows the words!), Bethlehem Procession, and God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, to the peace and wonder of hymns and carols like Still, Still, Still, All My Heart, The First Noel, What Child is This? and Pacem (a medley of the Polish carol 'Infant Holy, Infant Lowly' and the canon 'Dona Nobis Pacem'). The journey winds down reflecting on the meaning of the Christmas event, with the spiritual Sweet Little Jesus Boy, songs Mary, Did You Know? and Do You Hear What I Hear? and ends with the simple comfort of Silent Night.. Perhaps just as awesome as their music, is the story of Peace Together itself. The group was formed a few years ago when a hospice nurse noticed the powerful impact and comfort that hymns and songs of hope had on her patients. After talking with friends who were professional musicians and friends who sang in church choirs, a group was 'pieced together' to provide music for the terminally ill. They released their first album, 'Hope in the Night,' in April 2002. Treat yourself to some great music this holiday season with a purchase that is also a gift of hope for those in need.