“Comfort and Joy,” CPR Classical’s first holiday CD, all started with the annual Christmas Carol Countdown. Late in 2016, I proposed that we invite a bunch of Colorado’s wonderful choral and instrumental ensembles to perform Christmas carols and other holiday selections in the CPR Performance Studio. But not until the new year. Musicians have a lot more time in January once the holidays are over, and the music is still fresh in their minds.

The idea was to get as many Christmas carols as we could from Colorado ensembles. That would make the 2017 Carol Countdown an almost exclusively Colorado affair. It worked. We extended the invitation and the musicians came. It took a little longer than we anticipated, but that gave us the time to realize we might have something even more special on our hands.

As the CPR Performance Studio sessions piled up, so did some much bigger ideas about what to do with all this holiday music. What if we shared it outside of the Christmas Carol Countdown? We already have two volumes of CPR Performance Studio recordings, so why not a third? A holiday CD we could share with members as a thank-you for their support!

That was it -- the ideal way to share with CPR listeners and members what Colorado musicians had shared with us. We redoubled our efforts and reached out to some more of Colorado’s incredible talent, put a lot more time into the production and planning, and we are pleased to present the result.

When you become a member of Colorado Public Radio at $5 a month or more, you’ll get this  special recording!  Let it be the soundtrack for your holiday season.

Your support of Colorado Public Radio will help create more unique recordings in the performance studio and fill your days with classical music.  

Here are the Colorado musicians and performances featured on the "Comfort and Joy" CD:

1. Kantorei - The Holly and the Ivy   
(Alicia Rigsby - Piano) arr. John Rutter

2. Colorado Chamber Players - Greensleeves  
(Lilly Primus, harp) arr. Marcia Dickstein​

3. Hsing-ay Hsu - The Christmas Song   
(By Robert Wells, Mel Torme) arr. Jacob Koller​

4. St. Martin’s Chamber Choir - The Coventry Carol 
arr. Martin F. Shaw

5. Playground Ensemble - O Tannenbaum 
(Megan Buness, soprano) arr. Richard von Foerster​

6. Anima Chamber Ensemble - Angels We Have Heard on High 
arr. Matthew Culloton

7. Columbine Choir - Riu, riu, chiu 
arr. Francis J. Guentner, S.J.

8. Kantorei - I Saw Three Ships 
(Alicia Rigsby, Constance Branton - Piano) arr. Mack Wilberg​

9. Sphere Ensemble - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 
(Johnny Marks) arr. Alexander Vittal

10. St. Martin’s Chamber Choir - Carol of the Bells 
(English text by Peter Wilhousky) Ukranian Carol arr. Mykola Leontovich

11. Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado - Pastorale from Concerto Grosso No. 8 “Christmas Concerto”  
(Arcangelo Corelli)

12. Anima Chamber Ensemble - The First Noel 
arr. Dan Forrest

13. L & V Piano Duo - Christmas Time is Here 
(Vince Guaraldi)

14. Young Voices of Colorado - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 
arr. Philip Kern

15. Ivy Street Ensemble - The Holly and the Ivy 
arr. Kenji Bunch

16. St. Martin’s Chamber Choir - Masters of This Hall
(English text by William Morris) arr. Alfred E. Whitehead

17. Playground Ensemble - Coventry Carol 8-Bit
arr. by David Farrell