Christmas in July

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Use our pocketful of productions to
plan now for a great musical this Christmas.

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It may be hot outside today, but before you know it, the north
winds will blow cooler, hinting that Christmas is just around the
corner. And though it may be difficult to think about carols and
candy canes while the Beach Boys and popsicles join you poolside,
planning your Christmas program early will eliminate last-minute
decisions this fall.

To get you started we’ve unwrapped this season’s new musicals –
and highlights of classics worthy of consideration. So turn up the
air conditioning, put on your favorite Christmas sweater, and read
on about musical productions that’ll help your kids spread the
glorious message of Jesus this Christmas.

Bows of Holly

Playbill

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When a young girl receives a lot of attention for her Christmas
compassion, her project hits a speed bump…which ultimately helps
her remember the true meaning of Christmas.

This insightful Christmas musical tells about a girl named Holly
who launches a toy and food drive for the needy. When she garners
publicity for her efforts, Holly loses the focus of her original
motivation for the project. And when kids steal everything she’s
collected, her “gifts” begin to have strings attached. As events
unfold, Holly eventually remembers why she did the toy and food
drive — as a way to give gifts to others, with no strings
attached. The musical parallels the gift God sent at Christmastime
– Jesus and the gift of forgiveness — with no strings
attached.

Production Notes

Length: 30 minutes

Publisher: Brentwood-Benson; www.brentwoodbenson.com

CD Preview Pak (CD and songbook): $10.00

Split-Track Accompaniment CD: $90.00

Encore-Worthy

This musical written by Dennis and Nan Allen has easy-to-learn
music and encourages your musical group to reach out to your
community this Christmas. Ancillary items such as musical posters
and bulletin inserts are available for purchase. You can also order
a CD Fun Pak for each child for $10.98 that contains a listening
CD, a poster, and a toy.

Finding the Christmas Star

Playbill

A cranky middle school coach is reminded of the true meaning of
Christmas thanks to a group of dramatic middle schoolers.

Every year the Douglas Fir Middle School has a Christmas Star
talent competition. Judges are brought in for the competition and
everything is on schedule — until bitter Coach Chris tries to take
over the auditorium during rehearsal. Through a series of events,
Coach Chris is finally able to heal wounds of the past and discover
who God made him to be.

Production Notes

Length: 40 minutes

Publisher: LifeWay; www.lifeway.com

CD Preview Pak (CD and songbook): $12.00

Split-Track Accompaniment CD: $90.00

Encore-Worthy

Jeff Slaughter’s musical has fun music, drama, and a silly talent
show feel. Directors can purchase the Dovetailor, which includes
extras such as rehearsal plans, spiritual lessons, production
notes, and kickoff party ideas. Kids can also download rehearsal
tracks at the iTunes Store.

No Wonder!

Playbill

A performance rejection sparks a new audience for a children’s
choir at Christmas.

A pastor challenges his congregation to spread God’s love to
others in their community. The children’s choir decides to sing at
a local mall, but when the manager learns they’ll sing about Jesus,
he turns them away. Then an unexpected opportunity to sing at a
homeless shelter awakens the choir to God’s unselfish love and the
realization that everyone has a wonderful gift to share –
Jesus.

Production Notes

Length: 47 minutes

Publisher: Integrity Music

CD Preview Pak (CD and songbook): $14.95

Split-Track Accompaniment CD: $95

Encore-Worthy

Annette Oden and Lee Black have teamed together to create a kids’
musical with upbeat music that teaches a wonderful Christmas
lesson. Kids will really enjoy learning the music, and songs such
as “Stay Amazed” and “All to You” are especially appealing to
preteens. Directors can purchase a Resource Kit containing extra
helps for rehearsals and performances and an instructional DVD for
song motions.

Cookin’ Up Christmas

Playbill

This year’s annual choir Christmas party crew is cooking up
something new to spread the message of Christmas. Every year the
church choir holds a Christmas party, but this year the director
decides to add something new to a party that’s always been all
about the choir. Choir members such as Emerald Lasagna and Betty
Rocker collect church members’ favorite recipes to cook up so they
can share Christmas treats with the community. As they cook
together and wrap gifts for Christmas, everyone’s reminded about
the real recipe of Christmas — God’s love.

Production Notes

Length: 30 minutes

Publisher: Brentwood-Benson; www.brentwoodbenson.com

CD Preview Pak (CD and songbook): $10.00

Split-Track Accompaniment CD: $55.00

Encore-Worthy

This easy musical created by Nancy Gordon, Kellie Armstrong, and
Luke Gambill is great for smaller groups or first-timers. The
arrangement mixes original music with familiar Christmas favorites.
Kids CD Fun Paks are available for $10.98 and include a music CD,
toy, and poster.

The Mystery of the Manger

Playbill

Can an investigative reporter reveal the mystery of Christmas in
time to meet her deadline?

Jane Blonde is on a fact-finding assignment to reveal the meaning
of Christmas-but she only wants to report on solid evidence. As she
observes the rehearsal for a Christmas Eve pageant, the kids reveal
scriptural facts through the songs they sing. In the end, Jane
Blonde can report with overwhelming proof that the baby born in a
stable is the Savior of the world.

Production Notes

Length: 37 minutes

Publisher: Word; www.wordmusic.com

CD Preview Pak (CD and songbook): $8.00

Split-Track Accompaniment CD: $90.00

Encore-Worthy

This enjoyable musical created and arranged by Celeste
and David Clydesdale includes the Steven Curtis Chapman song “Facts
Are Facts” along with other tunes kids will love. There’s also a
DVD available with a full performance demonstration, accompaniment
video, and instructional choreography. Directors’ Resource Kits are
available in either printed or digital format and contain lesson
plans, activities, and preplanning material.

Carmen Kamrath is associate editor for Children’s Ministry
Magazine.

Director’s Notes

A children’s Christmas musical can be as simple or as elaborate as
you make it. Each of these new musicals contains easy-to-learn
music for kindergarten through sixth grade children and scripts
that can be easily mastered by older elementary and preteen kids.
Best of all, each musical clearly presents the wonderful news of
Christmas — the miracle of Jesus’ birth and the joy and hope this
event brings to a hurting world.

Remember to consider your program’s venue as you plan the
musical’s set, keeping in mind that your entire choir will be on
stage for the majority of the program. The musicals for 2007 don’t
require involved set designs or costuming — a plus for busy
directors! And each provides opportunities for individual acting
parts and vocal solos while keeping the main choir involved and
participating in every scene. Each musical provides directors with
staging and costume ideas as well as production notes to help your
program run smoothly on presentation night.

Finally, a word of advice from a musical veteran: Have fun! Kids
will relax and feel comfortable on stage if they don’t feel
pressure to do everything perfectly. The most important goal of a
Christmas musical is to present the joy and blessing of Jesus’
birth, and this good news will beam through your kids if they’re
having fun and enjoying the show. If you have fun, everyone else
will too!

The Classics

These classic musicals are all worthy of consideration as you plan
ahead for your Christmas production.

• Candy Cane Lane-Take a stroll with Candy Cane
Jane on a dream-filled journey to discover the best recipe for life
– Jesus. Word; 888-324-9673; www.wordmusic.com

• The Fumbly Bumbly Angels-This easy-to-use
instant Christmas program follows the antics of four angels as they
participate in the announcement of Jesus’ birth. Group; (800)
447-1070; www.group.com

• It All Happened in the Country-When two city
slickers get stranded in the country, their cousins help them
discover the true meaning of Christmas, away from the city’s hustle
and bustle. Brentwood-Benson; (800) 846-7664; www.brentwoodbenson.com

• The Don’t Be Afraid Brigade-A small band of
angels goes on assignment to help earthlings trust in their
heavenly Father. LifeWay; (800) 458-2772; www.lifeway.com

• Operation Baby King-Agent Double O-Heaven is on
a mission to make sure everyone is able to hear and know the news
of a baby King’s birth. Group; (800) 447-1070; www.group.com

• Sendin’ Out Love-A Christmas card factory
premieres its new line of cards that focuses on the love of Jesus.
Brentwood-Benson; (800) 846-7664; www.brentwoodbenson.com

• A Star Is Born-When Sophia the actress comes to
play the role of Mary in a Christmas production, the director and
cast try to help her understand the true star of Christmas is
Jesus. Word; 888-324-9673; www.wordmusic.com

• The Good News Christmas Cruise-Passengers and
crew aboard the SS Good News give a presentation of God’s promises
to send a Savior to the world. LifeWay; (800) 458-2772; www.lifeway.com

 

 

 

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