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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Noel" by Todd Smith, Brad Holmes, arranger (videos & lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases two performances of "Noel", also known as "African Noel" by is described as an African spiritual and is said to be "by Todd Smith" and Brad Holmes, arranger. However, according to the comments by the choir's director (Brad Holmes?) that are given toward the end of the video given as Example #2 below, this song comes from the Congo and is in the Tshiluba language. I believe that "the Congo" refers to The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Given these comments, my guess is that this song was composed by an American who used Congolese lyrics. The Congolese lyrics and English translations are included in this post.

This song shouldn't be confused with the Christmas song "Sing Noel" ("African Noel"). A pancocojams post of that song can be found at http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/12/sing-noel-african-noel-videos-lyrics.html.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composer and the arranger of this song. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks also to the singers and musicians who are featured in the video. And thanks to the publisher of these videos on YouTube.

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LYRICS: NOEL ("African Noel")
(Todd Smith), Brad Holmes, arranger

Noel, Noel
Yesu me kwisa ku zinga ti beto
Noel,Noel
Yesu me kwisa ku zinga ti beto

Kana nge zola ku zaba mwana
Nge fwiti kwisa ku fukama
Kana nge zola ku zaba mwana
Nge fwiti kwisa ku fukama

Translation:
Noel, Noel
Jesus has come to live with us
Noel, Noel
Jesus has come to live with us

If you want to know the child
You have to come kneel
If you want to know the child
You have to come kneel

Source: Nihal Alfred, 2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1JFj0RlAO8x [viewer comment]

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SHOWCASE VIDEO:
Example #1: "Noel" (arr. Brad Holmes) - Millikin University Choir



MillikinUniversity Choir, Uploaded on Oct 13, 2010


The first version of this arrangement of an African song by Todd Smith. The Millikin University Choir live (2005).
-snip-
Millikin University is located in Decatur, Illinois. (United States)

Here's some information about Todd Smith:
From http://www.penders.com/product_info.php/24019171/noel?products_id=24019171
"Noel is an African spiritual by Todd Smith, arranged by Brad Holmes.
Dr. Holds [sic] holds the DMA in choral conducting from Arizona State Univeristy. He has been Director of Choral Activities at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois since 1991. He is the conductor University Choir and Concert Choir (freshmen mixed ensemble) and teachers conducting and choral methods. He is a frequent guest conductor for festivals and clinics throughout the USA."...

-snip-
Here's some information about Brad Holmes:
From https://www.millikin.edu/academics/cfa/som/Pages/FacultyandStaff.aspx
"Brad Holmes holds the DMA in choral conducting from Arizona State University. Director of Choral Activities at Millikin since 1991, Dr. Holmes leads a staff of five conductors who work with 300 singers. In addition to directing the University Choir, he teaches conducting and choral methods. His extensive guest-conducting schedule includes engagements throughout the United States in district festivals, ACDA honor choirs, church music clinics and All-State choirs."...

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Example #2: African Noel by Brad Holmes



Wlwchoirs Uploaded on May 9, 2009

All State Honors Choir
Directed by Andre Thomas
performing at the MSVMA
Michigan Youth Arts Festival
May 9, 2009

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