program notes by composition > O > O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Little Town of Bethlehem

arr. Chip Davis & Robert Longfield

Rector Phillips Brooks (1835-1903) of Philadelphia wrote the words in 1868 following a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was inspired by the view of Bethlehem from the hills of Palestine at night. His church organist Lewis Redner (1831-1908) wrote the melody for the Sunday school children's choir.

The decidedly more modern instrumental version being performed tonight was created by Chip Davis and arranged for band by Robert Longfield.

Chip Davis is the genius behind Mannheim Steamroller which combines musical mastery and technical wizardry in a style often described as “18th Century Rock ‘n Roll.” Robert Longfield is a prolific modern composer, arranger, con- ductor and educator who has arranged many Mannheim Steamroller pieces for band. He is band and orchestra director at Miami Palmetto Senior High School and conductor of the Greater Miami Symphonic Band.

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Last updated on July 17, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band