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This Christmas playlist includes some of my favorite pieces of all time, many of which I have had the pleasure of singing and will continue to do so.  Please enjoy. Happy Holidays!!

  1. What sweeter music... I remember singing this in high school maybe my sophomore/junior year and falling in love with it.  
  2. This piece by Roland Carter I adore.  I've listened to Soprano after soprano sing this piece.  Some keep in the “box” while others have truly taken this to church.  
  3. This Poulenc piece is new to me this year, and I love the simplicity of this setting sprinkled with the surprising colorful harmonies.
  4. Take 6!!! They are amazing.  The Kingsmen, that was the name King high schools men’s ensemble, sang this song and I’ll never forget it.  I just new I was destined to be in Take 6.
  5. This Christmas couldn’t be sung better, Donny Hathaway is a voice to remember. 
  6. I don’t think my list would be complete without this number.  Thank you Mariah!!
  7. This is truly one of my all time Chanticleer favorites.  It’s one of the most beautiful classical mash-ups ever.   The SSA Trio in Star of Wonder melts my heart every time.
  8. Back to Take 6, I just find this arrangement to be so fun and different from typical settings/renditions of this text.
  9. I’ve always loved Boyz II Men and when they came out with this Christmas number with a guest appearance from Brian McKnight, another R&B favorite, I was so excited. I can still see the music video when listening to this! lolol
  10. This is another one of my Chanticleer favorite pieces, and it happens to be arranged by Joe Jennings as well.  The soprano solo is where it’s at for me in this piece. 
  11. I was first introduced to this when in undergrad at Morgan State University, we collaborated with the Lincoln center Jazz Ensemble. This blew my mind to see and hear Handel’s Messiah “revamped”.  I watched amazing soloists blend classical, gospel, and jazz singing.  I had so much fun singing this.  
  12. I learned of this piece while in Chanticleer and could sing it almost every year.  The fullness that erupts when the antiphonal choirs combine is simply magical.

[Editor's note: Cortez's track 11 isn't available on Spotify, and the song on YouTube can be found by forwarding 7 minutes into the selected video (or you can feel free to hear the overture and recit that precede it).]

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