Welcome Yule! This recording is a compilation of pieces written for some of the ensembles I have worked with in the past. Much of this music was written for an enthusiastic youth group that I conducted about a decade ago. At the time, I wanted to provide them with enjoyable music that would smooth the transition to more challenging works in the future. Some members from that young ensemble are now grown-up members of Arcady. It seems only right that they be a part of this project. The Welcome Yule! Suite is one such work. Numerous composers have set each of the five texts that I chose to set for this suite. It is indeed not very difficult to be inspired to write music for the Christmas season. The more recent arrangements on this recording, such as Ding Dong, Merrily on High and I Saw Three Ships, indeed draw upon the full artistic capabilities of this present group. The former is a fun arrangement complete with references to a variety of Christmas tunes, and even to my own opera I Am.... The latter adds mid-west touch to the old English carol. The arrangement of Adeste Fideles presented here in it's original triple metre form. It's 18th Century performance style makes it a good fit for Arcady. The message that is offered by so much of this music is both simple and timeless. Our Lady's Song and Alleluia, Pro Virgine Maria explore the mystery of the Annunciation. The Wassail Song encourages us to maintain an altruistic spirit amidst the chaos of modern urban life. All of Arcady's singers are soloists. I have made at attempt to feature as many of them as possible, even if for only a moment - a verse here or a line there. If you have a group of your own and wish to use any of these works, do not hesitate to contact us. These are works to be shared. It is my hope that these arrangements will serve to brighten the holiday season for all of you; that they remain as timeless as the texts upon which they are set, and as timeless as the season itself. I wish you all the best for the season! -Ronald Beckett.