I wrote this piece for a student while I taught at the University of La Verne, desiring to feature her fiddle playing in a Christmas concert. The choral parts are very straightforward, and accessible to most any choir.
R. Fisher Boyce wrote this tune in his dairy barn in Tennessee. Apparently his family in the house hindered his concentration. “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” has often been thought of as an “anonymous” traditional tune. But being a songwriter myself, I cherish the notion that our beloved folktunes all had a real “birth story” — with an individual like R. Fisher Boyce turning a flash of inspiration into an inheritable tune through his concentrated effort.