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LDS music to celebrate the Christmas season

Published: Wednesday, July 8 2015 1:28 a.m. MDT

"A Family Christmas" is the Piano Guys' recent CD. A deluxe version includes several videos. (Sony)

As Christmas approaches, here are some holiday-themed music offerings from Mormon artists and DVDs to help celebrate the season.

THE PIANO GUYS: A Family Christmas,” by The Piano Guys, Portrait/Sony Music Entertainment, $14.95

The Piano Guys’ third CD this year shares festive and fun songs like “Angels We Have Heard on High” to the more spiritual “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

The Piano Guys — cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, pianist Jon Schmidt, producer Al van der Beek and videographer Paul Anderson — have given their signature twists and variety of flavors to the songs on their CD, which includes “We Three Kings,” “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night,” where the quartet also lends its voices to the song. Schmidt’s 9-year-old daughter, Sara, sings in “Where are You Christmas?”

"Home for the Holidays" features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2012 Christmas concert with tenor Alfie Boe. (Shadow Mountain Records)

A deluxe edition is also available with a DVD including a half-dozen music videos for “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Carol of the Bells / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” "Where Are You Christmas?" “We Three Kings,” “Rudolph" and “A Family Christmas Yule Log Edition.”

The Piano Guys will be in concert Dec. 21 at EnergySolutions Arena.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS,” Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square featuring Alfie Boe, CD $18.98, DVD $24.98

This CD and DVD share the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Christmas Concert from last year, including guest artist English tenor Alfie Boe and broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw.

On the CD, the choir, orchestra and Bells on Temple Square share a half-dozen songs from “Jingle Bells” to “What Shall We Give?” Boe joins the choir for several songs, like “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Bring Him Home” and “A Christmas at Home: (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Somewhere in My Memory.”

"Joy to the World" is by singer/songwriter Vanessa Joy. (CD cover)

The DVD also shares Brokaw’s “Christmas from Heaven” and reading of Luke 2 and has several bonus features, including backstage with Boe, Brokaw and candy bomber Gail “Hal” Halvorsen, plus some behind the scenes footage.

JOY TO THE WORLD,” by Vanessa Joy, $15.95

Soprano Vanessa Joy shares 15 Christmas songs from traditional carols of “Joy to the World” and “What Child is This” to an original song, “Noel, Noel.” Here melodic voice makes this CD one to help bring in Christmas cheer.

She and pianist Marvin Goldstein have done performances and firesides together across the U.S. and places like Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

A MARVIN GOLDSTEIN CHRISTMAS,” by Marvin Goldstein, $12.99

"A Marvin Goldstein Christmas" is a a two-disc set that includes both piano solos and piano with full orchestra. (CD cover)

This two-disc CD set shares “The Greatest Gift” of a dozen piano solos and “The Light of Christmas,” with a piano and full orchestra.

LDS pianist Marvin Goldstein’s arrangements are unique, yet easy enough to follow that is allows listeners to hum or sing along.

DECK THE HALLS,” FM 100.3 and Shadow Mountain Records, $9.98

These 10 Christmas songs are each by a different artist and include new group Hudson Lights’ “Silver Bells” and familiar favorites “Away in a Manger" by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Proceeds from this festive CD benefit the Road Home homeless shelter.

Proceeds from Proceeds from "Deck the Halls" benefit the Road Home shelter. (Shadow Mountain Records)

CHRISTMAS FOR A DOLLAR,” Covenant Communications, $19.99, 111 minutes

Based on a true story of the struggling Kamp family during the Great Depression. The Kamp siblings aren’t expecting much for Christmas, especially since their mother’s untimely death a year earlier, and doctor bills as young Norman has polio.

When their dad scraps a dollar together for Christmas, each one, including young Ruthie, gets creative to make Christmas special for their family. Rated PG for some mean behavior.

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