Video: Abbie Betinis with Two New Christmas Carols

by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
December 19, 2011

St. Paul, Minn. — "This song more or less is
The way one expresses
The spirit that blesses
Our Jesus today."

The Reverend Bates Burt wrote those words for "Let Christmas Be Merry," a carol he composed for Christmas 1933. For the 2011 holiday, Burt's great-granddaughter, Abbie Burt Betinis, is still writing songs that express "the spirit that blesses" at Christmas.

Betinis carries on a family tradition begun in 1922 by her great-grandfather Bates Burt, and continued by Betinis's great-uncle, Alfred Burt. Some of Alfred Burt's carols, such as "Caroling, Caroling" and "The Star Carol" have become a part of the standard Christmas repertoire.

The group sings last year's carol — "Carol of the Snow" — based on a poem by Longfellow called "Snow-Flakes," this year's carol — "Come in, Come in, Come in Ye" — a fun and complex canon, as well as What are the Signs by Alfred Burt.

On Now

Listen to the Stream
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Suite 11:42 John Williams
    Studio Orchestra
    John Williams
    Buy Now
  • Piano Sonata No. 14 "Moonlight" 11:28 Ludwig van Beethoven
    Alessio Bax, piano
    Buy Now
Other MPR Radio Streams
Choral Stream
MPR News
Radio Heartland

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Classical Notes Blog

Read more