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"The most famous American Christmas carol family is indisputably the Burt family. The carols of Bates and Alfred Burt and the Christmas carol cards they sent are now part of our hymnody and folklore.

Composer Abbie Burt Betinis is the great granddaughter of Bates and grand-niece of Alfred, and is continuing the tradition with freshness and craftsmanship. A noted and often commissioned composer in her own right, she brings skill and talent to this unique genre in a way no one else could. The verse and chorus form reminds us of an English carol, but the text, taken most often from other Burt family members, are very American."
- Fred Bock Publications

ABBIE'S "BURT FAMILY CAROL SERIES" (2001-)
Click on a title below for complete texts, score samples, and sound files
Be Like the Bird By Abbie Burt Betinis. Five-part canon, a cappella or with any C instrument.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Secular) 1 page. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-062-C9)
Behind the Clouds By Abbie Burt Betinis. For SATB Choir, a cappella.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Advent) 4 pages. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-059-C8)
Carol of the Snow By Abbie Burt Betinis. Solo voice and piano.
Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Donne in Jazz 2012 award
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen / watch video)
(Voice & Piano, Secular) 4 pages. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-063-C10)
Carol of the Stranger By Abbie Burt Betinis. For SATB Choir, a cappella.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Advent/Secular) 4 pages. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-080-C13)
Come In, Come In! By Abbie Burt Betinis. Four part "looping" canon.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (watch video)
(Choral, Secular) 1 page. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-067-C11)
Hail, Christmas Day! By Abbie Burt Betinis (lyrics: Rev John H. Burt). For SATB Choir, a cappella.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 6 pages. Publisher: Fred Bock Company. F2354 (HL.8749951)
He Might Have Come on Clouds of Heaven By Abbie Burt Betinis (lyrics: Rev Bates G. Burt). For SATB Choir, a cappella.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 4 pages. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-016-C2)
In a Far Judean City By Abbie Burt Betinis (lyrics: Rev Bates G. Burt). For SATB Choir, a cappella.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 6 pages. Publisher: Fred Bock Publications, F2355
Peace with Me Now By Abbie Burt Betinis (lyrics: Walter de la Mare). For solo voice & piano.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Voice & Piano, Secular) 3 pages. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-090-S14)


Prayer for Peace By Abbie Burt Betinis. For SATB Choir, a cappella.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 6 pages. Publisher: Fred Bock Company. F2358 (HL.8749980)
Romance in Waltz Time By Abbie Burt Betinis & Alfred Burt     NEW!
A Partner Song for 2 Voices & Piano. Lyrics by Michael Dennis Browne (voice 1) & AB (voice 2).
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Duet, Secular) 2 pages. Publisher: unpublished manuscript


Run, Toboggan, Run By Abbie Burt Betinis (lyrics: Holly Windle). For SATB Choir, a cappella.
2011 Editors' Choice Award (JW Pepper)
"An absolute gem! ...Highly recommended!" -JW Pepper
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 8 pages. Publisher: Fred Bock Company. F2356 (HL.8749953)
Sing Him to Sleep Music & lyrics by Abbie Burt Betinis. For SATB & hand drum.   NEW!
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 5 pages. Publisher: unpublished manuscript

Song of the Pines By Abbie Burt Betinis. For SATB Choir, a cappella.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 4 pages. Publisher: Abbie Betinis Music Co. (AB-041-C5)
The Mirthful Heart By Abbie Burt Betinis. For SAA voices + drum.
Premiered on Minnesota Public Radio. (listen)
(Choral, Christmas) 6 pages. Publisher: manuscript
THE ALFRED BURT CAROLS (1942-1954)
The Alfred Burt Carols - Set 1 The Alfred Burt Carols - Set 1 By Alfred Burt (arr. Hawley Ades). For SATB Choir, a cappella. Set of five carols: "Caroling Caroling", "All on A Christmas Morning", "We'll Dress the House", "Ah, Bleak and Chill the Wintry Wind", and "Christmas Cometh Caroling".
(Choral, Christmas) 8 pages. Published by Shawnee Press. (HL.35000402)
The Alfred Burt Carols - Set 2
The Alfred Burt Carols - Set 2 By Alfred Burt (arr. Hawley Ades). For SATB Choir, a cappella. Set of five carols: "O, Hearken Ye", "Some Children See Him", "Jesu Parvule", "This Is Christmas (Bright Bright the Holly Berries)", and "The Star Carol".
(Choral, Christmas) 8 pages. Published by Shawnee Press. (HL.35000406)
The Alfred Burt Carols - Set 3
The Alfred Burt Carols - Set 3 By Alfred Burt (arr. Hawley Ades). For SATB Choir, a cappella. Set of five carols: "Nigh Bethlehem", "Carol of the Mother", "What are the Signs", "Christ in the Stranger's Guise", and "Come, Dear Children".
(Choral, Christmas) 8 pages. Published by Shawnee Press. (HL.35000410)
THE BATES BURT CAROLS (1922-1941)
The Family Carols of Bates Burt The Family Carols of Bates Burt By Bates G. Burt. Foreword by John H. Burt. For SATB Choir or for Vocal Solo and Piano. Collection of 19 carols published posthumously by Fred Bock Music Company (1990).
CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT (Fred Bock #BG0864)
What is this? A tradition or something?
In 1922, my great-grandfather began writing an annual Christmas Carol and sending it out as his Christmas card. Twenty years later, the tradition passed to his son, my great-uncle Alfred Burt, whose carols included the popular "Caroling, Caroling," and "Some Children See Him." Since 2001, I've continued the family tradition, begun over 85 years ago.

Emily Betinis

As word of this crazy tradition spreads, I have received orders for my carols from an increasing number of church, community, and university choruses across the United States and in many other countries. They have been performed by the Philadelphia Singers, Boston's Chorus pro Musica, Los Robles Master Chorale, The Singers--Minnesota Choral Artists, and the San Antonio Chamber Choir, among many others. Each Christmas, my new carol premieres to a regional listening audience on Minnesota Public Radio. Links to sample scores, sound files, and -- in some cases -- a short interview about the carol, can be found by clicking the titles above.

To read more about the family history, see: A Brief History of the Burt Family Carols