Staff Holiday Favorites

Searching for the perfect piece to add to your holiday concert or gig book this season? Check out our list of the best holiday titles offered on Harp Column Music recommended by Harp Column staff members. This list compiles our best staff picks from the last five years.

Lever Friendly Holiday Solos

Jan Jennings

A Christmas Medley


Whitney Dobyns

Christmas Present


Nadia Birkenstock

First Snow


Sunita Staneslow

Christmas Eve


Rhett Barnwell

A Simple Noël (Christmas Carol)


A Christmas Medley

by Jan Jennings

A Christmas Medley includes three popular carols strung together in a medley format. It’s a great challenge for advanced beginners, and sight readable for higher levels.” —Kimberly Rowe, Harp Column founder and Web Editor

Christmas Present

by Whitney Dobbins

“Whitney Dobyns’s Christmas Present includes six arrangements as creative as they are elegant! If you’re looking for more substantial arrangements that can be played on lever harp, you’ve come to the right place. With its simple and enduring beauty, you’ll be reaching for this collection again and again.” —Amy Nam, Managing Editor at Harp Column Music

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

arr. Kim Robertson

“Kim Robertson’s music fits comfortably in the hands and is clear and easy to read, and this charming Polish carol is no exception. A pleasure to play, this clear and simple arrangement is accessible to both lever and pedal harpists.” —Elizabeth Jaxon, Harp Column Circulation Manager

First Snow

by Nadia Birkenstock

“This lovely and extremely playable arrangement is a great addition to any gigging musician’s book!  Playable on both lever and pedal harp, it evokes the peaceful quiet and anticipation of fun that come along with the first snow of the season. This is a great little piece that can be performed at Holiday background gigs of all kinds, and even better than that, because it isn’t overtly “holiday-ish,” it can transfer into your normal gig book with ease!” —Kristina Finch, Harp Column Podcast Host

Traditional Christmas Tunes with a Twist

by Verlene Schermer

“Across its three volumes, Verlene Schermer’s Traditional Christmas Tunes with a Twist series contains 30 Christmas classics arranged with jazzy harmonies. A go-to for seasonal gig music, these refurbished standards are also fun to play through for your own enjoyment!” —Amy Nam, Managing Editor at Harp Column Music

We Three Kings with Arabian Dance

by Anna Hagen

“Anna Hagen effortlessly combines the well-loved Christmas carol “We Three Kings” with Tchaikovsky’s well-loved melody from The Nutcracker in “Arabian Dance.” The switching back and forth between melodies and time signatures mixed with the drone-like left hand and delicate right hand ornaments keeps things interesting throughout.” —Liana Alpino, Harp Column Social Media Manager and Blogger

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

by Sunita Staneslow

“Both of these collections have been a staple of my holiday gig repertoire for years. Sunita’s arrangements are beautiful as written, but intentionally left simple so the harpist can use them as a foundation for improvisation. Both collections included carols less familiar to me, which adds some interest (for me!) during multi-hour holiday gigs!” —Danielle Kuntz, Harp Column customer service representative

A Simple Noel 

by Rhett Barnwell

“Rhett’s arrangement, based on “The First Noel,” is hot off the press in time for the holidays! While you may already have this tune in your repertoire, Rhett’s new take will freshen up your holiday set list.” —Kimberly Rowe, Harp Column founder and Web Editor


Pedal Friendly Holiday Solos

Erin Freund

Mary Did You Know


Christa Grix

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


Cindy Horstman

I Wonder as I Wander (solo)


Liana Alpino

Silver Bells


Ekaterina Afanasieva

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy


Pedal Sliders

Deck the Halls


We Wish You A Merry Calypso-mas

by Pedal Sliders

“This fun arrangement adds a latin twist to the classic Holiday song. Great for teaching calypso style, emphasizing rhythmic precision, and learning how to play a groove! A great addition to any holiday background music gig book, or as a teaching piece.” —Kristina Finch, Harp Column Podcast Host

Mary, Did You Know?

arr. Erin Freund

“This arrangement has been a staple in my holiday gig repertoire for the last few years. Erin Freund has arranged this song beautifully for the harp, really allowing the lower register to shine. It’s also arranged in all flats, so it is that much more resonant. The syncopation in the left hand is a nice contrast to the rest of my holiday music. Rounding out this arrangement are a few sparkly glissandos elevating this piece to be suitable for background music or the stage!” —Liana Alpino, Harp Column Social Media Manager and Blogger

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

arr. Christa Grix

“This is one of my favorite Christmas tunes, and I love what Christa Grix has done with it in this arrangement. She does a masterful job of letting the beauty of the melody line speak for itself, supported by some lush, rich, jazzy chords. This arrangement is so much fun to play—it will be on frequent rotation in my holiday set list this year.” —Alison Reese, editor of Harp Column Magazine

I Wonder as I Wander

arr. Cindy Horstman

“This upbeat, jazzy setting of the traditionally slow, lyrical carol is the perfect addition to your holiday gig repertoire! Plus, if you’re anything like me and struggle with jazz improvisation, this arrangement has everything written out for you. But, it’s simple enough that you can still add your own embellishments. Your audience will love this unexpected twist on the traditional tune!” —Danielle Kuntz, Harp Column customer service representative

Silver Bells

arr. Liana Alpino

“It’s flashy in all the right ways—interesting for listeners but not too stressful for the harpist. Not only will your left hand get to join in on the fun, playing a whimsical arpeggiated line throughout the chorus, but Liana Alpino wrote out a second verse with a cool, contrasting accompaniment, keeping things interesting throughout the whole piece.—Stephanie Gustafson, Harp Column Contributing Writer

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

arr. Ekaterina Afansieva

“If you are tired of sitting wistfully looking on in the orchestra pit as the celeste player has all the fun playing Tchaikovsky’s iconic “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker, then this arrangement is for you. Ekaterina Afanasieva has done a skillful job of distilling the solo celeste part and the accompanimental strings into a challenging, but rewarding edition for solo harp. You’ll enjoy dancing around your harp with this arrangement of a seasonal favorite.” —Alison Reese, editor of Harp Column Magazine

Deck The Halls

arr. Pedal Sliders

“The Pedal Sliders make good on their name with this arrangement of “Deck the Halls.” There’s hardly a measure that goes by without at least one or two…or lots of pedal changes, but don’t let that scare you off this arrangement. It’s actually lots of fun and I found it totally got me back into playing a tune that I have played so many times I would have been happy never to play it again. Just when you think it might start to get routine, the Pedal Sliders change up the rhythm from a straight up ballad to swing the second half.” —Alison Reese, editor of Harp Column Magazine

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