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SATB Voicing

By Mary McDonald

Orchestrations by Ed Hogan


From the shimmering opening chords to the final climactic finish, O Holy Light carries singers and listeners through a journey of the celebration of the Light of the world. Filled with beloved carols and exciting songs from the inimitable Mary McDonald, this cantata captures the many moods of Christmas with a fresh voice. The narration explores God’s Light contrasted with the world’s darkness, and how the Holy Light of Jesus will never be quenched. The lighting of five symbolic candles during the cantata along with an optional congregational candlelight moment is thrilling. Joyful throughout, it’s the sort of cantata that will be remembered for years to come.

35 minutes

O Holy Light
from Jubilate Music


Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald is well-known in sacred music. With a career that spans over forty years, her songs appear in the catalogs of every major publisher of church music. More than 1200 compositions through anthems, seasonal musicals and keyboard collections testify to her significant contribution to church music. No stranger to glass ceilings, her energy and charisma served her well when Mary became the first woman President of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference. She recently retired from serving 36 years as accompanist for the Tennessee Men's Chorale, touring internationally to Brazil, England, Wales, and Italy.


In 2010, after serving as senior music editor for The Lorenz Corporation in Dayton, Ohio for more than twenty years, Mary resigned her position in order to serve the church in a different way. Now, she takes her tremendous passion and love for music making directly to churches as an independent artist. Since then, she has been in constant demand in churches across the nation for composer weekends as well as served as host for many of the top choral music dealer conferences in the United States and Canada.


Mary has performed three times on the grand stage of Carnegie Hall, both as pianist and conductor, most recently conducting the Festival of Christmas November of 2022. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, among them the prestigious John Ness Beck award, the Paul B. Clark Award for Excellence in Church Music, and the Lifetime Achievement award in Sacred Music. 


Mary and her husband of 43 years, Brian, a Knoxville architect, live on the scenic Douglas Lake in the heart of the Smoky Mountains in Dandridge. Tennessee. They have two married children and five grandchildren.

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