Christmas 2017

December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas from Virginia! As I prepared to upload the song I wrote in 2017, I realized I didn’t post the song I composed last Season either. Here are my two latest Christmas songs, along with a recording of this year’s by my talented former student, Thomas Petrungaro.

The Young Apprentice 2017

Give a Good Gift 2016



Christmas 2013

December 8, 2013

Another holiday season is upon us, and here’s my latest Christmas song! My inspiration came from our wonderful LDS missionaries who volunteer two years of their lives to serve the Lord. The song has been arranged for solo voice or choir. Also, don’t look for a carol from last year. I didn’t compose one in 2012 because I was too involved in the writing of my new musical version of “Little Women” with my daughter Leigh. That project was completed and presented as a work in progress at Southern Virginia University in December of 2012.

Faithful Shepherds Final Solo 2013

Faithful Shepherds Final SATB 2013


Recordings of the Carols

December 8, 2011

The following links will lead you to audio files of my “December Tales” CD, recorded in 1999. These 16 carols are sung by John Huntington, who is accompanied by Ann Bunker on piano and a full orchestra.

A Simple Carol

Spell Of Noel

How Far To Bethlehem

Baby Jesus, Sleeping There

Of A Dark Night


What About Jesus

I Cradle You Close


Angels On Christmas

The Tiniest Star

One Gift


Looking Across The Manger

Find Him

December Tale (lyric by Orson Scott Card)

In February of 2011, my dear friend Mark Park produced a new recording of John Huntington singing all 27 carols, with the original piano accompaniments again played by Ann Bunker. This lovingly recorded CD features the 11 songs composed since the 1999 recording (excluding this year’s carol).

The Tiniest Star (1972)

Glory (1973)

Baby Jesus, Sleeping There (1974)

Of a Dark Night (1975)

How Far to Bethlehem (1976)

The Caroling Song (1977)

What About Jesus (1983)

I Cradle You Close (1984)

Looking Across the Manger (1985)

The Spell of Noel (1986)

Ornaments (1988)

A Simple Carol (1993)

December Tale (1996) (lyric by Orson Scott Card)

One Gift (1997)

Angels on Christmas (1998)

Find Him (1999)

Carved to See Him (2000)

Christmas Snow (2001)

Friends (2002)

The Christmas House (2003)

Would You Go (2004)

Back Home Again (2005) (lyric by Orson Scott Card)

Another Christmas (2006)

One December Day (2007)

The Day that Christ was Born (2008)

Joseph’s Christmas (2009)

Our Old-fashioned Holiday (2010)


Christmas 2011

December 2, 2011

Dear Blog Readers,

Merry Christmas everybody from the Stoddards of Virginia. This year’s carol, “If You Could Stay Awake on Christmas Eve,” is posted below. The melody is derived from one of the interlude pieces I recently composed for my own stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The production was performed at Southern Virginia University last month to sell-out crowds. But that’s another story. Never mind. Anyway, the lyric has nothing to do with Jane Austen. The tune sounded Beethoven-esque in the play, but when I came up with the idea of a parent tempting a child to stay awake to catch a glimpse of Santa–all the while really trying to get the kid to sleep, I added an accompaniment figure that edged the song towards Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker territory.

This carol is dedicated to Eliza and Penny Olsen, daughters of our good friends Burke and Nicole Olsen. Eliza is four, the perfect age to be delighted by this song. She can sing it to her 1-year old sister to keep her awake on Christmas Eve.

Let me know if you enjoy it.

If You Could Stay Awake 2011 (revised 12-18-11)


Christmas 2010

December 22, 2010

Dear Blog Readers,

I humbly announce the song for Holiday 2010! The dedication is to Amaree Cluff and my daughter, Leigh, who have been encouraging me at gunpoint to write my own musical version of Little Women. As devotees of the novel might recall, the book opens at Christmas, and because I always work in chronological order, this was one of the first songs written. Because the lyrics were story-specific, I adapted them for this carol. I hope you enjoy the jaunty pace and humorous but sincere tone of the song!

Fans of the carols might be interested to know that the music for “The Christmas House,” my carol from 2003, was also originally composed as incidental music for a play adaptation of Little Women. Hmm, I can’t seem to escape Orchard House!

Happy Holidays!

The Stoddards

Robert, D’Ann and Leigh

Old-Fashioned Holiday 2010
NOTE: This was revised 12/18/10 and is now the official version.)


The Carols

December 17, 2010

Below are PDF’s of all 27 carols. These were revised and standardize in December 2010, so please consider these to be the definitive versions. They’re available for you to download provided that you understand that permission must be granted for use in performance.

The Tiniest Star 1972

Glory 1973

Baby Jesus 1974

Of A Dark Night 1975

How Far to Bethlehem 1976

The Caroling Song 1977

What About Jesus 1983

I Cradle You Close 1984

Looking Across the Manger 1985

Spell of Noel 1986

Ornaments 1988

A Simple Carol 1993

December Tale 1996

One Gift 1997

Angels on Christmas 1998

Find Him 1999

Carved to See Him 2000

Christmas Snow 2001

Friends 2002

The Christmas House 2003

Would You Go 2004

Home Again 2005

Another Christmas 2006

One December Day 2007

The Day Christ Was Born 2008

Joseph’s Christmas 2009

Old-Fashioned Holiday 2010