This arrangement of “Joy to the World” actually begins with the opening phrase of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” It lasts five measures and then transitions into a typical introduction to “Joy to the World.” It seems a little strange to begin this way, but I think it actually works. You could leave off the C minor section and start at measure six if you wanted. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” makes a comeback in measures 42–44, right before a slightly awkward key change, and then again right at the end in measures 60–61. Due to its reappearance, I think the first iteration is fine enough and were I to perform this piece, I would include it.
I like the forward motion in this arrangement. The music is always moving to the next phrase. The harmonies are interesting, but accessible. And I like the price—FREE! I also like that this isn’t an arranger that has become popular in Latter-day Saint circles. He’s the pastor of a Baptist church in Georgia. While I appreciate the wonderful contributions that come from Latter-day Saints, there’s something about a fresh perspective that really appeals to me. Have you performed this arrangement? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section above.