Celebrating the 200th anniversary of “Silent Night”

Today, December 24 of 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of this famous Christmas carol, “Silent Night, Holy Night.” It was in a small town in Austria called Oberndorf bei Salzburg, which is about half an hour train ride from Salzburg.

Gruber was the organist at the St. Nicholas Church there. Unfortunately, the organ was not working on the Christmas Eve of 1818. Joseph Mohr, who was the assistant priest of the church at the time suggested Gruber compose a piece for guitar and voices on the lyric he provided.

For the rest of the story, please watch this youtube video that I and Junko played1

Happy holidays!

Gruber: Silent Night played by Nat Sakimura, flute and Junko Sakimura, piano.

OH, and one more thing. Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” was written on a hot summer day and not linked to the holiday season, yet happens to be one of the most played pieces during the season. Here is the version we created. After a solemn carol, this should give you a little bit of giggle. Enjoy!

Anderson: Sleigh Ride played by Junko Sakimura, marimba and Junko Shimizu, piano.


  1. I was actually quite sick that day so the condition of playing is not so good, but nevertheless…

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