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Holidays: Holiday music with band or orchestra



Three new suggestions have come in since the last compilation. I've added
them to the bottom of the list and included the whole list once again.
Thanks to all who responded!

David Griggs-Janower
janower(a)albany.edu
Albany Pro Musica
http://www.timesunion.com/communities/apm.htm


Summary of original post: I'm looking for December holiday music for
chorus with either band or orchestra accompaniment, larger works than just
anthem length, familiar holiday tunes rather than Bach/Handel/Vivaldi-ish.

We did Randol Bass' "Christmas Ornaments" the past two years. Contains
Coventry Carol, What Child, Deck the Hall, 12 Days, Hark How the Bells, etc.
It used to be Plymouth, but it's now Randol Bass Music. He als has a
similar piece called "Feast of Carols." These are with orch.

I've also done Warren Barker's "A Christmas Celebration" for chorus and
band, originally published by Jensen (it's been 20 years). It includes We
Wish You..., Silver Bells, The Christmas Song, Good King W, and We Need a
Little Xmas.

And we did John Cacavas' "Christmas Music for Winds" by having the chorus
sing the tunes in unison with the band. Bourne Music. O Come All Ye
Faithful, Silent Night, Jolly Old St. Nick, O Little Town, Away in a
Manger, 12 Days of Xmas, Angels we have heard on high

Here's the compilation.

"Caroling, Caroling (A Medley of Alfred Burt Carols)" arr. Mark Hayes for
Chorus and Wind Ens.


I've always liked the Halsey Stevens Magnificat, for trumpet and keyboard,
although it is a bit short by your standards (I seem to remember about 10
minutes only).

If you have the horses, the Honeggar Xmas Cantata is great fun for the
audience. You will need to "promote" the beginning to the chorus, but it is
an underperformed piece.


Look at Roger Wagner's "Christmas Story according to St. Luke" which he
composed for an NBC Christmas special with Tennessee Ernie Ford. It is
lush, filled with familiar Christmas songs, and has a narration from the
King James. I sang it with Roger and have conducted it twice with my
University choir and orchestra. The local Lutheran pastor did the narration
(he has a voice similar to James Earl Jones!) and the audience gave us a
standing ovation. It is published by G. Schirmer, orchestral parts on
rental, and lasts about 20-25 minutes with a Hollywood ending to kill for.

I've had wonderful success with: "Angels in the Snow" by Tracey Rush
(children's chorus also); (mentioned several times)

"A Musicological Journey through the 12 Days of Christmas" by Courtney;
Hinshaw 1196


Last year I did suite two of "Holiday Moods" arr. by Jeff Tyzik (G.
Schirmer). There are three suites a la "The Many Moods of Christmas". Very
effective and accessible for both chorus and orch....particulary the chorus
in the case of suite two. These suites are only a couple of years old, I
believe. (orch)

Also, Robert Wendel's arrangement of "We Need a Little Christmas" is a real
crowd-pleaser. (orch)

I hate to tell you this, but I looked last year for an medium-sized work
with instrumental accomp (no strings) and came up completely dry. I can
recommend, though, Fantasy on Five Christmas Carols arr. Mark Hayes which is
about a 6-8 minute work. And it is really neat.

There is also the Daniel Pinkham Christmas Cantata (about 15 minutes) in
three movements. [NB: brass only] Somewhat more contemporary and serious,
but my amateurs enjoyed it.

A small piece is Angels We Have Heard On High arr. Carlton Young and the
ever popular Kuykendall Joy to the World. Beyond that, I really came up
with nothing.

"Caroling, Caroling (A Medley of Alfred Burt Carols)" arr. Mark Hayes for
Chorus and Wind Ens. [NB: A Festival of Alfred Burt Carols, orchestrated by
Hawley Ades, Shawnee Press - has 10 Burt carols. I don't' know if this is
the same piece and Hayes is wrong, or if there is also one by Hayes.]

Have you considered the multiple settings of Many Moods of Christmas? It's a
Robert Russell Bennet (and I believe Robert Shaw) medley of carols for
chorus and orchestra. I don't know if arrangements for band exist.

Conrad Susa's "A Christmas Garland" might fill the bill. We performed it
last year with the Livingston County (Michigan) Chorale, and it was
eminently accessible to our audiences. I believe it has band accompaniment.
(ECSchirmer)

I wonder if "Christmas Day" by Holst fits the bill--I have only a version
with piano accompaniment, but I think it's also orchestrated. In the same
style is "Fantasia on Christmas Carols" by RVW, and I have exactly the same
comment about accompaniment as for the Holst. These
works are both "medleys" of mostly familiar tunes.

The Rutter Gloria kind of fits. (NB: liturgical text]

I wish you would consider my piece, Sing Gloria. It's scored for SSAATTBB
with either piano four hands or full orchestra. It only takes about 10
minutes to perform and IS octavo, but it's spectacular enough that it seems
BIGGER. It's in 5/8 time in the first and last sections, a cappella slower
("for unto us a child is born..") in the mid-section. Ann Kapp Andersen
Kleinholzhausen, Germany anna(a)hoochinoo.com

Anders Öhrwall's THE THREE KINGS, (Walton) uses some instruments and has
popular appeal.
flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, cello and bass- 22 min, Walton

David Ouchterlony's CAROL CANTATA (Frederick Harris) uses off-beat carols
from around the world. - 55 minutes with organ or orchestra.

Robert DeCormier - Shout for Joy, A Suite of Christmas Spirituals - full
orch - includes 5 spirituals: There's a Star in the East, What Month was my
Jesus Born in, The Virgin Mary had=a One Song, Shout for Joy, go Tell it on
the Mountain. Lawson-Gould

William Grant Still - Christmas in the Western World, for string orch - lots
of carols, folky in style, from South and Central America, and one
spiritual. Charming. Peer/Southern.

Willcocks, Five Christmas Carols, Oxford. Trad. carols.

Craig Bohmier, Joy to the World, a medley of international carols - Santa
Barbara Music - - full orch

Rutter - Joy to the World - 15 carols, and O Holy Night, 13 carols, Hinshaw.

Z. Randall Stroope - American Christmas American Rhapsody - strings or
brass, harp, percussion, organ - Alliance Music

John Leavitt - Festival of Lessons and Carols - Brookfield Press/Hal Leonard

"A Christmas Triptych" arranged by Richard Proulx. #3 is a very Hallelujah
Chorus-ish setting of Joy to the World for SATB and strings (or piano).

I must have missed your original message and would like to offer my carol
'Christo Paremus Canticum' for SATB Choir and Small Orchestra (single winds,
harp and strings). I performed it last Christmas to rave reviews!
Stuart McIntosh [smacmus(a)yahoo.com]

Eric Delson, A Holiday Triptych, 1999, including Maoz Tsur, Es ist ein Ros,
and Quelle est cette odeur, with orch. edelson(a)skynet.be Recorded by
Brussels Choral Society, Tom Cunningham: cflat(a)compuserve.com - along with
the previously mentioned De Cormier Shout for Joy, Poulenc Gloria, and more.