American Band Journal - 2018 Christmas Edition



ABJ 81 (348-351) Christmas 2018

81st Edition Program Notes

  • No. 348 Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells — Anon., Arr. William Himes
    • Program Note
    • Nahum Tate's (1652-1715) Christmas carol, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Nightis based on the account of the annunciation to the shepherds found in Luke 2:8-14. Although it has been sung to several tunes over the centuries, none is more charming or popular than this folk tune from Yorkshire, UK.
    • Note to the Conductor
    • An irony for bands during Christmas is that December is the most demanding time of the year — with the least time to rehearse! That said, this festive but straightforward setting should come together quickly with few technical demands.
  • No. 349 The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy — West Indian Carol, Arr. Dorothy Gates (ASCAP) 
    • Program Note
    • This arrangement of the traditional, and ever popular Wet Indian carol captures all the energy of the original, and then some. It combines the relaxed Caribbean style with just a hint of Motown. Guaranteed to get toes tapping and maybe even give us a glimpse of that, "glorious Kingdom".
    • Note to the Conductor
    • Style is the most important aspect of this arrangement.
  • No. 350 O Little Town — Lewis H. Redner, Arr. Michael Davis
    • Program Note
    • A Pastoral based on the Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem, by the Harvard educated Philip Brooks. This gentle setting reflects the words found in the text.
  • No. 351 In a Manger — William James Kirkpatrick, Arr. Craig Woodland
    • Program Note
    • This carol setting is based on the traditional English melody of the familiar carol Away in a Manger. Two verses are presented before the music builds to a joyful rendition of the third verse. The arrangement concludes with a melodic statement of Sing lullaby, from the Basque carol, The Infant King.

Note to the Conductor

This carol setting should be very useful and playable by most band ensembles.

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