News & Views Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Holidays with the Orchestra – Grade 0.5-2 Thursday, September 14, 2017

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

Brighten up the holiday section of your music library with these varied selections that can be worked up in plenty of time for your winter concert. There is lots of variety among these titles, from Christmas medleys, world music carols, classically composed winter music and more. Isn’t it time you chose some new literature? There’s an excellent selection of holiday pieces this year!

cfn-pas20-fChristmas Mash-Up arr. Larry Clark
Take lots of familiar Christmas tunes, mix them all together, and you have a Christmas Mash-Up. The setting is ideal for beginning players with the most difficult rhythm being a quarter note. This piece is perfect to highlight your first year orchestra at their very first holiday concert after as little as ten weeks of study.

Bells and Buccaneers arr. Deborah Baker Monday
What do you get when you combine pirate-like melodies and a student favorite holiday song? An instant hit for your beginners’ first winter concert! Lots of part doubling and unison rhythms for solid reinforcement, your students will feel confident and their parents will be bursting with pride upon hearing both Bells and Buccaneers! Plus your violins will get practice playing notes on their G string and using low “2.”

alfred-45818-fChant de Noel arr. Michael Story
The audience will know and love the tune, and may even know various names for it – “Sing We Now of Christmas,” “Noël Nouvelet,” “Christmas Comes Anew” or “Chant de Noël.” But what they won’t know is that your students have learned F and C natural, violins are playing E with the fourth finger instead of open and your orchestra has learned to pass off rhythms to each other. Optional triangle and shaker will add just the right touch of French Renaissance flavor to your performance.

Christmas In a Minute and a Half arr. Douglas E. Wagner
What would December concerts be without those familiar tunes that everyone loves to hear during that time of year? Here’s a medley arranged by Douglas E. Wagner of a baker’s dozen of some of the most recognized holiday tunes in the world, set in a fun, up-tempo style that is sure to be an audience hit. Even the violas get to play the melody!

grandm-gmmor192-fLos Peces en el Rio arr. Janelle Zook Cunalata
This arrangement was written to celebrate a popular Latin American Carol, “Los Peces en el Rio”, translated as, “Fish in the River.” In a nutshell, the song is about fish in a river that swim by Mary, Joseph and the newborn child, Jesus. The fish swim back and forth in the river hoping for a glimpse of the baby. The slurred eighth notes depict the fish swimming relentlessly, the staccato notes symbolize rain droplets, as fish would hear it underwater, and the Latin American Carol, “Los Peces en el Rio” is heard over the swimming and droplets. Enjoy the enchanting, minor tonality piece for string orchestra.

Sleigh Ride by Leopold Mozart/rr. Jan Farrar-Royce
Although the structure, notes, and dynamics are written by Leopold Mozart, arranger Jan Farrar-Royce takes the liberty of distributing the main themes among the sections of the string ensemble so that every player can enjoy being the horses who are trotting along, the rising and falling winter winds, and the passengers enjoying their ride.

Need more holiday options for your orchestra? Visit our website, or contact us! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Dan C. has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions. A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


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