Holiday Alternatives for Concert Band

Each school district has a different approach to programming Christmas/Holiday and Winter concerts.  With this in mind, Stanton’s band staff is happy to recommend these new titles as holiday alternatives, perfect for providing seasonal variety on your Christmas program, or for celebrating winter!  For our staff selections of new, traditional Christmas arrangements click on the Best New Christmas tab on our concert band webpage, check out our New Young Band Christmas article on our blog, and keep your eyes out for our soon-to-post suggestions of new high school Christmas arrangements.

Add a touch of Canada to your next holiday concert!  A Canadian Christmas features carols that have been traditionally sung in Canada for many years. It opens with the joyous strains of Il Est N Le Divin Enfant (He is Born, The Divine Child) and continues with the plaintive and modal No l Nouvelet (Sing We Now of Christmas).  The Huron Carol (‘Twas In the Moon of Wintertime) is then presented with remnants of No l Nouvelet cleverly woven in. The dramatic conclusion develops brief dialogue between Good King Wenceslas and Il Est N Le Divin Enfant that brings the work to an exuberant and powerful close.

Holiday Collage is a cleverly arranged center piece for your holiday concert. It features the 6/8 Over the River and Through the Woods and Jingle Bells in a clever mix, with quotes from Deck the Halls and O Tannenbaum . Treat your band to this superb arrangement that is a joy to both play and hear!

Jazzy carol treatments are often trite, but there’s some real soul at the heart of Jubellation!  This inventive take on the Ukrainian Bell Carol-moody, bluesy, stylish sophistication splashed with bursts of driving intensity is a refreshing change-of-pace for both your band and audience.

A nice, fun alternative to standard Christmas fare, Old-Fashioned Sleigh Ride contains many teaching concepts (light vs. legato articulation, 8th note subdivision, steady tempo), in addition to amping up the programmatic fun factor with wood blocks, sleigh bells, whip cracks, and a horse whinny! A perfect introduction to program pieces, your students will enjoy the gimmicks while your audience will enjoy its warmth and cheer.

Ever wonder what The Nutcracker would have been like had Tchaikovsky had a vacation home in Jamaica?  Drawing from the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the traditional Jamaican tune Sweet Sugar Plum, Timothy Loest and the style-masters at FJH have created Sugar Plum Reggae – a fun, colorful reggae chart that lets your percussion shine!

With Every Winter’s Breath is a breathtakingly gorgeous work inspired by the idea that even after death, a person’s memory can inspire, comfort, and influence our daily lives.  A poignant original melody and Go Tell It on the Mountain are woven together in a stunning, emotional tapestry.

To browse other Christmas concert band arrangements, click on the Christmas & Holiday link on our concert band webpage, or visit Stanton’s Listening Library. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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Categories: Concert Band, Music Education, New Publications, Staff Picks

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