New Festive Favorites for Band

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The holiday concert season is right around the corner.  Whether you’re in the process of selecting your whole concert or just searching for 1 or 2 new arrangements to complete your program, we have you covered.  These are our favorite new holiday releases for 2017 ranging from beginning band to high school, and featuring several of our favorite composers.  If you have a young group, be sure to check out Snow (Yuki).  This Japanese children’s song features a simple melody that is delightful.  My wife has programmed a choir arrangement of this song, so I was excited to see it arranged for band.  Enjoy!

African Holy Night
arr. Robert W. Smith
RWS Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $75.00
The traditional carol O Holy Night has been re-imagined in a completely different setting. Featuring the percussion section, we are musically transported to the Serengeti and jungles of Africa to explore the well-known melody in both time and texture. A unique and exciting selection for your next holiday concert!

A Festive Fanfare
Brian Balmages
FJH Beginning Band
Grade 1                                    $40.00
This powerful and driving overture is the perfect way to kick off your holiday program! Featuring a mix of original themes and holiday favorites, this work does not sound like a medley; rather, it is a powerful fanfare featuring snippets of holiday favorites that span from lyrical to soaring!

Jingle Jangle All the Way
arr. Ed Huckeby
Barnhouse Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $68.00
Ed Huckeby’s inventive and colorful treatment of the classic Jingle Bells is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit! The fresh rhythmic concepts provide just the right combination of uniqueness and familiarity to give this holiday favorite a brand new twist. The clever changing meter elements provide that extra “special” to bring the tune alive and create fresh sounds. Jingle Jangle All The Way is certain to become a favorite on your annual holiday concert program!

The Joys of Christmas
arr. Rob Romeyn
Barnhouse Rising Band Green
Grade 1.5                     $49.00
A festive and fresh holiday concert opener for beginning band that is sure to be a favorite for both performers and audiences. Good King Wenceslas is used as the basis for the work, crafted in a powerful and effective setting while a very creative and lyrical interlude of Jingle Bells serves as a beautiful musical moment before the piece ends as it began, powerfully festive. Easy to play and easy to put together, this wonderful selection is also appropriate for more advanced groups with limited rehearsal time.

Santa’s Heartfelt Christmas
arr. James Swearingen
Barnhouse Sound Foundations Red
Grade 0.5                     $45.00
This combination of Up On the Housetop and Jolly Old St. Nicholas clearly demonstrates Swearingen’s ability to make a young band sound mature beyond their years. Emotionally uplifting, this beautiful setting touches all the right buttons necessary to leave your audience wanting to experience the joy of the holiday season!

Snow (Yuki)
Robert Buckley
Hal Leonard First Concepts
Grade 1                                    $40.00
Snow is based on the charming Japanese children’s song Yuki. Robert has combined this song with an original festive melody to create a joyful, winter holiday piece. Everyone gets a chance to shine in this beginning band piece – suitable for that first holiday concert!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the 5x Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), the Steelers, and all things Pittsburgh.  He’s sad about Tom Petty, but very excited that the new NHL season has begun!


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

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