The holiday season is filled with music from a variety of places and for many ensembles, including concert band. There are many popular arrangements, such as Leroy Anderson's Bugler's Holiday and Sleigh Ride, but few written specifically for band. Here are five fun holiday works written specifically for wind ensemble to help you celebrate the season.
1. Fantasy on a Bell Carol — Edward J. Madden
Based on Carol of the Bells, by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych, this work is inspired by the same folk chant, "Shchedryk."
2. Christmas March — Edwin Franko Goldman
Familiar favorites such as "The First Noel," "Jingle Bells" and "Adeste Fideles" fill this march with echoes of season's greetings.
3. Russian Christmas Music — Alfred Reed
Commissioned for a concert whose aim was to improve U.S.-Soviet relations, this work for symphonic band has become a favorite for bands during the holiday season, as well as year-round. (Find out more about Russian Christmas Music.)
4. Rhapsody for Hanukkah — Stephen Bulla
Bulla used his skill as an arranger for "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band to create a festive piece, composed of seven Hanukkah tunes, to celebrate the Jewish holiday.
5. Stars and Strips for Christmas — John Philip Sousa and Robert E. Foster
Foster blended the fast tempo of Sousa with a variety of Christmas favorites to create a piece sure to win over the patriotic crowd.
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