SATB: with brass (Christmas)
(I'm posting this on behalf of Laura Russell)
Here is a compilation of christmas works for chorus & brass. Many thanks for
all your contributions.
The original request:
I would appreciate the list's suggestions for pieces of easy-to-moderate
difficulty for college-level SATB chorus, brass, and organ/piano appropriate
for a Christmas concert. You may e-mail me privately, and I will post to the
list if there is interest. Thanks.
You might try In Ecclesiis by Gabrieli. It is at the upper range of
moderate. It features 3 choirs, 2 vocal and 1 brass or 2 brass and 1
vocal it has been 5 years since I sung it. I cannot remember if it was
a christmas work but the university choir I learned it in was preparing
it at christmas. Anyway worth a look especially if you have somewhere
accoustic to perform in.
Hodie, by Z Randall Stroope. It's a wonderful little piece!
Artistic Director, The Helios Ensemble
Here are some good works:
Conrad Susa A Christmas Garland (actually for more than brass/organ,
but there is a version for brass/organ
Daniel Pinkham Christmas Cantata
John Rutter Gloria
David Willcocks Eight Carols for Brass and Organ
Frances Fowler Slade
Princeton Pro Musica
Conrad Susa's "Christmas Garland" is available in a version for brass and
organ, parts for rental only from ECs Publishing. Call us for more info.
Pres., ECS Publishing, Boston
Producer, ARSIS Audio, Boston
I don't have a Christmas piece like that, but I do have an Easter piece
at would be wonderful. Look at:
He is Not Here! by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs
You might also look at some of the other Christmas pieces I have in my
DemiQ Music, Inc.
I have three pieces being published by Neil Kjos in September. They are for
brass quartet, choir, and optional soloists. The titles are Yorkshire
Wassail, Make We Joy, and Good Day, Sir Christmas. They were written for
National Madrigal Dinner Festivals in Carnegie hall. They were very well
received. The choral parts are easy. Two are for two-part choir. They will
be available in September.
Pinkham's "Christmas Cantata" is a must! I have used it with great success
at the high school level. Rutter's "Gloria" is also a good challenge,
especially for the brass, but quite motivating for the singers.
Be sure and go to the ChoralNet Repertoire Site and look at the
SATB/brass listings by clicking on Repertoire Lists by
Instrumentation. There are also extensive Christmas lists.
One piece which jumps into my mind is the Pinkham Christmas Cantata.
Allen H Simon
Soli Deo Gloria
Willcocks "Hymns for Choirs" has rental brass choir parts for the
Stephen Paulus Visions of Hildegard Part II brass quintet and percussion
Pinkham: Christmas Cantata
Rutter Gloria, without a doubt!!! But, you probably already know this. =)
In all seriousness, I have been involved with the piece in a total of about
12 concerts - two seperte series, and it never fials to please the audience
- or setup a good mood for the following traditional Chrismtas music.
Rhythmically, it is difficult enough to keep students challenged and
inspired, but at no time does it really cross the line into dificult.
It is also quite probably one of the best pieces every specifically written
for brass, organ and choir, and soloist(s).
The antiphonal works of Gabrielle are a good choice. One of moderate
difficulty is the Hodie. Also, the Pinkham Christmas Cantata.
Try my arrangement of TELL ME, SHEPHERD (G.I.A. Pub - #4784). It is a
setting of a Herbert Hyde melody with brass sextet, timpani and organ
accompaniment (with optional strings). It has a great tune, easy choral
parts and a big sound.
Herewith ends the hornblowing!
Thomas F. Savoy
I would like to recommend my piece published by Gentry 'Gloria in Excelsis
Deo" scored for SATB chorus, organ and brass. For a good college group
this is moderately easy. It is in its second printing and has been used by
Karl Haas on his syndicated Christmas program, 'Listen to the Bells.' It
is an '83 publication of Gentry (Fred Bock).
Thanks. Nancy Hill Cobb, Oklahoma Baptist University
I have a rather extensive library and there is a lot of lovely Christmas
music with strings and woodwinds but not much requiring brass. The only
title I can suggest is JohnRutter's setting of "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
published by Hinshaw HMC-847. In addition to a full orchestration parts for
brass only are available (JR41A) for $10.00. Good luck and best wishes.
Take a look at In dulci jubilo for chorus and brass quartet by Michael
Praetorius and please send me a compilation. Good luck.
I have a bunch of items, some published, some not, that may be of interest:
Ye Men of Vision (1971, rev. 1983) Mz solo, SATB, Brass Quintet, Organ.
by Carl Oxholm.
Glory to God (1978) SAB, Brass Quintet, Percussion (2). Text, Luke 2:13-
(Easily reworked for SATB if of interest)
Hymn Fantasia: VENI, EMMANUEL (1978) Congregation, Orch (0-2-0-0 0-2-
Transcribed for Brass Ensemble, Congregation & Organ, 1983
Carol-Fantasia on ST.LOUIS ("O Little Town of Bethlehem") (1998) Orchestra:
(2)-2-(1)-(1); 0-2-0-0, Str., Organ, Choir, Congregation
Carol-Fantasia on IN DULCI JUBILO ("Good Christian men, Rejoice") (1998)
Orchestra: (2)-2-(1)-(1); 0-2-0-0, Str., Organ, Choir, Congregation
Carol-Fantasia on IRBY ("Once in Royal David's City") (1998) Orchestra:
(2)-2-(1)-(1); 0-2-0-0, Str., Organ, Choir, Congregation
Hymn-Fantasia on WINCHESTER NEW (1997) Congregation, 2 ob, hrn, bsn,
strings, organ. Rev. 1998 for 2 fl, 2 ob, cl, hrn, 2 trpts., str., org.
(The above 4 are easily reworked for brass & organ if of interest)
Carol-Fantasia on MIDNIGHT CLEAR (1995) Brass Quintet, Organ,
(pub. Psalm 150/Theodore Presser)
Carol-Fantasia on GLORIA ("Angels We Have Heard on High") (1996) Brass
Quintet, Organ, Congregation. (Rev. 1998 for Str. & Organ)
And, not involving brass:
Schütz: *Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland* from *Kleine Geistliche Konzerte,*
1636; SWV 301 (1987) SATB, Continuo. English text by R. R. © 1988 by
Theodore Presser Co. (#312-41539).
Reger: *The Virgin's Slumber Song (Mariä Wiegenlied)* (1987) Various
voicings with flute and Keyboard or Harp. English text by R. R. SATB ©
1989 by Coronet Press (dist. Presser) (#392- 41494); SSA © 1989 by Coronet
Press (#392-41495); SAB © 1989, 1990 by Coronet Press (#392-41592); SATB
© 1989, 1990 by Coronet Press (#392-41591).
*Images of Christmas* (1981) Children's Chorus (SA), SATB, Keyboard or Harp.
Text by Irene Jennings. © 1989 by Thomas House Publications (#1C668926).
Dist. Theodore Presser.
Telemann: *Amen, Lob und Ehre* (1989) (under pseudonym "Martin
English text by M. D. © 1991 by Coronet Press (SATB #392- 41608). (This is a
motet for New Year's Day; thus still appropriate)
Hope this is helpful,
Robert Ross, Artistic Director
Voces Novae et Antiquae
I have two recommendations for you:
1. A setting of 'Hodie Christus Natus Est' by Scott Tresham for brass
quintet, organ and SATB chorus. The piece was a winner of the Amadeus
Choir Christmas Carol Competition in 1991, and is published by Gordon V.
Thompson Music, No. V.E.I. 1131 (available in the U.S. from Warner Bros.,
which owns GVT). The choral score includes each brass part on a separate
line, in C. There is no indication of where to obtain the brass parts.
The piece is of moderate difficulty for the chorus. It gets a bit tricky
toward the end, but the organ doubles the voices at that point.
2. A set of six carols, each published separately for SATB chorus and
brass or keyboard accompaniment. The arrangements are not far out (I used
two of them for audience sing-along carols at the end of last year's
concert) but are interesting. The choral score is published also by Gordon
V. Thompson, and the brass parts are available on rental from Counterpoint
Musical Services, 2650 John St., Unit 24, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 2W6
(phone 905-415-0515, fax 905-415-9232). I don't know whether there is
another rental agency for the U.S. They might also have the brass parts
for the Tresham. The pieces are:
Il est ne la divin Enfant (G-5013)
O Come All Ye Faithful (G-5014)
God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (G-5015)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (G-5016)
Deck The Halls (G-5017)
Quittez Pasteurs (G-5020)
Prof. Richard Householder
Director of Choral Activities
School of Music
University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Danil Pinkham's Christmas Cantata should fit your needs nicely. SATB with I
believe two small brass ensembles which I have always done with organ on the
second brass part. Works very well. Wonderful piece, not very difficult,
three movements about 15 minutes or so. It is available both SATB and TTBB.
Last year I sang both with two different groups on the same weekend!
Never had to learn two different parts for the same work at the same time!!
Pinkham's Christmas Cantata would be my first choice, then Robert Shaw's
"Many Moods of Christmas" in 4 suites.
Ms. Russell, I did a wonderful, and not too difficult set of three Christmas
pieces from a Kings Singers series a few years ago with a very nice choir at
Hanna High School here in Brownsville, Texas. Unfortunately I have forgotten
the title of the set in the six years that have passed since I retired, but I
have the directors at Hanna checking to see if they can help me any. The set
included "Gaudete" and "Joy to the World," and the brass players from the
excellent high school band who played for us then included the first chair
baritone horn player from the Texas All-State Band of that year. Maybe you
have resources that will help you learn more about this set of pieces, and if
I learn any more from the current choir directors I will be back in touch.
Ann A. Buchanan, Brownsville, Texas
I would definitely look into John Rutter's Gloria, or his Te Deum as a
second choice. The Gloria is very much on the upper-moderate level of
difficulty, the Te Deum shorter and easier. Audiences and choruses I have
had seem to like the Gloria better (or maybe it's just the way I conduct
On the same program with the Gloria (by the way, it's brass contingent is
on the large side) we did Gabrieli's In ecclesiis, and many other pieces
from the Venetian school lend themselves to this instrumentation, many more
"splashy" than In ecclesiis. I've done some of these plychoral pieces with
the chorus singing one choir, and the brass taking the part of the other
choir, often located in the balcony. If the chorus needs support, the organ
(authentically) can double their parts.
R John Specht
The Queensborough Chorus