Christmas Potpourri is a collection of some of my favorite, but not always familiar, Christmas carols with not a hint of Jingle Bells to be found! But it's much more than that. It's also a collection of different ensembles. Within the piece there are full band sections, solos, duets, woodwind quartet, brass choir, woodwind choir, horn quartet and several other ensembles. There's even a big band section. The sections are tied together with a tuba Bb drone. With this drone you can drop entire sections that don't fit the abilities of your students or adjust the length of the piece to fit time restraints.
Measure 43 is a big band section that really needs to swing. You might want to cut it to one on a part and/or have the members stand to play this section. Whatever you do, don't let it drag. Consider taking it in cut time to help keep it moving. The percussion can be a big help in keeping it pushing ahead.
I wrote O Come, O Come Emmanuel with horn quartet in mind, understanding that not everyone has enough horns to cover all the parts, especially the low horn part. The first option is to add the euphonium part. You can have them support the low horn part or have them cover the part completely and have all your second horns play the top notes. The next option is to add saxes as needed to support the horns. The final option is to turn the horn quartet into a sax quartet.
You may choose to simply end at measure 179 or let the tuba(s) play the cute tag. If you use the tag, don't be afraid to stretch out the Bb drone in the tubas first to trick the audience into expecting another carol before hitting them with the quick and cute We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
I hope you and your audience enjoy my Christmas Potpourri. As with good potpourri, don't be afraid to adjust it to your personal taste.
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