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Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby the elephant » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:34 am

I have been playing with Finale 26 and updating my old files. I created a fresh quintet template and have been manually typing everything in note-by-note using Simple Entry. (Sorry, I never bothered to learn Speedy Entry or HyperScribe. No keyboard, no Number Pad.)

Doing this slow, almost painful work has produced some startling results in that upwards of two decades of bugs have gone away. To say that I am happy is a gross understatement.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I finally worked my way through all my previous quintet Christmas files. I entered them all afresh (many were based on a template I created in 1997 in Finale 3.0 and have been updated with every, single version of Finale since that time, so they have many bugs, some of which are rather severe and annoying time eaters) and then incorporated all the changes my two quintets suggested after several gigs. (They wrote comments on each part for me.)

I also have a few altered arrangements from last year that have not yet been played, as well as a few new ones. Some have solos over changes with slashes and no written music. I will write solos later for these, a little closer to Christmas.

If you have a quintet that meets over the summer and that has time for reading at every rehearsal, please feel free to ask for one of these. I have others, but they are not completed, so they are not in this list. The two with the blue marks are not available.

I am trying to get things nailed down on the first try, this year, and much earlier than usual. These will be made available as a package download as usual, but when should I post that? I have been told repeatedly that I need to post these much earlier because they take time to many groups to adequately work up. Forgive me, but we sight-read these, so I am not really in tune with the realities of most groups. I apologize about this. Please tell me when you would like to see these appear each year.

Thanks for all the years of suggestions and such.

Last thing: what would you like to see added to this collection? I want to have 25 or so tunes, and right now I have 18 plus about six in the works. Recommendations?

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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby hrender » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:50 am

Suggestions: Coventry Carol, Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, O Come Emmanuel, Joy to the World, O Little Town of Bethlehem

Thanks for putting these out, you do nice arrangements.
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby the elephant » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:56 am

HA! Three of you suggested tunes are already in the works! Thanks. I will get back to work on these soon, sir! If you want to take a look at any of the above-posted ones let me know.

It was requested locally by two presenters that we do more of the pop music ones, like Feliz Navidad, Blue Christmas, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, and Jingle Bell Rock. Also, people at private (office) parties seem to want more from the TV shows, like Rudolph and Frosty and Charlie Brown. They all are of the correct age for these tunes. Kids today don't know most of them, though, sadly.

[Every year this one presenter asks me to arrange the theme from "Olive, the Other Reindeer" (which is a very cute TV special from 1999). But I honestly don't think anyone other than the two of us would have any idea who Olive was.]

I have some of these up above, and others in the works.
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby Aglenntuba » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:56 pm

This whole big band Christmas album is one of my favorites, but I particularly like their take on "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". Could be a good addition for a more lighthearted chart! https://youtu.be/3tG8yZ4L-QA
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby The Brute Squad » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:00 pm

the elephant wrote:It was requested locally by two presenters that we do more of the pop music ones, like Feliz Navidad, Blue Christmas, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, and Jingle Bell Rock


Trumpet players might hate me for the suggestion, but what about Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses?
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby T. J. Ricer » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:44 pm

Although not technically a Christmas Song, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Dolly’s Hard Candy Christmas.
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby pauvog1 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:51 pm

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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby nworbekim » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:34 pm

i always like i saw 3 ships
wonderful christmas time - Beatles
i like them all
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby Three Valves » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:59 pm

Who needs four valves??

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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby LCH3 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:47 pm

First, thanks so much for doing this. (Any time you can include baritone or flugelhorn alternative to French Horn would also be great - those Players are so hard to find.)

In terms of release, my group often plays a couple of gigs when Santa arrives, usually mid to late November. This also suggests Here Comes Santa Claus as another tune.

I like all the suggested tunes, especially from hrender and your own Frosty, Jingle Bells, etc.

Thanks again.
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby Cobra1502 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:37 am

Some that kids might know.

Frozen
Frosty the Snowman
Polar Express
The Grinch
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby Mark Finley » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:40 am

The music from muppet Christmas Carol is amazing.
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Re: Getting a Head Start on Christmas Music - Suggestions?

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:48 pm

Been reviewing suggestions in the thread so far. Some of these are GREAT! Thanks for taking time from you lives to help me out. However, these must be 100% recognizable by both kids and younger adults, say, 35 to 40 years or younger. (The old farts won't recognize some of those, and the younger kids won't recognize the others.) One of our annual gigs is to play for the students in the State Hospital, many of which are from the Disturbed Ward, but most are from the ward for kids sitting out psych evals for court cases; 100% of these kids are violent offenders and all are between the ages of 12 and 20. Most of them have not had much of a home life and they really have never heard most Christmas music. Frequently, when we are done I will talk to some of them (as possible) in the parking lot as they are marched back to their respective wards. When asked what they would *like* to hear, every time most of them ask for "All I Want for Christmas is You". We also have a presenter who asks us for it every year. When she found out I was doing much of our arranging she got my number and now she texts to remind me. I have not yet told her of our Custom Arrangement fee that goes to whomever does the arrangement. We do this for weddings, but I cannot make myself do this for Christmas music.

Anyway, as mentioned above, this will *have* to be one of the tunes.

I have decided on "Jingle Bell Rock", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", "Rudolph" and "Frosty". I am not too keen on RATCT because it is soooooo similar to JBR. Even set in different keys they would sound almost the same, and I do not have the time to arrange something "distinctive and clever" — perhaps in the future...

I have the Mariah Carey tune finished, but will probably rewrite the ending. JBR was finished just moments ago. Rudolph and Frosty are both about half finished in attempts that were aborted in the past. I will just take them out, dust them off, and figure out whatever it was that had me unhappy.

We have many of your suggested tunes already in the folders, so they won't be a part of my collection. I am just supplementing what we already have, which is about 60 solid arrangements and maybe a half dozen bad ones that I have been supplanting with my own. My stack has grown to 22 and will soon be about 25.

The kids at Whitfield Hospital have also asked for some singalong stuff in the past, so I have some very toned-down arrangements set in good singing keys and we pass out song sheets to them. You would be surprised which ones these kids know and which ones they have never heard. Sort of disappointing: our traditional Christmas music is becoming lost to the regular world, over time.
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