TITLE: O HOLY NIGHT
COMPOSER: Arranged by Jack Bullock
PUBLISHER: Alfred Music
LENGTH: Approximately 2:00
GRADE LEVEL: Young Bands
This is beautifully, sensitive arrangement that depicts a delicate, but powerful piece of music.
It is written in 12/8 compound time at a dotted quarter (mm=54).
The introduction makes use of moving eighth notes in the upper woodwinds. It is to be noted that the oboe player may have some difficulty in playing these figures in a legato style.
A warm solo for the trumpet follows as the arpeggiated eighth note figures continue.
Both the tuba and the bass clarinet play the bass part. The director must be careful to achieve a good balance between these two instruments (if both are available). The tuba tends to overpower the bass clarinet and one can lose the delicacy of the moment.
The middle section is given to the F.horn, doubled by the alto saxophones and the bells. The F. horn must be able to play up to a written D in the staff with no problem. The flutes are expected to play up to F above the staff, while the trombones and baritone horn play to D above the staff.
An effective climax section follows where the melody is now in the upper woodwinds and alto saxophones. This is accompanied by a countermelody in the baritone horns, tenor saxes, bassoon, and cued for the trombones.
] A very big crescendo leads the band to the climax at an f level at measure 31. This triplet figure continues for four measures, before moving into a legato section for four measures. This leads to the final high point in the arrangement at measure 39 where the tutti band stretches to a fortissimo level. The ending, similar to the introduction, brings back the moving eighth note figures underlaid by legato, sustained low brass and woodwinds.
This piece, in 12/8 time, is highly recommended for its very musical phrasing, expressive part writing, and effective legato writing- very mature writing for young bands.
Purchase at Alfred Publishing: O Holy Night