Christmas Song, The (arr Higgins)

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Mel Tormé

Mel Tormé (arr. John Higgins)

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Subtitle: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

General Info

Year: 1945 / 1996
Duration: c. 4:25
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $55.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Full Score
Solo E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III

  • Chimes
  • Glockenspiel
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Temple Blocks
  • Triangle
  • Wind Chimes

Optional SATB Chorus


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Christmas Song (commonly subtitled Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire or, as it was originally subtitled, Merry Christmas to You) is a classic Christmas song written in 1945 by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé.

According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to "stay cool by thinking cool", the most-performed (according to BMI) Christmas song was born. "I saw a spiral pad on his (Wells') piano with four lines written in pencil", Tormé recalled. "They started, 'Chestnuts roasting..., Jack Frost nipping..., Yuletide carols..., Folks dressed up like Eskimos.' Bob didn't think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics."

- Program Note from Wikipedia


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Piedmont Wind Symphony (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (Mark A. Norman, conductor; Stephanie Foley Davis, soprano) - 5 December 2023
  • Mid America Freedom Band (Kansas City, Mo.) (Lee Hartman, conductor) – 12 December 2021
  • North Jersey Concert Band (Fairlawn) (Michael Roth, conductor) – 1 December 2017
  • Kings Park Concert Band (Springfield, Va.) (Rich Bergman, conductor) – 8 December 2016
  • Lufkin (Texas) Community Band (David E. Smith, conductor; Nicole Hunt, vocalist) – 4 December 2016
  • Contra Costa Wind Symphony (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (Brad Hogarth, conductor) – 6 November 2016
  • Charlottesville (Va.) Municipal Band (Stephen R. Layman, conductor; Dan Barrale, vocalist) – 13 December 2015
  • Maybrook (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Kevin Scott, conductor) – 11 December 2015
  • Magee Wind Ensemble (Vancouver, B.C.) (Christopher Haas, conductor) – 18 December 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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