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Russian Christmas Music

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Alfred Reed

Alfred Reed

General Info

Year: 1944
Duration: c. 14:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $85.00   |   Score Only - $12.00


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II (I doubling Flute III, II doubling Flute IV)
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn (optional)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III (all div. a2)
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (div. a2)
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone (optional)
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion I-II (7 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong (Tam-Tam)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


In Parts:

  • B-flat Clarinet I, m. 111: Replace 3/4 time signature with a 3/2 time signature
  • Contrabass Clarinet, m. 18: Add a tenuto on the D on beat 2
  • Contrabass Clrinet, m. 59: Remove the "mf" dynamic marking
  • Contrabass Clarinet, m. 225: Change the tenuto on beat 4 to an accent
  • Contrabass Clarinet, m. 215-216: These two bars should be a String Bass + Bass Clarinet cue
  • Contrabass Clarinet, m. 236-237: Remove the tie in between the two whole notes on m. 236 and 237
  • Contrabass Clarinet, m. 237: Add an accent to the whole note E4
  • Bassoon I, m. 117: delete quarter rests on beat 3 and 6, leave the half rest [There should be only four beats in this measure.]
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, reh. 32: add 2/2 meter signature
  • B-flat Bass Saxophone, m. 19: Add tenutos to all three quarter notes
  • B-flat Bass Saxophone, m. 42: Add tenuto to whole note
  • B-flat Bass Saxophone, m. 237: Add "f" dynamic marking to eighth note (also applies to Cb. Cl. cue if played)
  • B-flat Cornet II, m. 15, beat 1 (oboe cue): change last 16th note (D) to a quarter note
  • Baritone TC, m. 219: beat 4, the four 16th notes should be 32nd notes.
  • Percussion II, Chimes and Bells, m. 188: The C-sharp printed on beat 1 should be a C-natural
  • Percussion II, Chimes and Bells, m. 195: The C-natural printed on beat 4 should be a C-sharp

Program Notes

Originally written in November 1944, Russian Christmas Music was first performed in December of that year in Denver, Colorado. Two years later, the piece was elaborated and revised, and in that form was one of the three prize-winning work in the 1947 Columbia University contest for new serious music for symphonic band.

An ancient Russian Christmas Carol (Carol of the Little Russian Children) is mixed with motives from orthodox liturgical music from the Eastern Orthodox Church. Though set as a single piece, the composer originally subtitled the four easily separated sections Children's Carol, Antiphonal Chant, Village Song, and Cathedral Chorus.

- Program Notes from score

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: V
  • Kansas: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Maryland: V
  • Massachusetts: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Mississippi: VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Glenn Hayes, conductor) – 20 March 2020 (Carnegie Hall, New York) (scheduled, but concert canceled)
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Wind Symphony (Don L. Peterson, conductor) – 12 December 2019
  • Wilmot (Wisc.) High School Wind Ensemble (John Sorensen, conductor) – 11 December 2019
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Symphony (Chad Shoopman, conductor) – 10 December 2019
  • Clovis (Calif.) East High School Wind Ensemble (Marco Mellone, Conductor) - 10 December 2019
  • Muskegon (Mich.) Community College Wind Ensemble (Daniel M. Meyers, conductor) – 9 December 2019
  • Angelo State University (San Angelo, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Alvis, conductor) – 6 December 2019
  • West Seattle (Wash.) Community Orchestra Wind Orchestra (Anton Coleman, conductor) – 6 December 2019
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Symphonic Band (Matthew O. Smith, conductor) – 4 December 2019
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Symphony (Jason Silveira, conductor) – 23 November 2019
  • Belmont University (Nashville, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (Barry Kraus, conductor) – 20 November 2019
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony II (Jennifer Rubin, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • Boston University (Mass.) Wind Ensemble (David Martins, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, O.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Richard Edwards, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Symphonic Band (Eric M. Smedley, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando) Symphonic Band (Tremon Kizer, conductor) – 7 November 2019
  • Mount St. Mary's University (Emmitsburg, Md.) Wind Ensemble (Mark Carlson, conductor) – 26 October 2019
  • Marshall University (Huntington, W.V.) Wind Symphony Orchestra (Adam Dalton, conductor) – 3 October 2019
  • Charles River Wind Ensemble (Boston, Mass.) (Sebastian Bonaiuto, conductor) – 2 June 2019
  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 14 April 2019

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Come, Sweet Death (Flex instrumentation) (as transcriber; arr. Benson) (1736/1976/2019)
  • Two Bagatelles (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Clark) (1983/1997/2010)

All Wind Works