Please DONATE to help with maintenance and upkeep of the Wind Repertory Project!

Twas in the Moon of Wintertime (Smith)

From Wind Repertory Project
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robert W. Smith

Traditional, arranged by Robert W Smith

General Info

Year: 1995
Duration: c. 5:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Carol
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $87.00; (digital) - $87.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
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-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tom-Tom
  • Wind Chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Unique and haunting, this traditional Huron Indian/Canadian carol features lots of original ideas that work to create an authentic atmosphere. The mystique of the Indian culture is captured in a piccolo descant, percussion writing, group vocals, open harmonizations and other techniques. A beautiful euphonium solo and a rich a-cappella clarinet choir are also featured in this wonderful arrangement.

- Program Note from publisher

The Huron Carol (or Twas in the Moon of Wintertime) is a Canadian Christmas hymn (Canada's oldest Christmas song), written probably in 1642 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song's original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). The song's melody is based on a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" (A Young Maid). The well-known English lyrics were written in 1926 by Jesse Edgar Middleton.

The English version of the hymn uses imagery familiar in the early 20th century, in place of the traditional Nativity story. This version is derived from Brébeuf's original song and Huron religious concepts. In the English version, Jesus is born in a "lodge of broken bark" and wrapped in a "robe of rabbit skin". He is surrounded by hunters instead of shepherds, and the Magi are portrayed as "chiefs from afar" who bring him "fox and beaver pelts" instead of the more familiar gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The English translation uses a traditional Algonquian name, Gitchi Manitou, for God, which is not in the original Wyandot version. The original lyrics are now sometimes modified to use imagery accessible to Christians who are not familiar with Native Canadian cultures.

The song remains a common Christmas hymn in Canadian churches of many Christian denominations. Because the melody spans a modest range, it is ideally suited to instruments that have a limited pitch range, such as the Native American flute.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Salem Band (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (Eileen Young, conductor) – 19 December 2019
  • New Orleans (La.) Concert Band (Charles Taylor, conductor) – 15 December 2019
  • Foothill Symphonic Winds (Los Altos, Calif.) (David Bruce Adams, conductor) – 9 December 2018
  • Henry Jackson High School (Mill Creek, Wash.) Concert Band – December 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works