Oboe part from The 12 Days of Christmas Presents (Wind Quintet)

6 minutes
Classical music
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The 12 Days of Christmas Presents is a light-hearted look at what might have happened if a dozen dead composers were given the opportunity to present a musical gift based on one of the 12 days.

Their submissions sometimes play on the number; for example, "2 turtle doves" becomes a duet by Telemann.

At other times, the composer plays with the traditional gift; for example "3 French hens" becomes a French dance for ladies by Offenbach (think hen party …).

Others are musical portraits of the gift itself as in Saint-Saen's The Swan (Carnival of the Animals) for “7 swans a-swimming.

This work can be performed by: - Wind quintet alone - Choir and wind quintet (see separate choral parts) - Choir and piano - Piano solo

Most people know many of the words for “The 12 Days of Christmas” but, if performing by instrumentalists alone, the audience needs to know exactly where the players are in the song to follow the musical references. Having them sing along does not work, as there are so many interruptions to the normal flow of the music and too many key changes.

You will need to decide which of the following scenarios best suits your resources, your personalities and the nature of the audience: - A soloist (or group of singers) performs with the quintet. A separate vocal part is available in the choral section. - Members of the quintet sing whenever there are words in their parts. - The audience sings the first line of each verse then leaves the rest of the verse to be played by the quintet. This needs some leadership. - The musical gifts (e.g., 3 French hens) are projected on a screen or held up on signs by someone able to follow the score.

Quintet score: 12 pages Instrumental parts: 36 pages

The following are also available in the choral section: Full score: 14 pages Choral/piano score: 8 pages Choral score (larger font): 14 pages

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