Home > Wind quartet > Ye Olde Carol-Singers' Compendium - Once in Royal David's City

Ye Olde Carol-Singers' Compendium - Once in Royal David's City

This is the first of ten carols I arranged some years ago for a carol-singing group that did the rounds of our village in Lancashire each Christmas. It uses the musical forces provided by my daughters and their friends ? two flutes, a Bb clarinet and an alto sax. The arrangements were relatively straightforward to ensure they could be easily learned and would work out of doors.

In common with the other carols, this arrangement has a lead-in for the singers and extends to two verses, with the arrangement being varied for the second verse. Depending on reaction to this piece, I hope to publish the remaining arrangements over the next few months, well in advance of Christmas.

Some practical points for performance ? plasticizing the pages is a sensible precaution against the music dissolving in the rain! It is also worth noting that the alto sax can easily dominate the group. The player should be placed towards the back of the quartet and take care to follow the dynamic markings. Tuning alters dramatically with changes in temperature - if invited indoors (as we often were), a quick check before launching into the next carol can avoid a disastrous lurch into bitonality!

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