Jingle Bells for Brass Quintet

By: James Pierpont
For: Brass quintet
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James Pierpont
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
2 minutes
Classical music
License details
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I'm not sure if the world needs yet another brass quintet arrangement of Jingle Bells but here is my humble entry into an otherwise crowded field of settings for this popular holiday song. Written by James Pierpont in 1857, and republished in 1859, it memorializes the 'cutter' drag races in Boston, where spiffed out sleighs would race between Medford and Malden Squares, and the drivers would try to pick up the local babes. My arrangement was written for a gig our brass quintet has at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City in the mid 1980s. It was a Christmas show of some kind and we were hired to play Christmas Songs and Baroque Music as prelude and postlude music for the main event. Unbeknownst to me at the time and much to my surprise, Jingle Bells, is not a Christmas Song - church officials descended upon us from all corners of the church and quickly put a stop to our little rendition. Fortunately, we had other gigs that year and were able to play this arrangement which was quite a crowd pleaser. It is written in quodlibet style with other tunes woven into the texture of the original song in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. I hope you enjoy it!!

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