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Christmas Vespers

for concert band - Grade III

Shiny Ornaments

Christmas Vespers


Flute 1 & 2


Clarinet 1, 2, 3

Bass clarinet (optional)

Bassoon (optional)

Alto Saxophone 1 & 2

Tenor Saxophone

Baritone Saxophone

Horn in F

Trumpet 1, 2, 3

Trombone 1, 2, 3



String Bass (optional)

Piano (optional)


Percussion 1 (Vibraphone)

Percussion 2 (Glockenspiel, Tamborine)

Percussion 3 (Chimes, Wood Blocks)

Percussion 4 (Suspended Cymbal, Snare Drum)

Percussion 5 (Triangle)

Program Notes

Christmas Vespers is a festive work that incorporates two hymns typically sung

at Christmas time: the 6th-century "Christe redemptor omnium" and the 18th-century

"Adeste Fideles", commonly known in English "O come, all you faithful".

The piece opens with a passage of brilliant light which makes its descent into the full ensemble.

The 6th-century chant is then presented twice in unison by the woodwinds,

followed by the trombones intoning the melody as a joyous dance.

After several iterations, the rising opening fragment of the chant

forms the basis for a section celebrating the breaking dawn,

this then transformed into a royal march.

The full chant melody is re-introduced and

Adeste Fideles integrated into the musical texture.

Together, the 6th-century chant and 18th-century carol lead

to a luminous conclusion.

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