Review


Douglas Grieve and Mark Divers, editors
Trombone Christmas:
6-part trombone choir

Costa Mesa, California, United States
Publisher: Bones West Music Inc.
Date of Publication: 2012
URL: http://www.trombonechristmas.com

For six trombones. Score and parts.

Genre: TROMBONE ENSEMBLES

This collection of traditional and commercial Christmas music consists of 14 carols, 13 songs, and a fanfare. Selections are both sacred and secular, including Mele Kalikimakafrom Hawaii, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairyfrom the Nutcracker, and Oh Chanukahfor the Jewish faith. There are several different arrangers, including originals by Sammy Nestico and Frank Loesser, providing a variety of settings including chorale, commercial, and longer compositions with modulations and style changes, with no chart lasting longer than approximately three minutes. Orchestrated in six parts and recommended for more than one player per part, primarily four are for tenor and two are for bass trombones.  All parts are in bass clef, and the first trombone part goes up to c2 while the second bass trombone goes down to FF; the remaining parts are within comfortable ranges. Rhythms are accessible, and because the arrangers are trombone-familiar, key centers and technical issues lay well for individual parts and collective performance. There are creative uses of polyphony, counterpoint, dynamics, and style markings, and at some point each part is scored with the melody. There are no page numbers, which makes navigating the score problematic, however since each part book has at most two pages per part, selections can be quickly found. The cover artwork is colorful and engaging, and the spiral binding makes page turns very easy.  According to the www.trombonechristmas.com website, this collection is designed to be used in conjunction with a trombone ensemble Christmas concert, and the fanfare should make a good opener. If you are looking for a foundational collection of Christmas trombone ensemble music, this is an excellent first step.

Reviewer: David Stern
Review Published January 15, 2019