Peter J. Wilhousky
Carol of the Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas: for 6-part trombone ensemble

Arranged by Randall Malmstrom

4 tenor, 2 bass trombones

Vancouver, British Columbia, United States
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2018

Score and parts

Primary Genre: Trombone Ensembles - 6 trombones

This is another terrific arrangement from Randall Malmstrom arranged for four tenors and two basses in a two, 3-part choir set up, although no explanation for the setup is given. Layout, dynamics, articulation, and tempi are all clearly presented. The first part is in tenor clef and ascends to d2, the second part to g1, and the lowest pitch in the bass trombone is DD.

Carol of the Bells is presented in g minor with excellent passing off of the motor rhythm allowing for staggered breathing. The entire tune is presented twice, the second time higher. We Wish You a Merry Christmasis is scored in B-flat major and the melody is first introduced in the bass trombone. This version embellishes the melody with rhythmic and ornamental additions. Some running eighth-note passages in the bass trombone will require effort to remain clear. A fun coda modulates to G major. For both, the faster you go, the more difficult it will be.

In addition to being functional, these are musically more interesting than melody with simple harmonic accompaniments. The range qualifies this as a medium to advanced setting.

Reviewer: David Stern
Review Published June 18, 2023