Christmas Rhapsody On An American Spiritual

arr. Paul Jennings

One of our favorite things to do in the second issue is to create a big orchestral setting that makes your recorder players sound great. Here we have taken a favorite folk carol, "Angel Band," and arranged it so that the brass, and at times the whole orchestra, plays cascades off of the melody.

As we often do, for this setting we have two soprano recorder parts and an optional-but-great-to-use alto recorder part. The first soprano recorder part is mainly playing melody, but still a fairly easy part. The second soprano part is even easier, and requires only the notes B, A, and G. By the same token, the alto recorder part just requires C, D, and E, the equivalent of the soprano's fingering for B, A, G. This is with the exception of a few places which call for G. To stay within C, D, and E, you can have your players play D on alto recorder there.

While the orchestra often plays with long slurring lines, the recorder parts should be played with normal legato tonguing. On the last chord, there is a nice divisi chord which is optional though quite worth the effort.

You will note that the only part published in the magazine is a two-page soprano recorder part – recorder 1. The two-page versions of recorder 2 and alto recorder parts are available online. We have also created one-page versions of each of all three parts. These are more condensed-looking, but might be easier for you on just one page. As usual, you can also find the piano/recorder score there. All of these are free for subscribers at

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.