Fantasia On A Christmas Spiritual

arr. Paul Jennings

Given the positive response we got to last year's setting of "The Holly And The Ivy," we thought it would be great to do a similar creation this year. But we have taken a little different approach, this time using a traditional song as the theme for a newly composed work.

Based on the plaintive spiritual "Mary Had A Baby," we created a jazz-flavored composition that allows you to combine players of differing abilities for your performances. There are three separate recorder parts that can be played separately or together: The beginning soprano part (B) allows nice challenges for players, but only requires B, A, and G. There is also a more advanced soprano part (A) that stays closer to the melody, and an alto recorder part that, while fairly low on the instrument, will provide a nice addition for your players with alto recorders.

This work is orchestrated for a full orchestra with an expanded brass section for a rich, lush sound. (If you're interested, you can find the reduced score at our web site. See below.) The percussion you hear on the recording may also suggest simple percussion additions for your players. If you decide to add your own percussion, be sensitive to the textures and dynamics of the original.

Online extras - The free, downloadable score mentioned can be found under the "Graphics and Extras" for Volume 18, No. 2 at

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.