A Christmas Overture is a joyful medley of Christmas carols for large percussion orchestra. Orfaly's masterful arrangements are sectionalized and may be trimmed to make the piece shorter. The featured carols are "O Christmas Tree,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (a la Mexico), “Silent Night,” “Carol on the Bells,” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 12-16
Level: Medium Difficult | Duration: 10:30
Marimba 1 (4-octave)
Marimba 2 (4.3-octave)
Marimba 3 (5-octave)
Marimba 4 (5-octave)
Timpani (5 drums)
Electric Bass (optional)
Percussion 1 (susp. cym., crash cyms., tam-tam, wind chimes, snare drum, triangle, shaker)
Percussion 2 (bass drum, triangle, deep sleigh bells, susp. cym., tam-tam)
Percussion 3 (crotales, triangle)
*All three percussion parts are optional.
A Christmas Overture features six personal impressions of traditional Christmas carols. “O Christmas Tree,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (a la Mexico), “Silent Night,” “Carol on the Bells,” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The Christmas season is always a very joyous and over the top time of the year for me and these original arrangements are just the same. This idea has been bubbling around in my head for many years now and I am very happy to be able to present it.
- Alex Orfaly
• The timpani part has some "Hollywood" style writing. At least five drums are needed. The passages under the dashed lines are optional and may be left out, depending on the level of the player.
• The electric bass part and the 3 percussion parts are optional to make the instrumentation as flexible as possible.
• This piece is very sectionalized. If cuts are desired, they should be fairly easy to make. (One optional section is from measure 108-178.) No matter what, the opening section from measure 1-68 and the final section from measure 223 to the end should NOT be cut from any performance of this piece.