Peter Bloesch Listen

Holiday Pops Music ~
FULL Orchestra (without chorus)

“A Festive Holiday”

(A dramatic and fast-paced orchestral medley)

See Description and Instrumentation at bottom of page.


SCORING:  Large pops orchestra — See the “Instrumentation” tab below.

DURATION:  6:45  /  DIFFICULTY:  Recommended for professional ensembles


This orchestral piece would make a great opening (or closing) to your next holiday pops concert, and could serve as an alternative to the time-honored but somewhat overworked “Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson.

While this piece showcases eight familiar carols of the season, they are not the “usual suspects.” Rather, the piece features fresh arrangements of popular but less-often-heard carols (see list below).

“A Festive Holiday” provides quite a variety of moods and orchestrations packed into its relatively short length (7:15) — from the splashy fanfare opening of “The Boar's Head Carol,” to the energetic and dancelike “Patapan,” to the tender “Away in a Manger,” and all the way through to the majestic ending of “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”

Fast-paced and colorfully orchestrated, this piece was designed to be festive and crowd-pleasing!

♦  The Boar's Head Carol
♦  Here We Come A-Wassailing
♦  Patapan (Willie, Take Your Little Drum)
♦  O Christmas Tree
♦  Deck the Halls
♦  Away in a Manger (Kirkpatrick melody)
♦  The Holly and the Ivy
♦  Angels from the Realms of Glory

3 Flutes (2nd and 3rd Flutes double on Piccolo)
3 Oboes (3rd Oboe doubles on English Horn)
3 Clarinets in Bb (3rd Clarinet doubles on Bass Clarinet)
2 Bassoons + 1 Contrabassoon

4 Horns
3 Trumpets in C
3 Trombones
1 Tuba

1 timpanist (4 timps), plus 3 percussionists on the following instruments:  Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Chimes, Piatti, Suspended Cymbal, Snare Drum, Triangle, Tambourine, Mark Tree, Bell Tree, Finger Cymbal, Sleigh Bells

HARP:  1 Harp

KEYBOARD:  1 electronic keyboard with the following sounds:  acoustic piano, celeste

STRINGS:  Ideally, a minimum of 10,10,8,8,6, but slightly less than this is also doable.

David Michael Wolff, conductor:

“Peter Bloesch's orchestrations are full of color, sparkle, and sweep — fun for the orchestra and a delight for the audience. The score and parts are highly detailed and polished, allowing an easy and clean first read-through with the orchestra.”

David Michael Wolff, Principal Conductor of the Carolina Philharmonic