Christmas ready?

Christmas tree square

The mince pies are sneaking into the supermarkets and the marketing emails for the Christmas party are starting to appear in the Trash folder so the summer must be over even though the sun is out again and feeling quite warm. With this in mind I have prepared and edited two medleys of music for percussion ensemble, with a number of options for extra instruments, that would enhance a school Christmas concert. The mince pies may have gone off by Christmas but music will take a few months of rehearsal to mature.

The original concept for the works was as introductions to the Caribbean rhythms of Salsa and Brazilian Samba styles with well known carols and Christmas songs as the melodic material. The hand percussion elements are accessible to the novice percussionist and the theme and harmony lines are simple enough for players starting out on keyboard percussion.

Recent research by the ABRSM shows that learning percussion is on the decline whereas drum lessons are increasing and my new versions of the arrangements are flute, violin, keyboard, brass, woodwind, saxophone… friendly to counteract this trend. Both sets contain full score and all the parts plus extra parts for Bb and Eb instruments and can be printed and/or used on screen.

The Christmas Salsa arrangement is available at

and the Samba de Natal arrangement can be downloaded from

Treat your audience to a Salsa band for Christmas this year which will hopefully be an unexpected but exuberant surprise for them at the Christmas concert.

Off to start working on music for the summer concert season now, no wonder I have trouble remembering what month let alone day it is.

© Peter Birkby 2015


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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