The popular Ukranian Bell Carol has been a Christmas favourite for a number of years, and with Phillip Littlemore’s skilled arrangement it is sure to be one that captures the imagination of brass band audiences for many more years to come too.
This popular Christmas piece was composed by Mykola Leontovych around 1916. It is based on a Ukrainian folk chant known as ‘Shchedryk’, a New Year’s carol. However, it is not until the composer’s death in 1921 that it was first introduced to Westen audiences, when the Ukrainian National Choir included it on their tour of Europe and the Americas that same year. The film composer John Williams incorporated it into the score for the 1990 film Home Alone and he is credited for bringing it to a wider audience still, although it had been released on Christmas albums by a number of popular artists before then. This transcription has been adapted from the version created by Robert Prizeman, who arranged it for Libera, the world-famous boys’ choir that he both founded and directs. Their unique, enchanting and (some say) heavenly sound delights audiences throughout the world through extensive concerts, recordings and TV broadcasts. This brass band transcription introduces this skilled arrangement to a new genre and a whole new audience as well.