Your Daily Dose of Christmas!

In college, every year we did a big Christmas Pageant thing, a big concert of sacred music performed by the combined forces of the concert band, the choir, and the jazz vocal group. This was all tied together by a voice narration by a professor from the Religion Department, mostly Biblical quotes from the passages in the Gospels pertaining to the birth of Jesus. While most of the selections changed every year, one stalwart work showed up on each performance, for obvious reason: it’s something of an ostentatious showpiece. It’s called “Sing a New Song”, by composer Frank Bencriscutto.

Bencriscutto was a major figure in band and wind ensemble music in the 20th century. He taught at the University of Minnesota for many years, and many of his compositions have become standard works in the band repertoire. This work always caught first-year students by surprise, the first time we turned our attention to it in rehearsals; the work’s beginning made many a student jump in their seat when they heard it. Including one particular trumpet player in 1989.

Here is “Sing a New Song” by Frank Bencriscutto.

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