for mixed choir (SATB) & piano
Text: English (traditional)
Durations: 1 - 4'40'' / 2 - 5'00'' / 3 - 3'00''
1. We three kings
2. In the bleak midwinter
3. Personent hodie
Innovative jazz arrangements of three carols originally created for a service of Jazz Carols at St Martin in the Fields, London by Will Todd. Rich harmonies serve to bring new expression to familiar Christmas material which is written for SATB voices and piano, with scope for optional congregational singing.
We three kings is available in an arrangement for mixed voices and jazz ensemble (jazz trio and optional brass quintet). This vocal score is compatible with that jazz ensemble arrangement, and the full score and parts are available for download.
In the bleak midwinter and Personent hodie are also available in arrangements for mixed voices and jazz trio. This vocal score, including piano part, is compatible with that jazz trio arrangement, and the bass guitar and drum kit parts are available for download: In the bleak midwinter, Personent hodie.
Another set of carols arranged by Will Todd is also available: Three jazz carols, containing arrangements of Away in a manger, Once in royal David’s city and Silent night.
These carols were written for Andrew Earis and the Choir of St Martin in the Fields and first performed as part of ‘Jazz Carols from St Martin in the Fields’ on 22 December 2012. They can be performed using the supplied piano part or embellished using the chord symbols above. Double bass may also be used in addition to piano, again following the supplied chord symbols. Performers of these carols should feel free to include the congregation or audience in imaginitive ways.
Recommended recording: Christmas in Blue (St Martin-in-the-Fields, SMITFCD04) by St Martin’s Voices, Will Todd Ensemble and Brandenburg Brass & Festival Chorus, conducted by Andrew Earis.
"We three kings builds to a climax with brilliant SSAA accompanying chords...the soft ending is marked 'magical' in the piano part, and I think it could well be so in performance. [In] In the bleak midwinter, a solo Bass sings verse one in E flat major against a gentle accompaniment alternating between F minor and C minor. I am definitely tempted to try this one." (Marcus Huxley, Organists' Review, March 2015)
Will Todd is a UK-based performer and composer whose music spans a variety of styles and genres. Best known for his choral works, his 2003 jazz mass setting Mass in Blue has been performed more than eighty times since its premiere by choirs in the UK, Europe and the USA. Other notable works for choir range from large scale oratorios such as Saint Cuthbert (recorded by the Hallé Orchestra in 2002) to the anthem Stay with Me Lord, commissioned for The Sixteen. He has worked on operas and stageworks for OperaGenesis at the Royal Opera House and the National Opera Studio, and his 2009 Jazz Concerto for Clarinet, written for Emma Johnson, has been performed in the UK, USA and Finland. As a performer, Will Todd leads his own Will Todd Trio from the piano and was recently an invited guest artist at the Lincoln Center in New York.