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Music Ambassadors for the Holidays


Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Just drafted this up of a series of gigs this holiday:

Presenting the WCB’s Music Ambassadors
The Music Ambassadors is an adjunct of the Woodinville Community Band made up of hobbyist musicians from Seattle’s eastside. A number of small group ensembles, we meet prior to our major Woodinville Community Band concerts. Today you will hear two of the ensemble groups:

Professor Gadget Sax Quartet:
· Silent Night ~ Marillia
· Santa Baby (F mezzo sax lead) ~ Williams
· What Child is This ~ Sabina
· The Twelve Tunes of Christmas ~ Neufeld
· Deck the Halls ~ Holcombe
· Nutcracker ~ Frackenpohl
· Holy Night ~ Holcombe
· Up on the Rooftop ~ Holcombe
· Swinging Jingle Bells ~ Marillia
· White Christmas ~ Marillia

Brass X Quartet:
· The Saints Hallelujah
· Ding Dong Merrily on High
· Angels we have Heard on High
· Christmas Time is Here
· Little Drummer Boy
· Rudolph
· God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
· Winter Wonderland
· Let it Snow, Frosty

The band and ensembles can be booked by going to the Woodinville Community Band web site at http://www.woodinvilleband.com or calling the WCB Events Coordinator, Jim Glass at 425.881.7991.


Old King Log
Staff member
My Christmas music experience...

One Christmas many, many years ago, I was the skating polar bear for the Saint Louis Municipal Ice Rink's holiday musical group. There was one other animal (another bear, I think), a couple of living statues (Nutcracker and Santa), and instrumentation of Eb clarinet (moi), trumpet/cornet, trombone and euphoneum (sic), all wheezing away (in sub freezing temperatures, no less) while skating around the rink in a massive crowd of patrons.

This was the idea of Georgia Buckholtz, the superintendent of parks for the city, and despite all of the potential problems, it worked pretty well. All of us were accomplished skaters (all but one hockey players, used to doing one thing with the upper body while skating with the lower body), the arrangements (some high school stuff in marching band books) was easy to handle, and (for me) the horn was light enough not to be a burden. The costume stank to high heaven, but I had worn it in the past so I was used to it, even the bulky head.

However, I ended up with the set of chapped lips from hell (and the brass folks were worse off than I). We got double pay (Georgia felt bad about her boys, as she called us), but I'd not do it again for all the tea in China. So, the skating, clarinet playing bear (playing from an Eb Alto book, no less) was retired for good.

Having said that, I do enjoy hearing a Salvation Army brass group when I can find one, even out in the cold. But, for me, never again...

Then, just twenty or so years ago, when I first moved down here, one of my section mates in one of the community orchestras that I frequented at the time threw a Christmas-season job my way. (He was already committed to something else.) That was the famous "Christian musical", with the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) singing what sounded like lounge music about the birth of the Christ. It was surreal, playing backbeat rhythm stuff with lyrics that went something like "La la, la la la la, Jesus; La La, la la, la la la la Jesus". It took all of the self restraint that I had to keep from bursting out laughing...
I met a Sibelius arranger who went wild arranging Christmas Carols to swing, jazz, blues or any other style but straight. Kate Argioritis on Sibelius music dot come.
Some are quite fantastic.

I don't know how many of you play Christmas concerts but I do outside and indoor concerts of as many as 5 some years and really get tired of the usual carols. These arrangements along with Ken Abelings are well worth the look.
Kate's arrangements being of moderate to easy skill level makes them ideal for community band level sight reading and learning.


Her version of what child is this is wonderful, and I especially like her ability to pick the right style for each piece. We 3 kings is in a funk style which will never be boring making Christmas strangely modern once you have played it. I'm not sure if she actually wrote a bad one yet!


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
My main gripe with all these arrangements is that they're basically four to six voices (transposed for various instruments, aka "flexible"), and that's fine and dandy for choirs and small combos, but if you have a sixteen-strong group of all kinds of instruments, you crave for something with more, uhm, oomph.

We played a lot of newer arrangements, but none has so far reached the level of the "(extended) 120 Hymns" book - if you're into very traditional set-ups, that is.