Holiday Euphonium / Tuba Quartet

Christmas Carol / Euphonium and Tuba Quartet

Creative Vision for the Track:
I was contacted by a friend and bandmember of mine to write something for his euphonium and tuba quartet. He had several holiday performances on the books and was looking for new seasonal music. His criterion for the charts was to have the audience react with “I didn’t know tubas could sound like that!”

The two euphonium players are exceptional so I didn’t feel the need to pull punches. The tuba-ists are also top drawer so the gauntlet was thrown!

It doesn’t come across in this mockup but the ostinatos are passed between players to avoid fatigue, allow breathing, and avoid blacking out. (It also makes things a bit more interesting for the listener!)

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
Tune: “Holly And The Ivy”
Time Signatures: Intro in 6/8, Melody largely in 7/8 with occasional 2/4 or 4/4 bars
Tempo: Keep it movin’!
Challenges: Hemiola in the opening ostinato and handing off the 3-2-2 subdivisions in the main piece.

Main Instruments used:
2 Euphoniums
1 F Tuba
1 CC Tuba

Holly And The Ivy – arr. Stan Bann

1 Like

Nice job Stan. I love the mellow sound. I recently used a euphonium in a piece I did for Halloween as a substitute for one of the trombones, and I really liked how it sounded.

I didn’t know there was a such thing as a tuba quartet, but this was really cool! I’d love to hear the live version.

1 Like

Thanks, Matt! Glad you enjoyed “Holly And The Ivy”! I’ll post the other one I did for this quartet in a little while (other deadlines permitting!). That one is more in the “lush” vein.

Most colleges have tuba choirs and mixed tuba / euphonium choirs. The sound is amazing. We do Tuba Christmas as well. Started by Harvey Phillips they’ve had several hundred tubas and euphs playing specially arranged Christmas carols. One reviewer said you felt it as a rumble before you heard the sound.

Take care, my friend!


Very fun and entertaining arrangement Stan! Well done. Yes, I would expect getting breaths in will be important. I look forward to hearing it live sometime.

1 Like

Very nice, Stan! It sounds both challenging and yet musical and melodic. Would love to see and hear this live!


1 Like

One breath and you’re hooked for life.

Thanks, Clinton! I asked Roger to roll tape … sorry … showing my age … to roll cell phone when they did this at Boom Island. Haven’t heard back.

I’ll put the other carol mockup up here soon. More flowing and opulent.

The biggest challenge I faced in both charts was making sure the F tuba blended and didn’t overpower the euphoniums in the ranges I need that voice. No doubt the man could play the notes but did the notes play well with the chords and euphs around them? I was assured it was fine but I, too, want to hear the tape … sorry … cell phone.

Take care!


1 Like

Thanks, Steven! Glad you liked the setting!

When I get a file from Roger I’ll post a link here!