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Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer



Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy, made this song famous in 1949. Based upon a book by Marks’ brother-in-law, Robert L. May, Marks wanted to put the popular 1939 Montgomery Ward story into song. Johnny Marks, a decorated World War II hero, wrote several popular Christmas songs besides Rudolph.
The song’s translation into several languages even had an effect on Finnish Christmas tradition – Rudolph is now head of Joulupukki’s sleigh (the Finnish Santa)!  The only difference is that the Finnish reindeer don’t fly.

This arrangement has a fun swing style to it. Harmonization is slightly more advanced from a Grade I tune, but the rhythms and ranges are very approachable for young musicians. The style lets them experience a standard swing feel.
The percussion is written for a drum set but can be separated as a traditional part for concert band. Sleighbells can have as many players as you want. I often had children come from the audience and give them little toy sleigh bells to play. This was always a big hit.

I hope your students and audiences (and you) have fun with this piece. I appreciate all comments, questions, and critiques.

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