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News - Holiday Program Planning? Use Magical Illustrations from 'The Polar Express'

© Houghton Mifflin
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Don't let the heat fool you! Winter is around the corner, and there's no shortage of dazzling and magical orchestral works to bring a sparkle to your holiday programming.

Rob Kapilow's Chris van Allsburg's Polar Express, based on the beautifully illustrated children's storybook, is now available for live performance with coordinated projections of the iconic images from the original book.

Dazzle children and their families with larger than life illustrations of the Express, Santa Claus and his reindeer, and the endearing Billy who learns the spirit of Christmas through a series of snowy adventures to the North Pole. Kapilow brings to life this award-winning story with orchestra and children's chorus while reinventing beloved carols like "Deck the Halls" and "Joy to the World" in this multi-media presentation. To obtain images for projection, please contact Ron Hussey, Director of Permissions at HMH Trade Publishing.

To celebrate the Hanukkah season, consider programming Kapilow's equally captivating piece Elijah's Angel, based on the touching storybook by Michael Rosen. Also a great choice is Jeff Tyzik's timeless Chanukah Suite.

Another winter favorite is Howard Blake's The Snowman for orchestra, narrator, and boy soprano, bringing this cinema favorite to the stage in an engaging musical journey.

For more information or a full catalogue of holiday music, please contact Katy Tucker at
Selected Holiday Music for Orchestra

Canzon XVIGabrieli, arr. Tyzik 3 Minutes
A Carol SymphonyHely-Hutchinson 24 Minutes
Chanukah SuiteTyzik, arr. 8 Minutes
A Christmas Overture (Variations on Deck The Halls)Tyzik, arr. 3 Minutes
Dïe Natali: Chorale Preludes for Christmas, Op. 37Barber 16 Minutesplay button
The Holly and the Ivy: Fantasy on Christmas CarolsArnold, arr. Palmer 9 Minutes
Introduction, March, and Shepherd's Dance (from Amahl and the Night Visitors)Menotti 7 Minutesplay button
Jesu, Joy of Man’s DesiringBach, arr. Tyzik 4 Minutes
Joy to the WorldHandel, arr. Newsom & Tyzik 4 Minutes
The Nutcracker SuiteTchaikovsky, adapted by Ellington & Strayhorn, arr. Tyzik 17 Minutes
The Skater's Overture (Variations on a Theme of Waldteufel)Tyzik, arr. 3 Minutes

Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Ave MariaSchubert, arr. Tyziksoprano or tenor5 Minutes
A Christmas CantataBushsoprano, oboe35 Minutes
G.A.G.E., A Christmas StoryBarabnarrator20 Minutes
Gesu BambinoYon, arr. Tyzikviolin, cello5 Minutes
Mis zeh Hidlik (Behold the Lights)Tyzik, arr.English horn3 Minutes
Silent NightGruber, arr. Tyzikhorn4 Minutes
The Snowman (Concert Version)Blakenarrator, boy soprano26 Minutes
The Twelve Gifts of ChristmasTyzik, arr.soprano or tenor10 Minutes
Walking in the AirBlakeboy soprano4 Minutes
What Child Is ThisTyzik, arr.oboe5 Minutes
What Child Is ThisTyzik, arr.soprano or tenor5 Minutes

Chorus and Orchestra
Ave MariaSchubert, arr. Tyzik 5 Minutes
Cantique de NoelAdam, arr. Gradysoprano4 Minutesplay button
Chris van Allsburg's Polar ExpressKapilowbaritone22 Minutes
Christmas DayHolst 8 Minutes
Elijah's AngelKapilowbaritone, bass-baritone, boy soprano23 Minutes
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!Hague / Poddany 60 Minutes
Jesu, Joy of Man’s DesiringBach, arr. Tyzik 4 Minutes
La Fiesta de la PosadaBrubeck45 Minutesplay button
Holiday Moods (Suite No. 1)Tyzik, arr. 12 Minutes
Holiday Moods (Suite No. 2)Tyzik, arr. 10 Minutes
Holiday Moods (Suite No. 3)Tyzik, arr. 10 Minutes
The NativityThomson 7 Minutes
Scrooge: Concert Scenes from A Christmas CarolRodríguezbass-baritone18 Minutesplay button
The Shepherd's Chorus (from Amahl and the Night Visitors)Menotti 5 Minutes
The Snowman (Suite)Blake21 Minutes
Three Christmas CarolsHolst, arr. 10 Minutes
The Three KingsMaxwell Davies 50 Minutes
Twenty Polish Christmas CarolsLutosławskisoprano45 Minutesplay button

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