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The Huron Carol
NMPL102
for concert band
by John Wilson

Having arrived in New France in 1615, the early Roman Catholic missionaries proceeded to establish a presence near Midland, Ontario. They translated new and traditional religious texts into native languages, often adding musical accompaniment. One such work—now popularly known as the first Canadian Christmas carol—is The Huron Carol, or Jesous Ahatonhia (Jesus is Born). This composition is widely believed to have been adapted from a 16th century folk song Une jeune pucelle (The Young Flea) in the mid-1600s for the Hurons at Ste. Marie, by the Jesuit missionary Jean de Brébeuf.

Although part of an oral tradition for almost 100 years, it was not until the 18th century that the music was written down by Fr. de Villeneuve, a Jesuit priest. First published in Noëls anciens de la Nouvelle-France in 1907 by Ernest Myrand, it has since been variously adapted for voice, piano, choir, and orchestra by such Canadian composers as Barrie Cabena, Claude Champagne, and Healey Willan. The carol is the subject of the 1977 Canadian postage stamp Christmas series and an NFB filmstrip: Huron Indian Christmas Carol.

The Huron Carol is familiar in the minds of many as Christmas music of identifiably Canadian origin. WilsonÕs arrangement is a colourful addition to band repertoire for the festive season.

Approximate Duration 3'30"
Grade 4
Score and parts $61.00
Score only $13.00
Replacement parts $3.00

Composer’s Notes
Instrumentation

Composer’s Notes on The Huron Carol
I have not changed the traditional minor-key melody, but rather have made interesting use of contemporary harmonies, transforming the piece through the use of altered dominant chords adapted from the repertoire of the jazz tradition. The simple minor melody lends itself well to close-voiced modal harmony.

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Instrumentation for The Huron Carol
The quantity of parts provided in complete set is shown in the right-hand column. Extra scores for competition purposes and additional individual instrument parts may be ordered separately.

Part
Qty.
full score
1
C Piccolo
1
Flute 1
4
Flute 2
4
Oboe
1
E flat Clarinet
1
B flat Clarinet 1
3
B flat Clarinet 2
3
B flat Clarinet 3
3
E flat Alto Clarinet
1
B flat Bass Clarinet
1
Bassoon
2
E flat Alto Saxophone 1
2
E flat Alto Saxophone 2
2
B flat Tenor Saxophone
2
E flat Baritone Saxophone
1
B flat Trumpet 1
3
B flat Trumpet 2
3
B flat Trumpet 3
3
F French Horn 1
1
F French Horn 2
1
F French Horn 3
1
F French Horn 4
1
Trombone 1
2
Trombone 2
2
Trombone 3
2
Euphonium Treble Clef
2
Euphonium Bass Clef
2
Tuba
4
String Bass
1
Percussion (Crash Cymbals, Side Bass, Snare Drum)
3
Timpani
1

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