A Christmas Festival

Leroy Anderson probably wrote one of the best Christmas arrangements ever in 1950 when this piece was published. I have known it since childhood and it has a special place in the hearts of many players.

It is often, however performed very poorly and a look at the tempo structure of the piece can help to improve the experience for players and audience alike.

The first step is to look at the markings and most people get the opening tempo right. After the allargando, if the 152bpm doesn’t happen; and it’s often a dodgy moment, the piece will not be able to function properly.

The tempo has to be lively and when the l’istesso tempo marking arrives in “God Rest Ye…” it does mean keep the speed. This can drag terribly and whn you arrive at “Good King…..” it becomes necessary to speed up to 144bpm instead of easing the tempo down. When you get to “Hark the Herald…” the tempo can ease to 132bpm but on many occasions it drops well below this.

It’s clear that Leroy has carefully planned his tempi to ease with each section to the “Silent Night”part which is not terribly slow it is marked around 86 bpm which stops it from dragging and allows the music to flow. The dynamics are really effective here with a chance fro clarinets to play sotto voce and create a lovely atmosphere.

Picking up the speed for “Jingle Bells” can be tricky and it has to get back to 144bpm. If the balance is right the trombone entry will be heard easily.

There’s no rall. into the 103bpm ending sequence so the triplets can be easily subdivided. Again, this section is often too slow and loses the momentum of the piece.

Finally the 185 bpm ending is a very bright tempo and players need to be prepared for it. If all goes well it’s a great five and a half minutes of any concert in December but if it lasts seven minutes, it loses a lot of the sparkle.

Merry Christmas 2020


Musical thoughts and Covid

This year has been very tough for musicians. Professionals with secure jobs have suffered due to lockdowns and lack of performances. Semi-professionals have had all their work suspended, often with no support and keen amateur players have lost a huge part of their musical and social lives.

I have decided to fund a recording of some of my music in order to allow local semi-professional players to, at least get to play together and be paid a fee. I’ll try to get some donations from sympathetic people to make that fee decent and fund the venue and recording people.

If you’d like to help in any way or be involved please email.


Compositions List

Wind Orchestra:

Homecoming (unpublished)

Alice in Wonderland


Cat Walk

Children of the World- Wind orchestra and choir



I am not yet born- wind orchestra and choir

In the Moment

Praeludium (manuscript)

Radio Days


Sherwood Folk

The Price of Feeling – wind orchestra with optional choir

Mischief and Meditation

Chorale Prelude

Brass ensembles

A single Step – Brass Band (manuscript)

Alleycat for Brass

Aviator- Brass and percussion

Aviator- Brass Band

Bebop for brass and percussion

Blewz – Brass Band

Blewz- Brass and percussion

Brass Basiliana for Brass and percussion

Brass Brasiliana- Brass band

Carol Fantasy for Brass

Cat Burglar for Brass Ensemble

Cat Walk -Brass Ensemble

Chorale Prelude -Brass Band

Chorale Prelude -Brass Ensemble

Cirque Russe- Brass Band

Cirque Russe- Brass Ensemble

Closure- Brass Ensemble

Cool Pieces – Trumpet/Piano opt rhythm section

Darkest Hour- Brass ensemble

Darkest Hour-Brass Band

Elegy- Soprano cornet and brass band

Funk – Brass band

Funk- Brass and percussion

Harlequin Dances- Brass Band

Harlequin Dances- Brass Ensemble

Marsden Moor- Brass Ensemble

Praeludium- Brass ensemble

Riffilicious- Brass Ensemble

Sea of Tranquility- Brass Band

Showtime-Brass Band

Showtime-Brass ensemble

Showtime-Flute ensemble

Stray Cat- Brass ensemble

Tango de Buenos Aires- brass and percussion

Tango de Buenos Aires- Brass Band

Tubilation- Tuba solo w brass band

Tubilation- Tuba solo w brass ensemble

Woodwind ensembles

Alleycat for Clarinet Choir

Alleycat for Sax choir

Andromeda for Flute choir

Atlantic Air for Flute Choir

Blackwood Breeze for Clarinet Choir

Blackwood Breeze for Woodwind Orchestra

Carol Fantasy for Clarinet Choir

Cat Burglar for Carinet Choir

Cat Walk -Clarinet Choir

Cat Walk -Sax Ensemble

Closure- Sax Choir

Cool Pieces – Saxophone/Piano opt rhythm section

Dance of the Sprite- Flute choir

Dark Matter- Flute Choir

Harlequin Dances- Clarinet Choir

Harlequin Dances- Sax Choir

Marsden Moor- Clarinet Choir

Quicksilver-Flute Ensemble

Rondo di Cairoli- Flute ensemble

Rondo di Cairoli-Clarinet choir (manuscript)

Sea of Tranquility- Flute Choir

Showtime-Sax Choir

Thornbury Air- clarinet choir

Thornbury Air- woodwind orchestra (manuscript)

Twin Spires- wind quintet


Live at the Empire

Maurice and his Amazing Educated Rodents

School- the Scandal

The Seven Ages of Man

String orchestra

Marsden Moor String Orchestra (manuscript)


Cool pieces for Trumpet and piano (with bass, drum optional parts)

Celebration Album (one item flute and piano)

Scherzo for Trumpet and piano


Electronic recordings, unpublished music, as well as live recordings of some published works is available at:


New Website

Welcome to the new website. There will be a lot of new content appearing here very soon, including composition links, articles on restarting ensembles after lockdown, soundcloud links and news. Thank you for visiting!