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Inspiration

Topic: Inspiration
Miniature cello hanging on a Christmas tree and 12 cello songs for the holiday

Holiday Songs For The Cello

Posted by StringOvation Team on Dec 17, 2018

With so much to plan and arrange for the holidays, you can make your most unique contribution to the season by learning a song or two to perform for family and friends. Food, ambience, and good company are all integral pieces of the holiday get-togethers, but so is the music. 

Streaming holiday classics in the background will work for most of the party, but you can add something special to the holiday party – a little bit of live music.  

Here are some solo cello arrangements of popular holiday songs. 

Great selection of sheet music for beginning cello students 

The first place to start for sheet music for Christmas songs is Christmas Music Songs. You will find a healthy handful of carol sheet music written specifically for the cello. Just a few options in the selection are: 

These are all simple arrangements, which makes them perfect for the beginner cellist. There’s enough variety of songs here that any beginner could easily learn a few tunes in time to give the family a short Christmas concert. 

Another good option for beginners is this Special Occasions Celebrations song book, which contains simple cello arrangements for nearly every holiday of the year. Two of the options for this season are You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch and I Have a Little Dreidl. The book is $11.99 and is delivered as a hard copy. 

If you want to get classical, here’s a beginner-plus arrangement of Mendelssohn’s Hark the Herald Angels Sing  (Free. Range A3-B4).  

holiday options for more intermediate students 

For cellists who are past the beginner stage (or experienced beginners who are looking for a challenge), you can check out these solo cello arrangements: 

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) ($2.99), moderate tempo in cello range C#4-D4. 

The Night Before Christmas ($2.99), high tempo in cello range C#4-D4. 

Happy Hannukah, My Friend ($2.99), moderate temp in cello range D3-D4. 

Sinfonia from Christmas Oratorio by Bach ($2.99), moderately slow tempo. Includes both solo arrangements and instrumental parts for various instruments, including cello. 

The Nutcracker Medley ($6.99), is exactly as it’s titled:  A medley of songs from that Christmas favorite by Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker. Going to see The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition, regardless of what holiday you celebrate. This medley is eight pages of sheet music that intermediate level cellists can learn for their version of the family holiday concert. 

All these scores are on the Musicnotes website where you can buy the hard copy or add $2 to the cost to download the arrangement immediately as a pdf file. Some of these arrangements are “Musicnotes Editions,” which means that when you purchase the sheet music, you’re also buying the right to perform and record this arrangement, as well as print out multiple copies. If you’re a teacher looking for sheet music, buying a Musicnotes Edition arrangement will solve a host of copyright challenges for you. 

Here are some sheet music choices for intermediate cellists that are available from 8notes.com, which offers free sheet music: 

Christmas Concerto Op 6 No. 8, composed by Corelli, is a cello arrangement of the pastorale, cello range E3-D5. You can watch a full orchestral performance of this movement here:  

  

 

And now for something completely different, there’s We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas, which is the classic in an adagio tempo, and in cello range A3-F#5. 

Expanding your repertoire 

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can expand your holiday party live playlist with more popular songs arranged for the cello or rock it out with these cello arrangements. 

Whatever songs you include in your holiday performance, just bring the spirit of the season with you and everyone will enjoy it!

Music resources for students