This enduring favorite Christmas carol from Franz Gruber is presented here in an arrangement for trombone ensemble. In this creative treatment, Steve Ash explores some interesting jazz-inspired harmony and dissonances against this familiar melody without disrespecting it at any point, which leaves us with a satisfying holiday jazz chorale for trombones.
While the melody and moving accompaniment patterns get passed throughout the ensemble, this piece as written is a showcase for a solid, melodic lead trombonist who is comfortable in the high register. Since this arrangement touches on a high D flat, a substitute part is included for Bb Trumpet or Flugelhorn to either augment or substitute the lead trombone part.
Other than the higher range of the top voices and a few characteristic lower notes for the bass trombonist, there aren’t many other technical challenges making this an accessible chart for ensembles with a broad range of skill levels and a fine exercise in ensemble blend and balance.
This tender arrangement of “Silent Night” would be well-suited to include a jazz chorale on a trombone ensemble’s Christmas/Holiday/Advent program.