Recorded by Bing Crosby with the Rhythmaires
Arranger Unknown (Possibly Nathan Van Cleave), Prepared for Publication by Rob DuBoff and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-6078


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Edition: Jazz Studio Orchestra with Vocal Soloist and Vocal Group [SAATT]

Description: Swing - Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Recorded in October 1951 in Los Angeles for Decca, this arrangement of Meredith Willson's tune It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas has become one of the most cherished holiday favorites. A Bing Crosby discography lists John Scott Trotter as the arranger and conductor for this session, but this arrangement was clearly written by someone else: possibly Nathan Van Cleave (the score is not signed). Although, this same recording session produced Christmas in Killarney, which was arranged by Trotter. Neither the handwriting nor the style of the arrangement matches Trotter's work. Interestingly, the discography also credits the London Symphony Orchestra as the backing ensemble.

The arrangement is designed to feature the vocalist with the support of a vocal group [SAATT]. The 1951 recording featured Jud Conlon's Rhythmaires, but Van Cleave wrote the vocal parts (with the exception of a few changed notes). There is an 8-bar instrumental interlude that allows the strings, brass, and woodwinds to shine. There isn't anything specific in the arrangement that is difficult, but putting it together to match the famous recording will challenge the best ensembles. But, it will be well worth the challenge to be able to perform this for holiday concerts - this is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

This publication was based on the original pencil score and the set of parts used for the 1951 recording session - this is not a transcription. See the contents tab for details on the instrumentation. The vocal key is Eb.


Full Score
Male Vocal
Vocal Group [SAATT]
Woodwind 1: Flute
Woodwind 2: Flute
Woodwind 3: Clarinet
Woodwind 4: Clarinet
Woodwind 5: Bass Clarinet/Clarinet
3 Trumpets
3 Trombones
3 Violins
Acoustic Bass
Drum Set
Vocal Key: Eb
Trumpet 1: A5
Trombone 1: Ab4