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I Saw Three Ships

Traditional, Arranged by Jock McKenzie

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I Saw Three Ships

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This is a traditional English carol rumoured to have originated in Derbyshire. The earliest printed version is from the 17th century and the familiar version was later published in William Sandys’ collection of ‘Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern’ in 1833. There are numerous theories as to the meaning of the carol’s words; after all, Bethlehem, the place of Jesus’ birth is not a coastal location. It has been suggested that the ships are actually camels (ships of the desert) used by the Magi for their visit to the baby Jesus. My arrangement takes advantage of the traditional ‘jig’ style of this carol to add a little ‘Celtic’ flavour.

Jock McKenzie studied trumpet at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester where he was a joint recipient of the college’s concerto prize. Since 1987 Jock has based his musical career in Hampshire, working as a freelance trumpeter, conductor, composer, arranger and brass teacher. Currently Jock holds the position of Professional Leader (Brass) for Hampshire Music Service and is the Director of the Hampshire County Youth Band. It is the mix of all of these musical roles that has led to Jock establishing a reputation as a leading creator of brass music resources, particularly in the field of education and brass ensemble music.

Duration: 3:00 Minutes

4 Trumpets

1 Horn in F

3 Trombones

1 Euphonium

1 Tuba

5 Percussion (Optional)

Percussion section requires: Drum Kit, Triangle, Tom-toms, Tambourine, Tubular Bells and Glockenspiel