All I Want for Christmas is… this mixtape!

Andy Baird, Artistic Planning Manager (Image: Martin Ollman)

Andy Baird joined the CSO as Artistic Planning Manager in January 2020, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience in production, artistic management, partnerships and philanthropy.

Throughout the year, Andy has worked closely with incoming Artistic Advisor Jessica Cottis to put together the CSO’s 2021 season – work on an equally exciting 2022 is well underway!

Andy also collaborates across the CSO administrative team, liaising with musicians, guest artists, partners and donors and supporting the delivery of a growing suite of community programs.

Andy trained as a flautist at Elder Conservatorium and ANAM, and has worked with a range of arts organisations including the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Adelaide Youth Orchestra.


Weihnachtsmusik (Christmas music)
Andrew Parrott, Taverner Players

One might expect a festive work by Schoenberg to sound more like the ’12 tones of Christmas’! However, Weihnachtsmusik is layered and rather heartwarming, scored for two violins, cello, harmonium and piano.

Listen out for Silent Night, tucked beneath the melody in the latter half of this work before it reaches a gentle, contemplative end.

William Henry FRY 
Santa Claus, Christmas Symphony
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Tony Rowe

This 26-minute symphonic Christmas fantasy has it all: trumpets announcing the birth of Christ; Santa emerging out of a snowstorm (represented by a heroic solo bassoon); and a rollicking sleigh ride, featuring a slapstick to emulate Santa’s reigns demanding the tireless reindeer fly faster.

Listen out for one of the earliest uses of soprano saxophone and a particularly boisterous rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful to finish the symphony.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART 
3 German Dances K605
No. 3 in C “Sleighride”
Arther Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra

Though technically not a Christmas song, this piece has been nicknamed ‘Sleighride’; I challenge anyone to listen to the emphatic use of sleigh bells in the middle section and tell me it doesn’t evoke festive feelings.

To me, this piece is a fantastic blend of Christmas carol and rambunctious pub anthem!

Mariah CAREY
All I Want For Christmas is You
Written by Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff

Would it really be Christmas without this addition?!

In all seriousness, this song comes with a long list of accolades as well as plentiful sleigh bells, epic tubular bells and vocal gymnastics. This song is a true Christmas essential.


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