Christmas with the Glencraig Scottish Dance Band

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All tracks are completely ‘anonymous’ so can be used for any dance. There are 64 different tunes including well-known carols such as O Little Town of Bethlehem, Once in Royal David’s City, In the Bleak Mid Winter, We Three Kings, and classics such as Deck the Halls, Let it Snow, White Christmas, to more modern songs from The Snowman, Fairytale of New York, and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.

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  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Winter Wonderland
  • A Pantomime Horse
  • Silver Bells
  • A Merry Little Christmas
  • The Snowman's Dance
  • Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  • White Christmas
  • A Hippopotamus for Christmas
  • See Amid the Winters Snow
  • Wonderful Christmas Time
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Joy to the World
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • We wish you a Merry Christmas

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Grade 
08-12-2016

Christmas with the Glencraig Scottish Dance Band

Musically, it is the usual impeccable quality to be expected from Nicol McLaren and the Glencraig Band (plus Christmas bells), but on first listening to the CD it seemed to me that the strathspeys are all played fairly fast; this may not be everybody's cup of eggnog. The sets of tunes cover all sorts of Christmas favourites and are generally well-conceived and pleasing if eclectic in places (I don't know whether I'd play Irving Berlin's “White Christmas” immediately after Greg Lake's “I Believe in Father Christmas”, but that may just be a matter of personal taste).

The CD's 15 tracks feature some unusual combinations of bars and repeats, which creates the impression that it was (partly) planned to fill some of the gaps left by Jim Lindsay's “Scottish Christmas Dance Party” CD. For example, there is an 8×40 reel, so everyone who has always yearned to be able to dance Mairi's Wedding to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” will finally be satisfied. An 8×32 strathspey is also missing from Jim Lindsay's CD but can be found on this one. As a minor downside, this approach suffers from the fact that there are only so many popular Christmas tunes around, and a certain overlap between the tunes on both CDs is therefore inevitable – even though Nicol McLaren has apparently cast his net rather wider than Jim Lindsay. Unlike “Scottish Christmas Dance Party”, this CD does not contain music for ceilidh dances (14 country dance tracks and one waltz) which again one may or may not consider an advantage; it maximises the amount of country-dance content but the ceilidh- dance tracks are often nice for warmups and cooldowns if not the actual ceilidh dances themselves.

Personally I rather like this CD but don't find it quite as excellent as Jim Lindsay's “Scottish Christmas Dance Party”. Whoever is looking for a Christmas SCD CD and doesn't own Jim Lindsay's CD already should IMHO go for that one first. On the other hand there is nothing wrong in principle with Nicol McLaren's CD, and it would make a suitably festive addition to any SCD teacher's CD shelf.

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Christmas with the Glencraig Scottish Dance Band

Christmas with the Glencraig Scottish Dance Band

All tracks are completely ‘anonymous’ so can be used for any dance. There are 64 different tunes including well-known carols such as O Little Town of Bethlehem, Once in Royal David’s City, In the Bleak Mid Winter, We Three Kings, and classics such as Deck the Halls, Let it Snow, White Christmas, to more modern songs from The Snowman, Fairytale of New York, and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.

Write a review