As Disney approaches its centenary, our contributors BP and GL have rounded up the most iconic Disney arrangements for choir, band and solo instruments. In this blog, you’ll find the top scores recognised by users online as the most enjoyable to perform. A link is included for each score mentioned, simply click on the title or book covers to see more. Read along and find the right score to celebrate Disney100 with Musicroom!
Best in Choral
Mac Huff’s The Musical World of Walt Disney was written to celebrate the founder’s 100th birthday, so it’s just as fitting to revisit this bestselling arrangement for the centenary of the studio’s creation. This medley of Disney songs is known for its seamless transitions, blending elements of the glorious years of Disney soundtracks from the 60s through to the 90s. In just 20 minutes, you’ll be recreating the magical, whimsical world of Disney.
Released during the Disney Renaissance, The Lion King (1994) was destined to be a hit. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Biblical story of Joseph and Moses, and elements of the 1942 Bambi movie, the original songs by Elton John, lyricist Tim Rice and scoring from Hans Zimmer won two Academy Awards, four Grammys, two Golden Globes and charted at No. 1 on Billboard for 10 consecutive weeks. We particularly like Keith Christopher’s arrangement of “The Circle of Life”, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”; alongside Roger Emerson’s “Hakuna Matata”. For a more comprehensive medley and more, Mark Brymer’s arrangements of the iconic soundtrack hit just right.
Just like “Baby Shark”, Encanto’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was inescapable. This viral sensation lets us into the world of the Madrigals, with each of them gossiping about the estranged uncle Bruno, whose clairvoyance has made him a pariah. Blending the Latin styles of salsa and guajira with pop, Broadway and hip-hop elements, critics praised Lin Manuel Miranda’s penmanship. Mark Brymer’s arrangement was so popular that one YouTube user wrote ‘This is just SO BEAUTIFULLY arranged. I can’t wait to see videos of choirs using this arrangement!’. We couldn’t agree more.
Best in Band
Even for bands, the music from Encanto was inescapable. Here the music has been arranged for concert band by Peter Kleine Schaars. This fantastic arrangement features the following songs from the film: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, “Waiting on a Miracle”, “Surface Pressure”, “Two Oruguitas”, and “The Family Madrigal”. Your band, as well as your audience, will love this catchy music full of wonderful Disney melodies and Latin rhythms! Listen to Schaars’ scoring of “The Family Madrigal” below, where he expertly utilises percussion and mutes for the brass instruments to add a true Latin feel to the music.
One of Disney’s most successful expansions of the Star Wars galaxy came in the form of the hit series The Mandalorian. Fans fell in love with not only the show’s main characters Din Djarin and Grogu, or baby Yoda as he is commonly known, but also with Ludwig Göransson’s fantastic score. Featuring all the qualities expected of a Star Wars score, Paul Murtha has expertly captured all the power and intensity of the original version of the main theme from the series. A highlight being the building of intensity to the unison fanfare section. Arranged for a 5-part flexible band, with percussion, this piece is perfect for unique ensembles and teachers.
Be sure to check out the ScorePlay videos available for both these pieces on the Hal Leonard Concert Band YouTube channel to listen to recordings of the music with a visual score in real time. Check out a ScorePlay video for this flexible band arrangement below!
With books available for flute, clarinet, alto & tenor saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, violin, viola, cello, recorder and handbells, the 101 Disney Songs series is versatile as it is useful for music teachers. Suitable for players with at least two years of experience, we can see books in the 101 Disney Songs series used in lessons as well as at special occasions such as studio recitals, weddings and birthdays. Users online overwhelmingly report that the books are keeping kids practicing, and provide a welcome break from practicing scales and classical music.