The words of the carol “Once in Royal David´s City” were written by Mrs. C. F. Alexander (1818-1895). She makes wonderful use of the English language to create a picture of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. Mrs. Alexander wrote many poems for children, mainly on religious subjects and was the wife of the Bishop of Derry.
The music to “Once in Royal David´s City” was composed by H. J. Gauntlett and the carol is believed to have first been published around the middle of the 19th century.
Mrs. Alexander´s most famous collection was published in 1848 – Hymns for little children – and “Once in Royal David´s City” first appeared in this collection. A year later Gauntlett discovered the poem and wrote the music for it. The city of course is Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.

The string quartet arrangement features three choruses, the third chorus featuring a King's College Choir type descant for the first violin part. Included below you will find our Brass Quintet arrangements of Once In Royal David's City. The individual instrumental parts are included in the purchase of the full score of Once In Royal David's City. For your convenience you will be able to preview the full score of our Brass Quintet arrangement as well as the individual parts.
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