O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Cello Solo (McDonald/Nelson)


This is one of those rare popular arrangements (over 20 million views on YouTube) that is also suitable for sacrament meeting. Playable on cello or bassoon (with some tweaks*, see below), it should only be attempted by players who know what they are doing. The first page (the one available in previews) is not difficult and could result in someone mistakenly thinking that it is representative of the entire piece. The cello part spends half of its time in tenor clef, going as high as Eb5.

Difficulty aside, this is a lovely, reverent, contemplative arrangement. It could be shortened, if needed. The verse and key structure lend itself to this. If you are (or have) an accomplished cellist in your ward, get working on this in the fall! It’s fun to play as well as listen to.

*Bassoon tweaks: While bassoonists can technically play all of the notes in this arrangement, many of us don’t really like playing up that high if we don’t have to. With that in mind, the high portions can be taken down an octave. Alternatively, If you’re okay with high D but just not the Eb, you can simply leave the Eb out or play a D instead. Also, the double stops can be left out completely or you can play the bottom note only.

Additional information

Difficulty (Accompaniment)

Difficulty (Solo instrument)






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