We were first introduced to Raymond Briggs’ magical, awe-inspiring world of The Snowman in 1978, and his picture book was developed into an Oscar-nominated film just four years later. Directed by Dianne Jackson and featuring an original score by Howard Blake, the animated film brings Briggs’ visionary tale to life, following James and his Snowman as they embark on a wondrous journey one winter’s night.
Over the past 40 years, The Snowman has firmly become part of the fabric of Christmas and winter celebrations. The dreamlike narrative still perfectly captures the imagination and wonder of childhood, continuing to be enjoyed and embraced across generations. We invite orchestras to celebrate the season by performing the 26-minute film with live orchestra version, The Snowman in Concert, which is now available directly from Schirmer Theatrical in the US and Canada.
The Snowman in Concert is presented under license from Snowman Enterprises Ltd and Chester Music Ltd. The work features a guest vocalist for the timeless finale song, “Walking in the Air,” and can be performed with an optional guest narrator.
In an interview with Metro, composer Howard Blake described wanting to “write a symphony about perfect innocence” when the melody for “Walking in the Air” came to him. It wasn’t until weeks later that he learned about The Snowman and was invited to participate in the TV film for Channel 4. Blake’s interview about his introduction to the project is available here.
Since composing The Snowman, in which Blake’s gentle orchestral music leads the narrative, the story has since been reimagined in longer and shorter iterations, as a ballet, stage musical, fantasia, suite, symphony, and several solo works.
Orchestras are encouraged to plan interactive audience activities surrounding performances of The Snowman in Concert, such as story-themed crafts and baking. For family-friendly ideas, visit the official activities page for The Snowman!
BAFTA TV Award-winner for Best Children’s Program & nominee for Best Graphics (1983)
Oscar-nominee for Best Short Film, Animated (1983)
To create a full length program, we recommend pairing The Snowman in Concert with Mimi and the Mountain Dragon in Concert, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Peter and the Wolf, or other works from Wise Music Classical’s rental catalogue. Our curated programming recommendations are available by category:
- Animal-Themed Music
- Children’s Concert Music (for Narrator and Orchestra)
- Children’s Concert Music (for Orchestra)
- Children’s Concert Music (for Vocals and Orchestra)
- Christmas Music
- “In the Style Of” (Music inspired by notable composers)
- Jazz-Inspired Music
- Latin-Inspired Music
- Music of Childhood
- Storybook Music
Images Copyright © Snowman Enterprises Limited 2022
THE SNOWMANTM is a trademark of Snowman Enterprises Limited
Licensed by Snowman Enterprises Limited
Film Duration: 26 min
Optional Soloists: Narrator + Soprano (often a child)