Season's Greetings

I'll take a short break between paper writing, grading, and shoveling snow to give a little review of our end of the quarter choir concert. Look for my name in the second paragraph!


Eastern Washington University Symphonic and College Choirs were joined by the University Orchestra and Trombone Choir in Westminster. A few highlights:
Ralph Vaughan William's "Fantasia on Christmas Carols": Lovely orchestration, classic English pageantry. I love the words and melodies of the carols, perhaps England's richest source of ethnological music. I was approached with the organ score about one day before the concert and after some late night organ-binging, we decided to scrap it because the orchestra alone was drowning the choir in volume.
Steve Heitzeg's "little tree": Accompanied by harp. Gotta love e. e. cummings. Excellent interpretation of the text with it frequent tempo changes, expression markings, and cluster-y chords. I talked with the harpist who showed me the difficulty in playing harmonics. Talk about sensitive touch.
Z. Randall Stroope's "Winter": Text by Kahil Gilbran. Gooey and undulating. Difficult to sustain the breathless, sustained lines, especially at the "recap."
Howard Gardner's "Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day": Love this one. Reminds me of "Lord of the Dance" to the tune of "'Tis a Gift to be Simple." Wonderful dancing scansion with changing meters. This one I was given the music for a bit earlier and accompanied on the organ. Tricky but it sounded good.
Craig Courtney "A Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas": Another orchestral accompanied piece.  On the whole quite cheesy, but really fun as a musicologist.
1. Gregorian chant
2. Susato pavanne
3. English madrigal
4. Vivaldi's "Gloria"
5. Handel's coronation ball
6. Mozart slow movement
7. Saint-Saens's "Swan"
8. Wagner's "Valkyrie"
9. Strauss Waltz
10. Dance of the Hours
11. Tchaikovsky's Flower Dance
12. Sousa's "Stars and Stripes"
Pretty fun and very enjoyable with the orchestra. I think the Martin children would really like this one.

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