Recital season is nearing. As March ebbs away, so do competitions and festivals, giving way to the culmination of study for this school year. The weather is warming and the restrictions of an oppressive pandemic are beginning to loosen. Performance opportunities in a live setting are actually now possible again. My students are giddy about it all!
How many duets are included in your program this year? If you haven’t thought of it, get a couple of your intermediate or advanced students to whip up one. People are always enamored by such demonstrations of talent. Need a suggestion? Will Suit Music has two this year!
“The Chase” is a fast and exciting number that gives a sense of an old black & white silent movie flickering on a makeshift screen while a pianist plays away in the corner. This four-hand piece is probably best suited for advanced intermediate to advanced players. You can get a passing view of the score on YouTube as you listen to the demo. It’s available for purchase and download by clicking here.
Want to present something mysterious and foreboding? Try “Orb,” an intricately woven set of patterns that will dazzle the listener and give your students an earworm to mull over for a few days. It too is streaming as a demo on YouTube. You can purchase and download it by clicking here.
Have fun with your performances!
Today I’m calling attention to an instrumental arrangement I did a few years ago, “Meditation on Hursley.” This is arranged for a brass quintet: 2 trumpets, F Horn, Trombone and Tuba. I would put it in the intermediate to advanced levels, because of range, but it is a very accessible arrangement.
This tune has a disputed history, but it is rather clear that it has been around for a very long time! It’s been used in Psalters and Hymnals. If you know hymns, you may be familiar with its use for “Sun of My Soul.” That was once the practice before all of the copyright laws and commercial greed took over the art process in music. Composers would find a familiar tune with a meter that matched their lyrics and SURPRISE, they had a song. These would be used in taverns for sing-alongs, concert halls, places of worship, etc.
Today you would probably get sued for doing that unless you had the composer’s permission and paid a royalty. So, if you want to do that without such a hassle, find an old song that’s public domain. Hursley is now public domain. Actually, it very likely was that old when it first got the masses’ attention. It’s a very endearing tune. The sound of it is haunting and stirs so many deep thoughts and emotions.
I have a few other voicings for this arrangement I may release in time. If you have an event upcoming that requires such a piece, give it a try. You’ll find it on Sheet Music Plus.
I finished this project back in November. Its inspiration comes from my current marriage for the most part, but it includes songs about relationships and experiences through many years.
Here I present a variety of arrangements from my original compositions about relationships. Most of them are written with my husband in mind, but two or three are about other significant relationships or encounters. Two are reflections from parenthood. We both had previous marriages that resulted in children. One of his children passed away as an adult three years ago. That was so very hard for us, but it was devastating for him. I felt I should acknowledge her in this work and pay tribute to her beautiful life. The two of them had such a tight and wonderful father/daughter bond. How does one go on with such loss? He’s a strong man and he presses on, but no one knows how deeply he grieves her passing. No one.
You can listen to recordings of the songs on your favorite streaming service. I set up a play list on YouTube as well for this album.
I hope you remember and cherish your relationships as you listen to or play the music from Songs About Us. The music is available on Amazon. -Will
Today I’m introducing a new piano book for beginner and elementary level players. It’s part of the “The Owl Says Hoo” series and it’s called, “The Owl Says Hoo Piano Book for Kids.” In this volume you’ll find 10 songs adapted and arranged for the beginner and early elementary piano student. The lyrics are included so that you and your student can sing along as you play! Check out the introductory video on YouTube. Better yet, go on over to Amazon and purchase it!