This is an archive post ~ originally published Dec. 12, 2015
The music above is the theme of the final movement of my “Season of Celebration – Opus 2” – a suite for harp, voice & string orchestra. It’s also a round that you can sing – and at the bottom of the page is a recording to help you do that. And this … is the story of how it this song happened:
Years ago I was writing my second annual Holiday concerto to play with the New England String Ensemble, and I wanted – like I often do – to create an experience, not just a concert.
I was having trouble figuring out exactly what to do so I asked my assistant, Stephanie, to do a technique with me I call “Future Now” where we project ourselves into the future and describe the event as if it’s happening NOW.
She started describing it, the room, the orchestra and then she said “the whole audience is singing … in harmony”
“Singing??” I thought “The whole audience is singing??? In HARMONY??”
And from that moment I was struck, like with Cupid’s arrow, and completely in love with this idea.
“OK,” I thought, “so, now, how do I make that happen? How do I get an entire audience to be able to stand and sing – in harmony – a song they’ve never heard before that night?”
And it hit me – a ROUND! I could teach them all the round, divide the audience in to four, and have the orchestra reinforce their entrances and the melody – it COULD work!
And it did! It worked!
And while I can’t pull an orchestra out of my hat, I can give you the round to sing along with and to download and sing with friends this season for a moment of making your own harmony.
Below is a study recording I made so you can hear the melody, see how the round fits together and so you can sing it together.
What you’ll hear is me singing it through twice solo, fairly freely, then I start a 4-part round where I sing it exactly as on the page above. This isn’t a commercial recording. It’s a study-recording for you to learn to sing it yourself, so you can sing it with friends.
The orchestra, you’ll have to imagine, but because this is a round, once you learn it, you can sing it together with your friends and family – and I encourage you to sing along with the record. Each new voice starts at the beginning of a new line. To end it, repeat the last line until everyone has caught up – or just keep singing it as many times as you want.
And if you do sing it with your family or friends, or choir or fellowship, please do videotape it, and share it with me on YouTube – I’d LOVE to see that and hear it. Just use the title “Season of Celebration” and credit me as the composer and Google Alerts should let me know – but just to make sure, post it on my Facebook Page, too. I can’t wait to hear YOUR version.
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The "Essential DHC" Collection
- Sun. Apr. 22 in Tacoma, WA ~ "Earth Songs from the Harp" a special Earth Day celebration with Symphony Tacoma and conductor Sarah Ioannides
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