I was talking with one of the artist I coach back in 2013, when she asked me if I’d ever considered playing a holiday program and I said sure, that I’d written two holiday suites I really love – for harp and string orchestra, called “Season of Celebration” Opus 1 and Opus 2.
“So where are they?” she asked. ~ “In my archives” I said. ~ “So can I HEAR them??” she said. SURE!
The minute I got off the phone with Jennifer, I tore my studio apart looking for the original cassettes, and only after I came up empty handed (and extremely dusty) did I think to look in my iTunes folder – and lo-and-behold, the first suite was there!
I wrote the two Suites in 1996 & 1997 and debuted them with the New England String Ensemble. They never got properly published because soon after that, the Boston Pops invited me to solo with them, and suddenly my life became a flurry of writing and performing works for full symphony – which eventually led to my album “Invention & Alchemy,” which led toGrammy nomination for “Best Classical Crossover Album.”
Yes … I’m bragging.
But I’m also remembering that these suites were originally part of my long-term plan to create new works for harp and orchestra. I started out writing pieces for string quartet and harp, then a larger 8-piece chamber ensemble, then full string orchestra and eventually sull symphony orchestra.
So once I found them again, I threw them into SoundCloud, embedded them in this blog and I hope you enjoy them! These are 3 movements from the first suite of “Season of Celebration”: ‘Joy to the World / El Niño Jesus,’ ‘What Child is This?’ and ‘Fum Fum Fum.’
I especially like the mashup of holiday songs near the end of ‘Fum Fum Fum’ (you can go right to it at 4:20 on the counter)
I hope you enjoy them! And I’m so happy I found these Holiday suites again!
Have I published these yet? Not yet. But they are definitely on the list.
(The photo above, by the way, is from about a year later with the Pittsburgh Pops, when I’d started performing my music with orchestras all over the U.S. — Thank you New England String Ensemble, for giving me my start!!! I don’t have any photos from those performances – but I surely do have some wonderful memories)