Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Music Selected: [Untitled]

Yes, my third piece this year is untitled as of yet.  The title I originally submitted was "Workshop Song," and it's supposed to evoke happy elves making toys in Santa's workshop with fun percussive sound effects, but my editor asked me to make it more overtly holiday-themed while keeping "workshop" in the title.  I'm happy to comply and have come up with a few alternatives:

Elves in the Workshop

North Pole Workshop

I realize that directors are expected to play Christmas carols at winter concerts, but when programming concerts, I try to focus on neutral "winter" themed songs rather than "Christmas" songs.  I feel weird asking students of non-Christian faiths to play religious Christmas songs.  Growing up, I went to a school with a large Jewish population and during the December concert, the uneasiness was palpable when we sang songs like "Silent Night" and "Away In a Manger."  I had a student once whose religious beliefs prevented him from even playing winter-themed songs like "Frosty The Snowman" and I felt awful that he had to sit out while the rest of the orchestra played.

On the other hand, there is a high demand for good holiday music and I'm excited to see how this new one sells.  It's a charming little polka and, rather than using familiar tunes, it's an original.  As I mentioned, it uses percussive sound effects to imitate the clatter of Santa's workshop.  I may even make some last-minute changes and provide fun alternatives to the triangle and woodblock (I'm thinking of rachet, power drill, and brake drum).

Until then, there's the title to sort out.  Any ideas, interwebs?

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