Rick Crom: The Davey Dinckle Song (arranged by Steve Milloy)

Publisher | choral music,christmas (secular),humor,men's | Friday, June 28th, 2013

You know it isn’t wise to eat yellow snow, right?

One of YRM’s most unusual… and HILARIOUS… holiday offerings is a piece for TTBB, solos and piano titled The Davey Dinckle Song, written by Rick Crom and arranged by Steve Milloy. The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus performed it on their Holiday Concert 2011.

Here’s a clip of that performance on YouTube!

When it is summertime and your mind is on holiday music…

holiday
For many choral directors, the holidays REALLY begin in the summer as they consider what music to program for their upcoming concerts in November and December. It can be tricky trying to focus on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Winter Solstice when you’re dealing with July-August heat, vacations, and fireworks!

YRM customers frequently inquire, “What’s new in the catalog regarding holiday music?”

So, here’s a breakdown of the latest additions from the past three years (Click on the voicings to see a few pages from each score as PDFs. For those pieces which were featured in our 2010 Holiday Sampler, the links will take you directly to that download page):

All Hayle to the Days YR1N11 – traditional English carol arranged by Elizabeth Norton. SATB a cappella. Category: Christmas/Winter season

Campana Sobre Campana YR1C18v1-3 – traditional Andalucian carol arranged by Edgar Colón-Hernández. TTBB, SATB or SSAA a cappella. Category: Christmas

Christmas is a Season YR4C11 – original music and words by Jennifer Covert. SSAA, cello, piano and sleigh bells. Category: Christmas

Christmas Wish, A YR1D12 – original music and words by Ann MacDonald Diers. SATB a cappella. Category: Christmas/General holiday

Davey Dinckle Song, The YR3507 – original song by Rick Crom, arranged by Steve Milloy. TTBB, solos and piano. Caategory: Christmas/humor

Festive Joy and Peace YR3C11P – original song by Rich Cook and Cathy Bridges, arranged by Rich Cook. TTBB and piano. Category: General holiday

Marrying on Christmas Day YR9307- original words by John Sobrack and music by David Frank Long. TTBB (with optional soloists) and piano. Category: Christmas/humor

Mary’s First Lullaby YR5S13 – original music and words by Jonathan Santore. SATB and cello or piano. Category: Christmas

Peace In Your Heart YR2D11v1-2 – original music and words by Michael Davis. TTBB or SATB and piano. Category: General holiday

Still, Still, Still YR3C12 – traditional Austrian carol arranged by Rich Cook. TTBB a cappella with tenor solo. Category: Christmas

These Holidays! YR2D12v1-2 – original music and words by Michael Davis. TTBB or SATB a cappella. Category: General holiday

This Holiday YR3508v1-3 – original music and words by Steve Milloy. TTB, SAB or SSA and piano w optional guitar, bass and drums. Category: General holiday

Together This Christmas YR7502 – original words by Barbara Fried / music by Alex Rybeck. Solos, TTBB and piano. Category: Christmas

Winter Blessing YR5M12v1-3 – original music and words by Lynn Fisher McCanne. TTBB, SATB or SSAA a cappella. Category: Solstice/Winter Season

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hamish MacCunn: Four Songs of Love and Longing

Publisher | choral music,love,women's | Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

MacCunn
Yelton Rhodes Music was recently approached by musicologist Jennifer Oates with an opportunity to publish some partsongs by Scottish romantic composer Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916). MacCunn rose to fame at the age of nineteen with seven orchestral and choral-orchestral works based on Scottish topics (landscape and literature). At the same time, he cultivated a Scottish artistic persona that defined him throughout his career, but he struggled to mediate his Scottishness with his more cosmopolitan music, which was almost exclusively in smaller genres such as partsongs and songs.

Jennifer Oates’ primary area of expertise is in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British music, particularly Scottish art music. So the work of Hamish MacCunn has played a significant role in her research.

A few years ago she was asked to assist with a recording of some of MacCunn’s partsongs by the Queens College Vocal Ensemble (Selected Partsongs of Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916) which can be purchased on iTunes).

In her own words…

Up to this point, I had spent most of my time studying MacCunn’s larger compositions. While I knew that his songs and partsongs are among his most expressive works with some of his most effective use of chromaticism and rapid tonal shifts, it was not until I was editing performance scores of the partsongs that I appreciated that these smaller, intimate pieces are in many ways the gems of his output.

Jennifer decided to seek publication of the partsongs for which she has prepared beautifully and carefully edited scores. She explains her motivation in doing so…

Much of my career has been dedicated to writing about MacCunn and his music. With so few scores of his music available, it has been challenging to get his music out there. While I have published scholarly editions of his overtures, the publication of seven of his partsongs, a genre in which MacCunn excelled, will bring his music to a wider broader range of musicians and to new audiences.

Our first collection is Four Songs of Love and Longing for women’s chorus and piano. These are extremely lovely, reflective works whose lyricism shines. They also happen to be the last partsongs MacCunn wrote, and as Oates claims…

… are his most sophisticated efforts in the genre reflecting contemporary musical trends and showing what he could do when unfettered by patriotism.

Four Songs of Love and Longing contains the following movements (each one is also available separately in our catalog):

I. Whither? (PDF score sample)

II. On a Faded Violet (PDF score sample)

III. O my love, leave me not! (PDF score sample)

IV. Night (PDF score sample)

*All recordings by Queens College Vocal Ensemble, conducted by James John. They are from the 2008 CD: Selected Partsongs of Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916).

Jennifer Oates has an article titled “The Choral Music of Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916)” in the current edition of the American Choral Review, 55/1 (Winter-Spring 2013). Please check it out!

Donald Skirvin: Winter Reverie

Publisher | choral music,composers,winter season,women's | Friday, August 17th, 2012


We’re in the midst of an August heatwave here in Los Angeles, and that makes it even more of pleasure to feature Donald Skirvin‘s contemplative and lovely Winter Reverie for this blog update.

When Donald was commissioned to write a piece for the Seattle Women’s Chorus, he knew he wanted to set the poetry of Sara Teasdale to music. He’s set many Teasdale poems because he finds her sensitive, multilayered voice to be inspirational. Skirvin describes the piece as follows:

Winter Reverie is a setting of two evocative Teasdale poems that re-create a winter scene of walking on a snowy night, enjoying a good meal in a restaurant, watching twilight descend under “icebowed trees,” and returning thanks for “… the mother who bore me. (Click on the link to download a PDF containing the first few pages and the last few pages of the score.)

In the restaurant

The darkened street was muffled with the snow,
The falling flakes had made your shoulders white,
And when we found a shelter from the night
Its glamour fell upon us like a blow.
The clash of dishes and the viol and bow
Mingled beneath the fever of the light.
The heat was full of savors, and the bright
Laughter of women lured the wine to flow.
A little child ate nothing while she sat
Watching a woman at a table there
Lean to a kiss beneath a drooping hat.
The hour went by, we rose and turned to go,
The somber street received us from the glare,
And once more on your shoulders fell the snow.

Winter Dusk

I watch the great clear twilight
Veiling the icebowed trees;
Their branches tinkle faintly
With crystal melodies.

The larches bend their silver
Over the hush of snow;
One star is lighted in the west,
Two in the zenith glow.

For a moment I have forgotten
Wars and women who mourn
I think of the mother who bore me
And thank her that I was born.

Listen to a performance of the piece by the Seattle Women’s Chorus on YouTube by clicking here.

Mark Carlson: Common Link

Publisher | choral music,composers,humanity,men's,mixed | Monday, November 7th, 2011

jfk

If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can [help] make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic, common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s future, and we are all mortal.

These words were spoken by President John. F. Kennedy as part of his commencement address at American University in 1963. And they were the inspiration for a moving choral anthem, Common Link, composed by Mark Carlson.

Mark gave us a little insight about setting this powerful text:

At first, it was an enormous challenge to set words that are not intentionally poetic—though undeniably beautiful and profound. But as the compositional process unfolded, I felt immensely honored to be setting these words. In fact, it was kind of overwhelming to set words of such depth, some 40 years after they were spoken, and I remain humbled by the experience.

And what really got me—and still gets me nine years after writing this music—is the line, “and we are all mortal.” In part, it was the realization that Kennedy was saying, “Why are we fighting each other? We’re all going to die, anyway!” But even more, it was the realization that mortality, much as we want to fight it, is a gift. No matter how young or how old we die, we all have a finite amount of time on this small planet. Why not use every moment of that finite time to do whatever we can to make this small planet a more beautiful, a more accepting place.

Common Link was commissioned by the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus (directed by Miguel Felipe) as part of their 10th anniversary celebration. It was originally composed for TTBB, violin and piano, but has recently also been voiced for SATB, violin and piano as well. (Click on the links to see a partial PDF score for each voicing.)

This recording is the premiere performance by the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus, conducted by Miguel Felipe, in June, 2002.

Upcoming holiday concerts featuring YRM pieces!!

huntington-mens-chorus

The Huntington Men’s Chorus
www.huntingtonmenschorus.com
Thomas W. Jones, Conductor

Date/Time: Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Huntington High School Auditorium, Huntington, NY

Featuring: If Not at Christmas (Music by Scott Henderson, Lyrics by William MacDuff)

Quarryland Men’s Chorus
www.quarryland.org
Barry Magee, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
Location: First United Church, Bloomington, IN

Featuring: what matters (song by Randi Driscoll, arranged by Kevin Robison)
Enjoy Your Life (Music by Diane Benjamin, Lyrics by Barbara McAffee and D. Benjamin)
The Davey Dinckle Song (Song by Rick Crom, arranged by Steve Milloy)

Special note from Barry Magee: “Using the title of Randi Driscoll’s song as a prompt, I ask the men of the chorus to tell me what matters in their lives. Based on those responses I developed seven themes: music, loving community, enjoying life, holidays, mentoring and learning, faith, and friends. From this I choose two or three songs for each theme. Chorus members will read selections of what they wrote to introduce each theme. It fits the spirit of the holidays but it doesn’t limit use to just doing holiday music. “

Des Moines Diversity Chorus
www.desmoinesdiversitychorus.org
Julie Murphy, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Grace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA

Date/Time: Monday, December 13, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Wesley Acres Retirement Center, Des Moines, IA

Featuring: Winter Solstice Moon (Music and words by David Frank Long)
A New December (Music and words by David Frank Long)

Special note from Julie Murphy: “The name of our concert is ‘Season of Light.’ Music is drawn from diverse sources using texts that cross religious and ethnic boundaries. As the darkness of winter enfolds us, we sing of light, the symbol of peace, love, faith and joy, in hope that this light will continue to brighten our world.”

New Wave Singers of Baltimore
www.newwavesingers.org
Adam Koch, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Bolton Street Synagogue, Baltimore, MD

Featuring: Christmas Brunch (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)
Coming Out on Christmas (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)

Special note: The New Wave Singers are celebrating their 25th anniversary year! They were founded in 1985 and continue to thrive and grow.

Aurora Chorus
www.aurorachorus.org
Joan Szymko, Artistic Director

Date/Time: Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Date/Time: Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Lincoln Hall Auditorium, PSU campus, Portland, OR
Guest Artist: Claudia Schmidt

Featuring: Coming Out on Christmas (Music by Dean X. Johnson, Lyrics by Craig Sturgis)

UUCC of Washington County Choir
www.uuccwc.org
Allison Wilski, Music Director

Date/Time: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Hillsboro, OR

Featuring Elizabeth Norton’s arrangement of All Hayle to the Days

Are you in a chorus that will be performing music published by Yelton Rhodes on an upcoming concert? Please let us know about it (david@yrmusic.com) and we’ll promote your concert on Choralicious as well as on our Facebook page!

Featured Artist: Kenneth Fuchs, part two

Publisher | choral music,composers,featured artist | Friday, November 12th, 2010

jk-2
(Today’s entry is the continuation of YRM’s Dale Trumbore’s recent interview with composer Kenneth Fuchs.)

Yelton Rhodes Music: Do you have any suggestions or advice for choirs approaching your work for the first time?

Kenneth Fuchs: I believe that my music is in service to the words at all times. Understanding the text first is of paramount importance.

YRM: How do you go about finding texts to set? Is there a particular poet or poets whose work you enjoy setting?

KF: I love the prose and poetry of American writers. I read a lot and I am always on the lookout for texts that interest me. I feel especially close to the New England poets, but I am also interested in the works of American dramatists and novelists; I feel fortunate to have set the words of writers as diverse as Don DeLillo, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, John Updike, and Lanford Wilson. Composers must never set a text that is not in the public domain without the permission of the author first!

YRM: Do you have any advice for other composers interested in having their works published by YRM?

KF: Choose your words carefully and set them well. Attention to prosody and proper word setting is essential. Few things show off a composer’s inexperience faster than words that do not sit properly on the music! Also, recordings of good performances are extremely helpful in placing a work with a publisher.

YRM: What do you enjoy about being published by and working with YRM?

KF: I admire Roger Bourland’s bold vision for YRM. He publishes a wide variety of works that often express strong points of view about social and political concerns. I consider it a privilege to have my choral works published by YRM!

Yelton Rhodes Music considers it a privilege to publish so many of Kenneth Fuch‘s beautifully-written choral pieces! :)

Please visit his webpage for more information about his work: www.kennethfuchs.com.

Featured Artist: Kenneth Fuchs, part one

Publisher | choral music,composers,featured artist | Friday, November 5th, 2010

j-falletta-k-fuchs-2
YRM’s Dale Trumbore interviewed Kenneth Fuchs for this featured artist segment on our blog (the first one we’ve done, and there will be more to follow!).

Fuchs has written for orchestra, band, chorus, jazz ensemble, and various chamber ensembles. Naxos has released two recordings of his music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra with conductor JoAnn Falletta and producer Michael Fine (An American Place/Eventide/Out of the Dark and Canticle to the Sun/United Artists). In October 2001, Albany Records released Kenneth Fuchs: String Quartets 2, 3, 4 (Troy 480), performed by the American String Quartet. Mr. Fuchs currently serves as professor of music composition at the University of Connecticut.

Yelton Rhodes Music publishes several of his works including In the Clearing, six Robert Frost poem settings (Devotion, Fireflies in the Garden, Hannibal, Nothing Gold Can Stay, October and Stars), and Immigrants Still, a setting of the fifth canto from On Freedom’s Ground by Richard Wilbur, written as a memorial to those who died on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York City.

(Please click on the links to view the items in our catalog and to listen to recordings of each work.)
_____________________________________________________________________
Yelton Rhodes Music: What is your general composition process like?

Kenneth Fuchs: When I compose for voice, I always start with the text. I know immediately if I should set a poem or prose piece to music, because I hear the music as I read the words. Over the course of my career as a composer, I have set everything from tiny four-line poems to hour-long one-act plays. Once I have completely absorbed a text, I make musical sketches in relation to the words as I perceive them. Eventually I have enough sketches to start composing the piece, usually from the beginning of the text.

YRM: What is your musical background? How does that come into play in your own writing?

KF: I started singing in church choirs and school choruses when I was ten years old. The experience of singing in an ensemble made a lasting impression on me because I was hearing and singing the music from the inside out. For me, composition has always been a vocal utterance. I received my undergraduate degree in composition from the University of Miami, where I studied for four years with the noted band composer Alfred Reed. I received graduate degrees from the Juilliard School, where for nine years my principal teachers were David Diamond and Vincent Persichetti. The composition faculty also included Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and Roger Sessions. Peter Mennin was the president of the School. Quite a heady atmosphere for any composer!

YRM: What is your favorite piece published with Yelton Rhodes Music? What makes this your favorite piece?

KF: I am especially proud of Immigrants Still. It is based on the fifth canto of Richard Wilbur’s epic bicentennial poem “On Freedom’s Ground.” I first became acquainted with the poem when I heard the New York Philharmonic perform William Schuman’s cantata based upon this text in the mid-1980s. The poem’s powerful observations about the birth and progress of our nation over 200 years moved me very deeply and have stayed with me ever since. I had been seeking to compose an appropriate musical response to the events that befell our nation on September 11, 2001. When I received a commission from the Oklahoma Choral Director’s Association to compose a work for the 2005 All-OMEA Honors Chorus, Richard Wilbur’s prophetic words about the majesty of New York harbor and the immigrant experience seemed exactly right. The poem is very moving, and I hope many choruses will take up the piece for the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Karlan Judd: This Time Next Year

Publisher | choral music,composers,new year,uu,winter season | Friday, October 15th, 2010

2011_2
Yup… 2011. It will be here before you know it! Will your chorus be singing in acknowledgment and celebration of the new year?

Choral repertoire available for the topic of “new year” is unfortunately not that big at all. So, Yelton Rhodes was delighted to publish Karlan Judd‘s arrangement of the traditional tune “Auld Lang Syne” which features original lyrics by Glenn Geller. The piece is titled This Time Next Year, for solo, SATB and piano.

Karlan gives the following insight:

I don’t remember exactly what it was that inspired Glenn and I to write this song, but as I listen to it now I’m glad we did and it brings up some new feelings. With everything that is going on in the gay rights movement along with all of the recent horrible news about teenage suicides and gay-related attacks, it is easy to be angry about everything. It is easy to be angry at my family for their strong-held religious beliefs that call my lifestyle perverted, angry at politicians for not being brave enough to stand up for equality for all, angry at groups that seem to make it their mission to destroy us.

But, it is much much MUCH more important to remember the love that we share with friends and family, and to remember our desire to reach out to our fellow women and men and create relationships that bring us joy. I will not rid my heart of OUTRAGE at the mistreatment of myself or others. However, there is still love between me and my family, me and my friends on the right wing of politics, and hopefully between me and the people I meet every day. This song reminded me of the importance of cultivating this love within myself. I hope it can do the same thing for you and your chorus and maybe even your audience!

Currently the piece is only available for SATB voicing, but if you’re genuinely interested in having a men’s or women’s chorus perform it… leave a comment and we’ll try to convince Karlan to prepare an arrangement for TTBB or SSAA. Click on the links to view the first few pages and the last couple of pages of score.

This Time Next Year was premiered by the West Coast Singers. Here’s their performance (complete with a baby in the audience who decided to join the soloist) :) :

Michael Davis: Peace In Your Heart

Publisher | choral music,christmas (secular),men's,mixed,uu,winter solstice | Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

peace
It’s the first full week of October! Most choruses have already started their fall rehearsal season, many in anticipation of an upcoming holiday concert this December. Some of those choruses may still be figuring out their program… and that’s where this blog tends to come in handy! :)

YRM put out holiday samplers earlier this summer featuring all of our newest publications. This blog can go even further, however, in giving you a little additional insight to some of those pieces.

To start… I’d like to introduce you to a new YRM writer, Michael Davis, and his recently published Peace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol). This vibrant, up-tempo work has a touch of jazz attitude, and offers a positive message for the holiday season.

Michael shared the following thoughts about composing this piece:

I wrote Peace In Your Heart for the 2008 holiday carol competition sponsored by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. The theme was “peace” and I didn’t want to write the slow, pretty song with a flute solo that I imagined people would expect from me (I’m a flutist, LOL). I thought that there would already plenty of those kinds of songs on the program and that something with a little more attitude and bite would have a better chance of being selected.

My plan worked. It won, and they sang it more beautifully than I could ever imagine. Some people even told me it was their favorite song on the program (no small compliment with some of the master works the chorus sang on that concert).

I wanted to convey the message that embracing diversity could be a path to inner peace, but I didn’t want to preach. I think I achieved that by asking questions instead of issuing statements. Hopefully, I wasn’t too subtle. Above all I wanted to write a fun song. If it doesn’t make people move and smile, then I’d be very disappointed.

By the way, it looks a lot harder than it actually is because of the jazz/blues influence. One guy in the chorus told me it “scared” him when he first saw it, but the words flow with the music very well and when he figured it out it was a piece of cake.

I hope to see a video one day with lots of diversity and hilarious costumes.

Peace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol) is available in both SATB and TTBB voicings (click on the links to check out the first and last few pages of each score as PDFs).

Listen to Michael DavisPeace In Your Heart (A Holiday Carol) as performed by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus:

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck