Larry Moore: The Dreidel Song

Publisher | choral music,composers,hanukkah,men's,mixed,secular,winter season | Friday, June 10th, 2016

Dreidels 400
In reviewing the selection of Hanukkah-themed music in our catalog, we realized that the majority of pieces predominantly feature contemplative and/or anthemic qualities in tone and mood. And that’s all good and appropriate! But, we did recognize a need to boost our offerings of Hanukkah music that is joyous, upbeat and celebratory. So, we put the challenge to YRM writer Larry Moore, an accomplished Broadway music arranger and orchestrator, and he graciously accepted!

The result is his unique setting of The Dreidel Song (music by S. E. Goldfarb and Mikhl Gelbart, English lyrics by Samuel S. Grossman). It is an exuberant and playful arrangement, bringing to vivid musical life the spinning of the dreidel, and we’re so excited to offer it to our customers!

Larry shared the following thoughts regarding his approach to this piece:

When Yelton Rhodes asked me to write a lively Hanukkah arrangement, I remembered that the band in which my friend Chris Coluzzi played drums had performed and participated in several Hanukkah dreidel spinning competitions. Of the several dreidel songs I found, I thought this one was my best option to adapt. The melody had a limited range, which was perfect for moving into different keys, but I needed a framework and a secondary theme.

As I wandered about singing the Dreidel Song to myself and wondering what to do with it, I found that I kept slipping into the theme from Le Bal, the last movement of Georges Bizet’s wonderful Jeux d’infants. I am very happy that one of my favorite composers (whose wife Geneviève Halévy was Jewish, incidentally) gave me exactly what I needed.

A Bizet-inspired arrangement of The Dreidel Song? Sounds wonderfully intriguing, doesn’t it?!

Available for men’s chorus or mixed chorus and piano. To peruse a partial score PDF, click on either TTBB or SATB.

Oldies but goodies for the holidays!

July through September is typically when most choirs endeavor to plan the programs for their holiday concerts. And for artistic directors and chorus singers who have discovered the YRM catalog fairly recently, we thought it might be helpful to provide lists of those holiday pieces which have proven to be the best-selling and most popular. Perhaps even loyal customers may find that information to be of use. So, after a careful and thorough review of sales reports… here they are (for each voicing – mixed, men’s chorus and women’s chorus, with titles listed alphabetically)!

SATB Most Popular_

CHRISTMAS (ORIGINAL WORDS and/or MUSIC)

YR1213v2 Christmas Brunch (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR1212v2 Coming Out on Christmas (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR2301v2 Christmas is the Warmest Time of the Year (Hall/Mamey)
YR1117v2 If Not At Christmas (MacDuff/Henderson)
YR1401.2v1 Shines a Star (Perry/Carlson)
YR3508v2 This Holiday (Steve Milloy)
YR3102v2 Tomorrow Shall Be My Shopping Day (Sturgis/Moore)
YR1J17v2 What a Gay ‘Ol Christmas Tree (Ravetch/Judd)
YR9115 The Work of Christmas (Thurman/Hardin)
YR1103v2 You’re Home for the Holidays (Daggett/Henderson)

CHRISTMAS (ARRANGEMENTS)

YR1N11 All Hayle to the Days (Elizabeth Norton)
YR8700 Carol of the Bells (Leontovich/Saladino)
YR5505 Hark! (in ⅞) (Mendelssohn/Landau)
YR3501v2 In the Spirit (Three Spirituals) (Steve Milloy)
YR7700 O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree) (Glenn M. Carlos)

HANUKKAH

YR1121v2 Flame of Faith (Marcus/Henderson)
YR7121v2 Flames So Bright at Chanukah (Dennis W. Rosenbaum)
YR6701v2 For All To See (Jerald Thomas Hawhee)
YR2600v2 Three Hanukkah Songs (Charles Baker)
YR3131v2 Likhtelekh (Light the Lamps) (Bachlund/Moore)

KWANZAA

YR5203v2 Harambee (Joseph Jennings)
YR2508 Kwanzaa Spirit (Ginger Starling)

WINTER SOLSTICE/SEASON

YR1109 Circle Dance (Gwiazdowsky/Henderson)
YR1401.1 Hymn of Winter (Longfellow/Carlson)
YR6204v2 Kore Evohe (Kelleher/Schrag)
YR9916v2 The Longest Night (Middleton/Shelton)
YR9305v2 A New December (David Frank Long)
YR1600v2 A Season for Lovers (John-Michael Albert)
YR6407v2 Solstice Carol (Diane Benjamin)
YR4304v2 Song of the Solstice (Near/Langley)
YR1112v1 Under the Holly Bough (Mackay/Henderson)
YR9301v2 Winter Solstice Moon (David Frank Long)

TTBB Most Popular_

CHRISTMAS (ORIGINAL WORDS and/or MUSIC)

YR1212v1 Coming Out on Christmas (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR3507 The Davey Dinckle Song (Crom/Milloy)
YR1011v1 Fa la la (Blah blah blah) (MacDuff/Bourland)
YR9713 Homo for the Holidays (Strangis/Smith)
YR1117v1 If Not At Christmas (MacDuff/Henderson)
YR3R11 Santa, Won’t You Please Come Back (Pingree/Richardson)
YR3508v1 This Holiday (Steve Milloy)
YR3102v1 Tomorrow Shall Be My Shopping Day (Sturgis/Moore)
YR1200 Welcome! Sing, Be Merry! (Dean X. Johnson)
YR1103v1 You’re Home for the Holidays (Daggett/Henderson)

CHRISTMAS (ARRANGEMENTS)

YR3113P Appalachian Carols (Larry Moore)
YR3504v2 Behold That Star! (Steve Milloy)
YR3817 Three Christmas Carols (Eric Helmuth)
YR7500 God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Alex Rybeck)
YR8202 Hallelujah Chorus (Handel’s “Messiah”) (Ralph R. Hays)
YR3110 The Holly and the Ivy (Larry Moore)
YR3124 Masters in This Hall (Larry Moore)
YR3303 O Holy Night (J.A. Kawarsky)
YR1C11 Procesión jíbara (Puertorican Carol) (Edgar Colón-Hernández)
YR4903 There Shall a Star (Mendelssohn/Trinkley)

HANUKKAH

YR6101 Dreidel A-Go-Go (Jeffrey Moidel)
YR1102 Hanukkah (Gerson/Henderson)
YR1903 Hanukkah Blessings (David York)
YR2600v1 Three Hanukkah Songs (Charles Baker)
YR2L13v1P Oseh Shalom (Paul Leavitt)

KWANZAA

YR5203v1 Harambee (Joseph Jennings)

WINTER SOLSTICE/SEASON

YR9305v1 A New December (David Frank Long)
YR1600v1 A Season for Lovers (John-Michael Albert)
YR2403v1 Triumphant Light Fanfare and Hymn (Donald Skirvin)
YR1112v1 Under the Holly Bough (Mackay/Henderson)
YR9301v1 Winter Solstice Moon (David Frank Long)

SSAA Most Popular_

CHRISTMAS (ORIGINAL WORDS and/or MUSIC)

YR1213v3 Christmas Brunch (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR1212v3 Coming Out on Christmas (Sturgis/Johnson)
YR1011v3 Fa la la (Blah blah blah) (MacDuff/Bourland)
YR3508v3 This Holiday (Steve Milloy)
YR4321 Why Oh Why (Joan Szymko)

CHRISTMAS (ARRANGEMENTS)

YR4012 Angels We Have Heard On High (Naomi Stephan)
YR4014 In Dulci Jubilo (Naomi Stephan)
YR3501v3 In the Spirit (Three Spirituals) (Steve Milloy)
YR9107 Maria durch ein Dornwald ging (Clif Hardin)
YR1C12v2 Tres Estrellitas (Three Little Stars) (Edgar Colón-Hernández)

HANUKKAH

YR6701v3 For All To See (Jerald Thomas Hawhee)
YR2600v3 Three Hanukkah Songs (Charles Baker)
YR6700v3 Nes Gadol Haya Sham (Jerald Thomas Hawhee)

KWANZAA

YR5203v3 Harambee (Joseph Jennings)

WINTER SOLSTICE/SEASON

YR6204v1 Kore Evohe (Kelleher/Schrag)
YR9916v3 The Longest Night (Middleton/Shelton)
YR9305v3 A New December (David Frank Long)
YR3406v1 Sacred Circle (Ruth Huber)
YR6407v1 Solstice Carol (Diane Benjamin)
YR1112v1 Under the Holly Bough (Mackay/Henderson)
YR9301v3 Winter Solstice Moon (David Frank Long)

Kent Carlson: Women Singing in Winter

Publisher | a cappella,choral music,gay & lesbian,love,winter season,women's | Friday, July 18th, 2014

snowflake-background
Continuing in the vein of “winter in July,” YRM is pleased to announce another addition to our catalog: a new original composition (words as well as music) by Kent Carlson titled Women Singing in Winter for SSA a cappella. The piece evokes a sense of intimacy, sensuality and romance. It offers a very unique option for women’s choruses who are planning a seasonal concert this coming winter.

Carlson shares the following insights:

“When I wrote Women Singing in Winter, I had just finished reading Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle and June Arnold’s Sister Gin one right after the other, and then I was listening for the millionth time to k.d. lang’s album All You Can Eat. I was so inspired that I thought it would be fun to write a new song for SSA a cappella that incorporated the powerful works of these women. I envisioned two of my female friends in a wintery setting, singing together, enjoying literature, music and erotic fun. Then I wrote the text. The setting came a day later, and followed the natural rhythm of the words. I hope this a cappella work provides a welcome challenge vocally to the extraordinary women’s choirs of today, and perhaps also an unconventional yet satisfying text for December concerts.”

View a partial score PDF of Women Singing in Winter here, and the full lyrics are below:

First the setting: cold and quiet.
Next the players: you and I,
Resilient goddess and resilient goddess.

Women singing in Winter.
Warm by a fire, just singing with k.d.
Sipping Sister Gin in a Rubyfruit Jungle.

Reconteuse, skin like vellum,
Earthy, bold
Just like Women singing,
Singing in Winter.

Now the reason why: we just celebrate
The simple fact of being together in the Winter.
This is our song: the song of Women singing,
Singing in Winter.

Dennis Rosenbaum: Velvet Shoes

Publisher | choral music,famous poets,gay & lesbian,men's,mixed,winter season,women's | Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Walk in the snow

Once again it is July and thoughts at YRM are turning to snow… with a couple of new publications that touch upon the subject of winter (just in time for your winter concert programming consideration, of course!).

The first of these two new scores (the second one will be featured next week!) is a setting of Elinor Wylie‘s poem Velvet Shoes by Dennis Rosenbaum. He first became acquainted with this text when he heard Randall Thompson’s choral setting at an assembly in the seventh grade. He was intrigued by the imagery of walking in fresh fallen snow being likened to walking in “velvet shoes.”

To his delight that very poem was presented for study in an English class just a few weeks later. The text stuck with him over the years, and he was inspired to do his own musical setting in 2003. His intention was as follows:

“The overall mood I strove to create throughout the piece was one of romantic intimacy – a walk through virgin snow with a lover in a world which is quiet, hushed, and tranquil after a snowstorm; a moment which is private, event though it takes place in a public setting, a walk that becomes the moment when a relationship “gels,” and is ever after remembered as the start of that commitment.

The calm of the final plagal cadence represents the lovers resting into their new commitment to each other. The end result of the piece shows the calm of the outer world contrasted with the internal passion of the lovers taking a walk in “velvet shoes” for the first time in their relationship. In the end, the listener is taken on a journey not only through freshly fallen snow, but into the romance of the couple walking through it.”

This thoughtful and lovely piece is ideal for those choruses wanting to program music that touches upon the subject of winter, but isn’t tied to any particular holiday celebration. Velvet Shoes is available for men’s chorus, mixed chorus and women’s chorus with piano accompaniment (click on the link to view partial score PDFs).

Here’s a clip of a concert performance by the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus:

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

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.

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!

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) 🙂 :

[audio:http://yrmusic.com/audio/judd.karlan/this.time.next.year.mp3]

Diane Benjamin: Solstice Carol

Publisher | children's,choral music,mixed,winter season,winter solstice,women's | Friday, August 31st, 2007

snow tree

Deep in the heart of late December,

Softly the snow begins to fall.

Slowly the night turns into darkness,

As we begin the longest night of all.

Watching, waiting

Light is fading,

On the longest night of all.

Thus begins Diane Benjamin‘s Solstice Carol, a straightforward and tuneful work celebrating winter solstice. Its beauty is in the simplicity of line and message, devoted to the subject of darkness, light and renewal.

A newly engraved edition of the original version for women’s chorus and piano was made available just last year, and Diane recently arranged the piece for mixed chorus and piano as well. Click on the links to view a partial scores as downloadable PDFs.

David Frank Long: A New December

Publisher | choral music,composers,men's,mixed,winter season,winter solstice,women's | Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

for new december

Los Angeles is experiencing a heat-wave right now, and it seems odd to be writing a blog entry about a piece called A New December right before the Fourth of July! But seeing how the summer months are indeed the time when many choruses are planning ahead for their holiday concerts and making their programming decisions, it felt right to feature this particular work today.

With both original words and music by David Frank Long, this piece expresses many sentiments associated with the Winter Solstice. In particular, it addresses the subtle ironies of the season… that although it is a time when…

days are shorter now,

darker the sky,

colder blows the wind,

as nature sleeps all around us

… it’s the turning point of the year, marking a fresh start as the cycle of life begins again.

It also gives a nod to other holiday celebrations, noting that December is a time when people in general are celebrating light and beauty, providing a tie-in with both Christmas and Hanukkah festivities.

For it’s a new December!

And even though it’s winter,

There’s a brighter hope,

A deeper joy,

And a warmer love, love, love.

It almost seems like springtime!

The chorus sings in colorful, bold harmonies above a gentle, flowing piano accompaniment.

A New December is available for mixed chorus, women’s chorus and men’s chorus. Click on each voicing to view the first four pages of score as a PDF. The recording is of the voicing for TTB, featuring the Tenor & Bass sections of the West Coast Singers.
[audio:http://yrmusic.com/audio/long.david.f/a.new.december.mp3]

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