05.07.2009

Christmas In May

Posted by AJ Harbison at 9:54 pm

I had a dream as I was lying in bed this morning that it was the Christmas season; and in my dream it was the first day that they started playing Christmas music 24/7 in stores, restaurants, etc. I like Christmas music a lot. There are a great deal of good Christmas songs, both sacred and secular, and while there are innumerable bad versions of them, there are also many creative and excellent ones. And I love the feel of Christmas that holiday music injects into the atmosphere. One of the sure signs Christmas was coming when I was growing up was when my mother would start to cycle through her Christmas CDs on the living room stereo (including an amazing CD by Robert Shaw, which I don’t seem to remember well enough to be able to find on the internet); we didn’t often have music playing in the house, but Christmas music was a sine qua non of the holiday season for me.

All of that as a brief aside to say: I’ve decided to enter the Welcome Christmas Carol Contest this year. It’s an annual composition contest, sponsored by the American Composers Forum of which I am a member, that asks composers to write new carols using a different given instrumentation each year; this year it’s for mixed chorus and viola. The text can be “sacred or secular, medieval to present, appropriate for concert setting,” and I decided to ask my brother to write a new Christmas text because I think he’d be good at that sort of thing, and he accepted.

Should be a lot of fun! I’ll keep you posted as we make progress on our new Christmas carol.

P.S. TLB is nearing its first birthday! I can hardly believe it’s been that long already. And as we near May 26th, there are some changes in the works. I’m contemplating a redesign of the site to make it look a little more professional, and also a move from Blogger to WordPress (thanks to Mike’s persistent suggestions). I’m also planning to make a big announcement here on May 26th–so stay tuned!

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