Holiday traditions, while unique in their own right, are what bind us together as a culture. During the month of December during the hustle and bustle of shopping, eating and entertaining, we all seem to have one main goal: to celebrate in the company of those we love. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or a combination thereof, all tend to celebrate at some point during December.
How did it all start, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It all began about a few thousand years ago when pagan songs were sung to celebrate the Winter Solstice, around December 22, while dancing around stone circles. A carol, also called a “noel,” actually refers to a dance or song of praise and joy, and used to be written for all four of the seasons; however, the Christmas season has been the only one where the tradition survives.
A baseball game; John Phillip Sousa; hot apple pie; the Fourth of July; Red, White & Blue; and expressing what’s important to YOU – all of which makes us Americans! As Americans, we are fortunate to live in a free democratic society and to be able to exercise our patriotic duty and right to vote.
Internationally recognized as World Teachers’ Day, October 5 is a special day to celebrate the essential role of teachers. Established by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), we celebrate today by recognizing all teachers, especially music teachers, who constantly provide quality education to students at all educational levels.
You have the shades and the hat and have loaded up with sunscreen; the chair is back, a light breeze blows as the pages in your book are gently trying to turn. All the while, in the background, you barely notice the trademark sounds of children playing, waves crashing, and the squawking song of the seagulls as they circle around your head for food.
Larry Clark’s pieces have been performed internationally and appear on numerous contest/festival lists. He is an ASCAP award-winning composer with over 200 titles in print and is in high demand to write commissions for bands and orchestras across the country.
A graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington), and Director of Band Publications for Hal Leonard Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Michael Sweeney has over 500 publications to his credit.
An active composer, conductor and performer, Brian Balmages’ fresh style of composition has put him in high demand for his wind, brass and orchestral music worldwide.
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Robert Sheldon, Concert Band Editor for Alfred Music Publishing, and was able to gain some insight into the types of things that inspire his writing style.
Mariachi music has emerged as the primary musical representation of nationalism in Mexico, and is growing increasingly popular in the southwestern and other areas throughout the United States.