Last Saturday I flew in to Dallas to see a world premiere performance of my choral arrangement of Carol of the Bells. It was performed by the Cedar Hill High School Forte Vocal Ensemble, directed by Chris Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes was my choir teacher back in high school about 15 years ago! It was great to reunite with him and see one of my pieces come to life for the first time.
The carol’s mainly in 19/8 meter, which tripped up the choir a bit as they were rehearsing it, as you can gather from my two favorite testimonials from the weekend:
“Singing your piece made me feel like I have Tourette’s!” – a tenor in the choir
“This is like walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls.” – Mr. Rhodes
In the end, it turned out sounding pretty good! Here’s the first performance, with a cool introduction by Mr. Rhodes and the choir demonstrating how they learned the piece and put it all together:
Here is another performance of it during the choirs’ winter concert the following Tuesday:
I’d written this carol back in 2010 for two voices and piano, then arranged it for a 6-part choir the following year. It was so fun to meet the choir and watch them sing. A few came up to me and told me that it challenged them, but that they enjoyed the song. Now I’m all pumped up to write more music!