Welcome to our second-ever virtual recital!

There’s a background story to each of these tracks, and I’m so proud of how each student has grappled with different challenges in order to create the music they want to share with you today.

In an educational climate so often focused on product, I’m particularly enamored with the way our students turned this venture into a joyful celebration of PROCESS.

As you read, you’re sure to see flashes of pride, reflection on the feelings evoked by each selection, references to the importance of practicing – and moments of great humor, too.

In short, we’ve put a lot of our own personalities into the music we’ve prepared for you.  We’re thrilled you’re here, and hope you enjoy what you hear!

Harlow, piano, age 6: Mary Had a Little Lamb

“I practiced my song on a keyboard and I started to practice on the white keys. Then I realized they have different keys, and you can do it on the black keys too. Some can be high but you can also play it low. They all have different sounds. I think people should listen to my song because it is a miracle.”

(Trad. American (Sarah Josepha Hale, 1830), Roud Folk Song Index #7622)

Clio, piano, age 7: Bright Stars

“I chose this song because I really like the bells. At first I thought this song was going to be too loud, but we made it into little soft bells.  You can change songs with the sound you choose. Like if it was a soft song, you could choose a trumpet, and it then would be loud, not soft.”

(Barden, Kowalchyk, & Lancaster, Music for Little Mozarts, Music Lesson Book 1, p. 41)

Will, piano, age 7: Tucker’s Secret Life

“When I play this song I think about hiding secrets. It was kind of hard to learn but I listened to my teacher and practiced. I hope people listen to this song because the background sounds so cool and so secret.”

(Faber, My First Piano Adventure, Book B, p. 13)

Josephine, piano, age 8: Ice Cream Dog

“This song sounds like it could be in a movie. It’s really happy and it would probably be for a victory scene or something. When we recorded I had to start over and over and over and over again. We recorded it a second week and it worked better because I had practiced more.”

(Faber, My First Piano Adventure, Book B, p. 21)

Moses, piano, age 8: Russian Sailors’ Dance

“I chose this song because it got me a first-place medal in a talent competition I played in. It was easy to learn once I got the hand position down. It felt harder to play with the synthesizer because the keys are easier to press and so it felt easier to mess up. But, I did really well, because I practiced.”

(Melody from Rheinhold Glière’s 1927 ballet The Red Poppy (Красный мак), arrangement in Faber Piano Adventures, Lesson Book 1, p. 41)

Colin, piano, age 9: Pop! Goes the Weasel

“Keeping up with the beat was the biggest challenge when I recorded. At home I usually play it faster. But when we recorded we made it slower so I could really focus on staying with the beat and playing it the right way. I wanted to play this song because it’s harder for me and I wanted a challenge.”

(Trad. English (Roud Folk Song Index #5249), arr. Daniel McFarlane)

Dalilah, piano, age 9: Swan Lake

“Swan Lake is a very elegant piece. I practiced really hard for the quarter rest in measure 8 and the tricky notes at the very end.  In Garage Band I used Dez the drummer, along with harp and oboe. I liked doing this piece with Miss Lisa.”

(Melody from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1875 ballet Swan Lake (Лебединое озеро), arrangement in Faber, My First Piano Adventure, Book C, pp. 38-39)

Eleanor, piano, age 9: Classic Dance

“This song makes me feel groovy. It’s crazy and makes me want cheese. It was different playing on synthesizer instead of piano because the echo is different in the piano. I hope people will recognize my song is a masterpiece and then be inspired to start dancing. And, also, to eat cheese.”

(Faber Piano Adventures, Lesson Book 1, p. 16)

Fiorella, piano, age 9: Shepherd’s Flute

“When we recorded this on the synthesizer, we really changed the sound. On the piano, it sounded like a regular kind of song. But when we changed the voices, it became really intense and it sounds almost like something bad will happen. This was my fourteenth song and I picked it for the recital because I liked it.”

(Tat’iana Salutrinskaya, in Journey through the Classics (ed. Linn))

Lydia, piano, age 9: Castle in the Clouds

“Owen the cat gave me good luck while playing this song. The mood of this song is sad and quiet and calming. It was hard to learn because it is super-long but I color-coded the lines to make it prettier. When we recorded I chose different synthesizer sounds to represent the colors of each line.”

(Enchanted Kingdom: Six Original Pieces by Naoko Ikeda)

Sam, piano, age 11: Winter’s Day

“I think this song is very mysterious in a way. Lisa says it is atmospheric and I agree with her. I recorded it in January, so it’s an older recording, but I remember recording it and I really liked it. It had the idea of a huge blizzard and it felt so dark and dreary. It wasn’t at all like Christmas. It was like graveyard-winter.”

(Daniel McFarlane, Supersonics Piano Collection: Elementary, p. 38)

Avery, flute, age 12: Chanter’s Tune

“The Squirrel of Judgment was sitting there watching the whole time while we recorded! I picked this song because I really liked the Celtic sound of it. One of the challenges to learning it was working out a breathing pattern. A lot of the time I breathed on the second beat so it wasn’t on the downbeat.  When we recorded, we kept doing it over and over. I kept all of them so that when we put it together it was like a flute army.”

(Trad. Irish, found in the 1840 edition of Edward Bunting’s “Ancient Music of Ireland”)

Madeline, piano, age 12: Floating Flowers

“This song represents my love of spring. It was hard to learn but I practiced a lot and I color-coded it. I had to record it like 15 times for it to be right. I thought a flute would sound light and the marimba adds some pizzazz.”

(Enchanted Kingdom: Six Original Pieces by Naoko Ikeda)

Jonathan, flute, age 13: Sackpipslåt från Norra Rada

“I called this one The Swedish Popsicle. My arrangement is organized from a concept of light to heavy. It starts out with just the flute and drums, and in the second half a marimba and bass do the chords while we multitrack the flute melody and layer in drones. I made it a fusion piece by using an African instrument for a Swedish tune. It sounds wonderful. I think we can leave it at that. I think that’s all you need to know about the piece. Lisa, stop typing!”

(Trad. Swedish (Värmland), Arranged by Jonathan)

Lindsay, flute, age 13: Gavotte from Don Juan

“I learned this song for Solo & Ensemble Festival. It was a new challenge because it was in a key signature I had never played in. It was also my first time playing a solo for a judge. It’s a very happy song and it was fun to play. I felt using the harp voice on the synthesizer instead of piano made it sound nice and fluffy.”

(C.W. Von Gluck, trans. H. Voxman)

Vanessa, piano, age 13: Run

“This song is in 3+3+2/8 time, and it’s fast.  We divided it into sections using washi tape so it would be easier to find and practice the difficult sections.  Then, when we recorded, we could go section-by-section then too.  The song has a good name, because it’s like the notes are running fast. And that’s my statement…you know when it was the olden days and businessmen had people to write for them? It’d be so much easier if we had that too.”

(Daniel McFarlane, Supersonics Piano Collection: Elementary, pp. 32-33)

Lilly, flute, age 15: Dansa Flickor

“I like the way this tune sounds. It’s a good melody. When I put my arrangement together, I thought about instruments that I think go well together. When we recorded, it was frustrating when I couldn’t get things perfect in one take, but it was neat to hear myself play a duet with myself when we multitracked the second repeat.”

(Trad. Swedish, Arranged by Lilly)

Megan, flute, age 15: Carolan’s Receipt

“I really enjoyed my first time recording a piece I played. I’ve been a “band kid” for so long and I had never gotten the opportunity to play a piece I truly loved. I just started private lessons for the first time and it has been a whirlwind of excitement. When I started playing Carolan’s Receipt it was a little rough, but I worked a lot and it turned out amazing.  When I started figuring out my arrangement, I wanted to bring in instruments I wasn’t as familiar with, so I chose vibraphone for a cheery bit. I listened to how other people had played it and modified the melody to fit what I heard in my favorite renditions.”

(Trad. Irish (Turlough O’Carolan, 1670-1738), Arranged by Megan)