Louisa May Alcott

New Wind Band Music for Fall 2014

More new music, just in time for the Fall semester! Here are four new pieces - three works for band and a new song cycle for Soprano and Wind Octet. Take a look at the scores, listen to the recordings, and let me know if any of these will work for your group. I’d love to hear from you!

Best wishes for a wonderful Fall semester!

Adagietto Grade 5 Band

Based on an original choral tune and inspired by Grainger’s Irish Tune from County Derry (one of my favorite pieces), this work is a simple, yet powerful piece with a soaring melody and rich harmonies.  See the score here.

Steve Danyew | Mountainscape

Mountainscape Grade 4 Band

This lyrical work opens with a flute solo, and then a flute duet, introducing the theme that is developed throughout the work. The music is inspired by this passage from Isaiah 55:12:

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

See the score here.

Journeys Grade 5 Band

This work is about life and living, new experiences (musical or otherwise) that make and define us, and those who have influenced us for the better.  The journey has only just begun!  See the score here

Journeys was commissioned by the Tennessee Music Education Association and Eastman Chemical Company for the 2014 TMEA 11-12 All-State Band.  Listen to a recording here.

Alcott Songs Soprano and Chamber Winds Octet (Grade 5)

Now available for pre-order!  Witty and whimsical, this song cycle is comprised of six short pieces with text by 19th century American writer Louisa May Alcott.  The work features a variety of musical material: from the light, buoyant dance-like opening to the soft lullaby at the close.  See the score here

Alcott Songs was commissioned in 2014 by a group of musicians and institutions. See the full list here.

Consortium Opportunity! Soprano & Chamber Winds

I am very excited to be organizing a consortium of ensembles to support the composition of a new song cycle scored for soprano and chamber winds octet!  You can read all about the project background and details <a title="Alcott Songs – Consortium for Soprano &amp; Chamber Winds" href="http://www.stevedanyew.com/alcott-songs-winds/">here</a>.  You can also listen to a couple of the songs (voice &amp; piano versions) below! VI. Lullaby

[audio http://www.stevedanyew.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/song6.mp3]

I. Awake! Awake!

[audio http://www.stevedanyew.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/song1.mp3]

If you are interested in joining the consortium, or if you have a question about the project, please send me a message via the form at the bottom of <a title="Alcott Songs – Consortium for Soprano &amp; Chamber Winds" href="http://www.stevedanyew.com/alcott-songs-winds/">this page</a>.

Alcott Songs - New Work for Soprano & Piano

I am currently finishing up a new song cycle for soprano and piano titled Alcott Songs. The piece sets six short poems of Louisa May Alcott, most of which are very whimsical and fun.  Much of Alcott's poetry is about nature - flowers, birds, etc.  After spending some time reading through much of her work, I chose six poems that I thought would work best for this piece.  I also ordered them in a way that I thought could communicate a summer's day; the first poem begins with "Awake! Awake!" and the last poem is titled "Lullaby."  In between there are short tales of sunrise, flowers, lily pads, acorns, and finally sunset and sleep.

I am having a lot of fun with the poems and trying to write music that is as whimsical and fun as these poems are.   You can read the texts here.

More soon!

New Work for Soprano and Wind Octet - "Alcott Songs"

I really enjoy the poetry of Louisa May Alcott, and I decided to create a song cycle comprised of six of her relatively short poems. I tried to pull together poems that are particularly fun, witty, and whimsical.  As I began choosing these texts, I realized that it would be fun to organize them in a way that could depict a summer day: the first poem opens with “Awake! Awake!”  The second talks about jumping among lily pads, the third describes spring flowers, and the fourth portrays a squirrel and his acorn adventures.  The fifth seems to be about bees or another animal in a sort of dream-like story – I picture this as the point at which we dose off to sleep.  The sixth and final poem is a lovely lullaby which brings the day to an end.  Musically, I tried to create melodies and textures that mirror the fun and wit of the poetry.  There is a variety of music, from very light spring-like dancing in the opening song, to the quiet and delicate lullaby at the end.

Commissioned by the following musicians and institutions:

Dr. Brenton F. Alston – Florida International University Dr. Daniel Belongia – Illinois State University Dr. Justin Davis – Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College Mr. Duane Hill – Texas Tech University Dr. John Oelrich – University of Tennessee at Martin Dr. David Ragsdale – University of Alabama Huntsville Dr. Catherine Rand – University of Southern Mississippi Dr. Jason Rinehart & Dr. Claire Vangelisti – University of Louisiana at Monroe Dr. Mark Scatterday – Eastman School of Music Mr. Timothy Shade – University of Miami Dr. Mark Walker – Troy University

Read more about the work here.