by Karl Hitzemann
Even though this hauntingly beautiful song about the changing seasons is perfect for performances any time of the year, it's also a strong candidate for a contest piece. It is full of musical moments and opportunities for vocal excellence. To help illustrate the changing of the seasons, it moves from minor to major keys with some wonderful moments of tension and resolution. Your older singers will appreciate its sophistication, but that doesn't mean younger singers might not also enjoy it. There are three vocal parts, but as usual, parts 2 and 3 are optional. To demonstrate how this would sound, we have included a unison version on our web site. And to help teach and learn the song, we have isolated parts 2 and 3 and put them on our web site as well. The web extras for this piece also include an a cappella version to inspire your singers or just to listen to and enjoy.
If you'd like, you could begin the song with a soloist singing part 1. This would be from measure 5 to the downbeat of measure 13. Then, from measure 27 to the downbeat of measure 35, you could bring back the soloist, or maybe two singers, or a small group. At the end of the piece, measure 43 to the downbeat of measure 48, the soloist (or duet, or small group) could return one last time. There are many different combinations that would work if you'd like to be able to feature one or more of your singers.
The recorded orchestral accompaniment is very stirring. It includes piano, flugelhorn, wind chimes, strings, and a melancholy countermelody played on a trumpet with a Harmon mute. As awesome as this recorded accompaniment sounds, you could also have an accompanist play the provided piano part. Doing a completely live performance would give you even more leeway for ebbs and flows with the tempo. Either option will have a tremendous impact.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.