Kindled By The Flame

by Pat Finn/arr. Paul Jennings

We love to find writing talent among our subscribers, and Pat Finn has shared several enjoyable, practical, very singable songs with us. Consequently, we decided to give this delightful Hanukkah tune a special treatment, arranging it and orchestrating it for our recording group. It became more special still when some of our instrumentalists (including our featured viola soloist, Michael I. Strauss) added a bit of the spirit of a klezmer band to the recording. (The tradition of klezmer bands goes back hundreds of years in Jewish folk music. They are currently going through quite a revival. If you do a search on the world wide web of the internet, for instance, you will find over 3,000 home pages devoted to klezmer music.)

You may also want to perform this song with only live instruments. You can combine piano with guitar and/or autoharp, as well as tambourine on the last half of each beat. The key and simplicity also make it ideal for pitched classroom and Orff instruments. You might, for instance, set up an ostinato of alternating D and A (all dotted half notes) for bass instruments or timpani. At measure 19, add soprano glock or metallophone on the melody. Regardless of your orchestration, be sure to have as many players as possible join for the D-A-D measures under the word "Hanukkah" just before the D.C., and at the end of the work. Playing the faster ending is also a lot of fun if your performers have the technique to do so.

One last word of explanation: the "shammes" (pronounced "shah-muhs," and sometimes spelled "shamus") is the middle candle on the menorah, the one that is used to light the other candles.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.