by John Riggio
John tells us that this is the first Celtic style piece he's ever written. It was inspired by his wife, Janet, who loves to take walks in the snow. It is a beautiful piece, unison throughout, and is repetitive enough for your students to pick up quickly. The lyrics are important to the poetry of the song, so be sure to work on enunciation during rehearsals.
We used many instruments to create the texture for "Winter Walk" and highly recommend the use of the recording with your students. You'll hear the song start with folk harp and a couple of steel string guitars played masterfully by guitarist Sandy Williams. Percussionist Kevin Kaiser added a variety of rhythmic instruments, including sordu and bodhran (Irish hand drum). At the end of each verse and during the bridge, a penny whistle (played by Jim Farrelly) and fiddle (played by Phil Palermo) can be heard playing lilting melodies and countermelodies. You might want to play the accompaniment version of this song for your students to see if they can identify which instruments they hear and what they are playing.
Obviously, any winter stage set or props will enhance the impact of this song. Barring an outdoor performance, a backdrop of faux trees, snowmen, or a drawn or painted winter scene should work nicely.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.