As the holiday season approaches, I'm always filled with anticipation and inspiration. Holidazzle is a whimsical piece composed in anticipation of my first Christmas Concert, a benefit event for "Friends of the Carpenter," a ministry for the homeless. Holy dazzle! I like to add my signature style to traditional hymns. Many of these I sang as a child in church during the Advent season. For it is told... It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, that While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night they must have felt fear until the Angels From The Realm Of Glory came on that O Holy Night and told them "be not afraid." Joy To The World -- in this arrangement I use a technique from my early piano lessons, creating sound and incorporating mathematical principles. I play the melody with the pinky of my right hand and then stack perfect fourths down the keyboard to simulate the sound of chimes. Can you hear the Carillon bells sound forth from a distant tower and follow the melody as it drifts through the trees? Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy '' I've transformed this classical melody from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite into New Orleans style jazz. From there we move on to Still Still Still, a gentle carol. If I can quiet my mind and open my heart, the guidance I seek will be there. The Christmas season is a zany mix of glitz and something divine. Dazzle and Holy! My mom always told me that every day is Christmas day. What a great thought! Herald To The Heart is an original composition that reflects the joy of Christmas morning, then and now, when divine light enters my heart. It still does everyday. The musical ride on Sleigh Ride is always a challenge - perennially. Leroy Anderson wrote this timeless piece for the Pops orchestras of his time. Here I use four hands to give it an even livelier swing! In Santa's Workshop I invite you into the enchanted world of the elves. I created this piece using acoustic piano and pizzicato style accompaniment. We Need A Little Christmas was first introduced in the Broadway musical "Mame" and was later featured in "The Muppet Movie." I transformed this two-beat into a Latin groove. Holiday Homecoming is another original I wrote that captures the feeling of home and hearth. My wife Marcia does this thing with candles. Imagine our entire living room lit up with twenty or more candles. Soft music is playing, we sip hot tea, it's Christmas Eve and home is so comfortable. We like to pretend we are in a mountain cabin and it's snowing outside. I love the warmth and safety. Skating Song, this is my own version of a whirl on the ice, inspired by the music from"A Charlie Brown Christmas." We live in the Pacific Northwest, where we are blessed with evergreen trees and snow capped mountains. In the winter, we also have our share of cloudy skies and rainy days. In The Bleak Midwinter is a soothing remembrance of the birth of Jesus, light out of darkness. Some Children See Him - a beautiful song with a plaintive melody. I see Him in action in people helping each other. "Friends of the Carpenter" does this by building relationships with people who have no place to call home. Real people, of all ages. The children are remarkable in their ability to see beyond. Morning Prayer is a song I wrote for my mom and dad one Christmas. There must have been a lot going on at that time; it's a four minute and thirty-one second prayer!
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