Keith Kirchoff

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Program Notes


12 Holiday Songs


12 Etudes for voice and piano
Duration: 20 minutes
Premier: Dec, 2004. St. Cloud, MN (The Bells and Joy to the World!)
Erica Brookhyser, mezzo; Keith Kirchoff, piano

LISTEN: Brookhyser and Kirchoff (Joy to the World! only)


Twelve Holiday Songs (2004-06) is a set of twelve vocal etudes, each addressing a different aspect of modern vocal technique. Each song is a modern adaptation of a folk song associated with a specific holiday. The songs bay be sung in any order.

The 12 songs (and the applied technique) are:

- New Year's Day: Auld Lang Syne (locating pitch without the aid of the piano)
- Valentine's Day: You Are My Sunshine (Improvisation)
- St. Patrick's Day: Billy Boy (Counting, rhythm, silence, fast key changes, and retaining pitch through long silences.)
- Easter: Peter Cottontail (leaping)
- Easter: Alleluia! (Melisma and polyrhythm)
- Independence Day: Fireworks (Hocket with piano and scat singing)
- Labor Day: I've Been Workin' (Singing solo without the piano, singing in unison with the piano, long tones, whistling, and singing in two parts with the pianist)
- Halloween: Five Little Pumpkins (Sprechstimme and communicated distinctly different character personalities)
- Election Day (Sudden changes of tempo; multiple simultaneous times)
- Thanksgiving Day: Prayer (Strophic singing and singing apart from the piano)
- Christmas: The Bells (Rhythm and singing in a different key from the piano)
- Christmas: Joy to the World! (Augmented leaps)