Take one traditional English carol, change the meter, insert a slow middle section, add a dash of counterpoint, and sprinkle liberally with sparkly Christmas dust. Mix with orchestra and audience members and you have the perfect recipe for your next holiday concert. Good cheer is guaranteed to follow.
This exciting original work opens with an ominous theme. It continues to build throughout, culminating in a powerful, climactic ending. Set in Dorian Mode, this piece overflows with vibrant and dramatic energy, conjuring images of strength, majesty, and passion.
“The Huron Carol” is Canada's oldest Christmas carol, written in 1643 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary. The melody is from a tradition French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" (A Young Maid). Intended as a gift and teaching aid to the Huron people, Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in their native language. The Moon of Winter is a powerful and moving adaptation of this carol for string orchestra that will enhance your next Christmas concert, adding a sense of reverence and honor.
Sea Fever is a rollicking voyage through three favourite sea shanties. This epic work was commissioned and premiered by the Southeastern Massachusetts Festival Chorus of Taunton, MA. and provides ample opportunity for both chorus and orchestra to let their sails unfurl. From the swashbuckling themes of High Barbaree and Drunken Sailor to the poignant, lyrical writing of Oh Shenandoah, there is only one thing you can count on and that is the fun your audiences will have while on board.
Vince Gassi so successfully gained access and possession of the meanings of these old sea shanties that he brought a whole new life to it. To be witness and receiver of this musical fruition last evening must have been quite a high for Mr. Gassi. The interpretation of Sea Fever by Mr. Brown and The Southeastern Massachusetts Festival Chorus revealed the deepest meaning of epic choral writing. The simple hold of a beautifully placed chord sung on a simple “ah” welled up inside of every soul in that room. The simple instrumental solo for a measure or two placed to thread the shanties together versus a bit of silence was enough to preserve a quite, captivated house (who so wanted to applaud for every movement) and thus maintain the emotional sensation this music provoked. Epic? I would say so.
Review from Stacey Martin
Audience Member, Former Chorus Member
This delightful arrangement of "Ding Dong Merrily on High" is sure to become a seasonal favorite. Joyous harmonies and cheerful rhythms abound and will immediately put you in the Christmas spirit. Arranged for orchestra but can also be done with audience sing-along. This one is totally merry!!
You’ll have no trouble getting into the Christmas spirit with this delicious adaptation of a traditional English Carol. Coated with a layer of sugar frosting, this piece will warm you up with its charming variations. You'll feel as though you were sitting in front of a crackly fire sipping hot cocoa on a crisp wintry night. Good feelings guaranteed!!
Australia in 2009