My 5th grade cello student asked me to play an open mic at an exhibit on the Japanese American Internment presented collaboratively by Chicago JACL, the Midwest Buddhist Temple, and JANM, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. So I made this arrangement of Sakura, or “Cherry Blossoms” for him. Here’s a youtube recording of the arrangement. The score and parts can be downloaded here, along with Japanese, English and Romaji versions of the lyrics.
The greatest two minutes of pop writing and orchestration has to be Leonard Bernstein’s tribute to Beethoven, “Somewhere”, from his 1961 orchestral suite West Side Story. The counterpoint between the leaping and returning themes is exquisite. The delicate harp raindrops accompanying. Video starts at 4:30. The orchestra is extremely close-mic’d, and it sounds great!
I made an arrangement for my middle school string orchestra of one of my favorite folk songs of all time, Oh Shenandoah. It’s from around the time of the American Civil War, and the lyrics are beautiful. I recorded a demo of the recording for cello quartet in case the students wanted to hear it. The photo is from Lake Onalaska, about 5 hours north of Chicago in Wisconsin.
Download the sheet music here.
Happy New Year! I did a bunch of transcriptions of bhangra songs with the help of Music Compass, figuring out the instrumentation, and scale/mode used. I’ll write more on this process later! I arranged this tune by jazzyb and kaurb for cello: