Christmas At Our House by Michael Dulin (Alberti Publishing) is a collection of early advanced pieces appropriate for recitals, Christmas parties, contemporary worship services, or just playing for pleasure.
Everyone loves playing and hearing Christmas carols, and my students are always motivated to practice these familiar favorites. Sometimes though, I must confess I get a little tired of the same old treatments of these pieces year after year. Dulin's beautiful arrangements breathe new life into "The First Noel," "Away In A Manger," "Silent Night," "Mary's Babe's A-Sleepin'," and "Joy To The World." Each piece is substantial at 6 or more pages, and would make a lovely addition to a Christmas recital, whether you assign it to a more advanced student or play it yourself.
The contemporary harmonies give these arrangements a fresh sound, and good high school players should find them appealing. I particularly like the fact that the virtuosic elements are incorporated organically, rather than sounding like a gratuitous opportunity to show off. Some of the challenges in these pieces include arpeggiated figures that span a tenth, hemiola, and cadenza-like runs.
Composer Michael Dulin studied piano performance at Birmingham-Southern College and at Julliard, and is an award-winning performer and composer. His work as a serious classical pianist informs these compositions. You can read his entire bio here.
If you'd like a copy of this book, I have good news! It's available as an ebook and you can purchase it at a 30% discount from Alberti Publishing by using this code at checkout: MDN280. This makes the book slightly less than $5.60 - you can't beat that! The code is good through the end of December 2011. In addition, you can enter a giveaway right here to win a free copy. Just follow the directions below to enter! Entries will close at midnight (EST) on Tuesday Nov. 29th, and I'll announce the winner Wednesday morning Nov. 30th. The winner will receive a link from Alberti Publishing to download a free copy of the ebook.
There are several ways to enter the giveaway, but leaving a comment on this post is the only mandatory one. You can earn additional entries by blogging about this giveaway, liking the Lowe Piano Studio facebook page, liking Alberti Publishing's facebook page, and tweeting about the giveaway. In fact, you can earn lots of entries by tweeting every day. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the entries. I hope you'll share this giveaway with your friends and followers! Good luck!
Note: I received a free copy of Christmas At Home in return for writing an honest review. I received no additional compensation.