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Christmas Music

Suspend your disbelief for a minute and imagine it’s the week before Christmas, when this post was started...

While we were decorating the tree, Anne mentioned finding my high school band’s Christmas concert album. (She was digging through my LP collection for candidates to fill some 12 x 12 frames she picked up.) The stock-art cover didn’t make the cut as art, but she was curious about it. The album features my favorite piece for band, Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger. It’s very challenging to play, and I remember how hard we worked to perfect it. I didn’t have the heart to listen to it, but I took off the Singers Unlimited Christmas album (my only Christmas album) to play the definitive version by Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Maybe it’s not very Christmasy, but I never get tired of hearing it.

Speaking of favorites, last year around this time I wrote about “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” being my favorite Christmas song. On a recent Fresh Air, singer Rebecca Kilgore led off her performance with the song and later in the show, Terry Gross interviewed the song’s composer, Hugh Martin, who is 92.


Yep, Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble was definitely the gold standard by which all high school bands strive to play.

I can't remember whether I've actually played Lincolnshire Posy, or have heard it often enough to think I've played it. I think the latter? Sadly, this happens to me a lot these days.

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