The High Street Broadcast put on an amazing Christmas themed show for the month of December. As always the goals were set high — lots of songs, lots of story telling, lots of music!
From the composers standpoint, going from a creepy scary themed show to a happy and joyful show was hard this year. Maybe it was the amount of work that show #31 presented. Either way this show took some mental effort to get into the right mindset and right attitude.
There were several big songs for this show that were fun — from a musical-esque opening number to a beautiful choral arrangement of Auld Lang Syne to a straight up 1940′s ladies jazz trio — it seemed like we covered just about every genre.
The band was expanded even more — two woodwinds, two brass players, two pianos, upright bass and drums — so what was I to do but arrange a Christmas carol to feature the band only. And what Christmas carol should I do but Silent Night. After a long intro we went into the main theme — featured by the 2 piano players, myself and Becca Stankis. The brass and woodwind players went next followed by a summary with the entire ensemble. It was amazing.
One of the most fun underscoring moments I had was to arrange the same piece, Silent Night, only as if a Klingon from Star Trek was going to perform it. With the brass and woodwinds a merry tri-tone apart, power guitar chords from the 80′s being performed by a keyboard, cymbal strikes everywhere you could imagine… I think we got the point across.
Another great experience for me was to just let the band loose and do what they wanted. We ended the show with a dixieland version of Auld Lang Syne with each of the instruments taking and improvising over the melody. Instead of writing out specific parts I simply told them what I wanted, what key to perform in, and away they went. We had a blast doing it this way and it worked out well.
I know it’s early to be thinking about it but I’m already planning out incidental music for next year. Ideas that I wanted to do this year but were cut — or Christmas carols that we haven’t touched on yet. The High Street Broadcast’s Christmas show is always one I look forward to!