Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah! Gorgeous video of Unending Flame (by P. Carey and Sherri Lasko

Happy Hanukkah!

Here is a great video version by Sherri Lasko of the song we wrote together. It's been getting a lot of performances the last few years, including four this month by the Oregon Repertory Singers directed by Ethan Sperry. Ethan, who is Jewish, told me that until he heard this piece at a reading session at Chicago ACDA 2011 that he hated all Hanukkah music- I'm pretty honored he thinks this one rocks.

The piece is published by Santa Barbara and comes in two voicings- SA/clarinet/piano and SATB/clarinet/piano. The voice parts are not difficult. There is also an orchestration which you will hear on this video. It is available for rental directly from me.

This piece was commissioned by the Michigan State University Children's Choir and their director, Mary Alice Stollak. She had originally asked for an arrangement of an existing Hanukkah song of my choice, but I just couldn't find one that really grabbed me. I then looked for Hanukkah poems that I could set with original music. No luck there either-- the poems I found were either too short, way too silly, or just really didn't inspire me (hey I was feeling the way Ethan does about the Hanukkah repertoire!). It was then that I asked Sherri Lasko for a text. She wrote a beautiful poem that captures the history, hope, and family traditions and fun of the holiday in a very sweet and musical way and we worked together to make my music complement her poem. I'm really thrilled with our final result.


Unending Flame by Sherri Lasko

Unending flame of ages past
burn bright within our hearts tonight,
rekindle hope and love of old
to carry now into the cold.

The greatest strength within us lies,
the promise old renew'd again,
not in our might, but in our heart
do peace and joy within us start.

The gift pass'd on through ev'ry child
I give to you and yours this night,
burn bright your flame,
change the world from dark to light.


Dance, sing, shout, clap,
flame of Hanukkah,
Sing, shout, clap, dance,
shining bright Menorah,
Shout, clap, dance, sing,
Send your glowing light
to bring new love to us this night.

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