I had pulled together several texts last night which I found on The Hymns and Carols of Christmas, a pretty exhaustive site.
If you’d like to second guess me (other than the hundreds I didn’t even look at), here’s a list:
I really liked the Yule Days one, a kind of out-of-left-field version of “Twelve Days of Christmas.” (Thank you, Scotland.) But the accompaniment for this year’s competition is, as I mentioned yesterday, a celesta, very dainty and very quiet. I’ll set “Yule Days” for a more raucous accompaniment.
So which one did I pick? “Sir Christmas,” which is a little odd, since I think the text also suggests a more raucous setting. I know that we did one at Newnan Presbyterian that was a whole lot of fun and very hard on the choir and organist both.
Still, I’ve made a good start. I began by opening “Ginny’s Valentine,” a piece I did for Ginny one year when I forgot to do anything else, and assigning the celesta to it. Limited range, the celesta, especially in the Garritan Personal Orchestra version. I guess they only did the four-octave instrument, because it doesn’t have the range indicated by Anatomy of the Orchestra. The SoftSynth version, of course, has no range limits at all, since it’s synthesized and not sampled like the GPO. Also, if you will recall, SoftSynth has choral sounds while GPO does not, although the new Finale, arriving next week, is supposed to include new GPO choral sounds.
After I played around with getting a feel for the instrument, I opened up a new piece and just began playing with notes.
And here’s the first six measures for you to listen to. Just playing, and a long way to go with a non-metrical text, especially in a week and a half, but a good start.