Sometimes you can't explain why you do certain things, and sometimes you just get carried away without realizing it. This is exactly the case with this piece. I originally wrote an arrangement of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" to accompany the Duke Ellington Nutcracker Suite that we perform annually at ESU. It was our opening tune for the 2019 concert. After the concert I became stuck on the project and began experimenting with the main musical themes of the story, and three years later "The Grinch Suite" is completed.
I decided to create a sort of "Ellington Nutcracker Suite" of my own: An extensive holiday piece that could hold its own as an entire concert that was based on a popular holiday story. I arranged this piece in four movements for full big band, and this will take up half of our concert, with the Ellington Nutcracker taking up the other half.
I am extremely excited to present this piece of music. It is interestingly the project I have spent the most time on thus far in my writing experience. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that all that time was spent arranging songs from a children's Christmas cartoon, but here we are. I use projects like these to learn something, and each movement served a purpose in terms of the technique and style I used to write each piece.
I hope to see you and have the opportunity to present "The Grinch Suite" to you at East Stroudsburg University on Saturday, December 10th. For additional information and tickets, please visit:
Directed by Matt Vashlishan and previously known as the COTA Festival Orchestra and Phil Woods Big Band, the large ensemble was renamed in 2015 to honor all of the incredible musicians that have traveled to, lived in and performed in the Delaware Water Gap of Pennsylvania.
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