Piece of the Week: A Boomwhacker Christmas

A Boomwhacker Christmas

If you’re the parent or teacher of a musical child, you are almost certainly familiar with “Boomwhackers,” those color-coded plastic tubes that kids love to smack. Since their introduction in 1995, Boomwhackers have been a go-to musical instrument for elementary music educators, and their bright colors and fun playing technique have brightened up many a classroom. This new holiday piece from Alfred Publishing Co. brings the fun of Boomwhackers into the concert hall with a medley of winter holiday songs for young orchestra.

Composition Notes:

Imagine four soloists playing eight Boomwhackers on the heads of eight brave audience members while being accompanied by string orchestra. That’s the scenario of this hilarious show-stopper. Your audience will love hearing “Jingle Bells,” “Good King Wenceslas,” and “Deck the Halls” like never before. Used by the composer with his own orchestra and guest teachers, this simple yet highly effective novelty number never fails!

Audio Sample:

Audio provided by Alfred Music Publishing Co., Inc.

Composer Biography:

Richard Meyer has been involved in music education for over 25 years. He received his BA from California State University, Los Angeles and taught instrumental music at both the middle and high school levels in the Pasadena (CA) Unified School District for 12 years. Currently, he directs the orchestras at Oak Avenue Intermediate School in Temple City, California, and is in charge of the city’s elementary school string program. For 16 years, Mr. Meyer was the conductor of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, a 90-piece 7th through 9th grade honor orchestra that he led in concerts in Vienna, Austria, Carnegie Hall, New York, Sydney, Australia, Washington D.C., and Victoria, Canada. Mr. Meyer has served as a guest conductor and clinician on many occasions throughout the United States, and has been a member of the Bellis Music Camp staff for 26 years. In addition to his teaching assignments, Mr. Meyer is a nationally recognized composer of works for young ensembles, with over 100 orchestra and band pieces in print. His composition Millennium won the 1998 National School Orchestra Association composition contest, and his Geometric Dances were awarded first prize in the 1995 Texas Orchestra Directors Association composition contest. He is also a co-author of the popular String Explorer string method series, and is the string editor for Alfred Publishing Company.

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If you are an educator, musician, composer or student with a suggestion for a “piece of the week” blog post, you can email your suggestion to Griffin at gwoodworth at makemusic dot com. Please let me know the name of the piece, composer, publisher, and why this piece is special to you.

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