Composition Spotlight: O Danny Boy
Date: February 16, 2014
COMPOSITION SPOTLIGHT ~ by Jack Senzig
(Each week we look at one or two of the best choral works posted in the Composition Showcase here on ChoralNet. This is where we store a treasure trove of works that your choirs will love to sing and your audiences will love to hear.)
Level: Middle School or Higher
Uses: Spring Concert, Open House, Social Events
Program Themes: Spring, St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland
This Piece Would Program Well With: The Wind That Shakes the Barley arr. by Dan Davidson available from JWPepper
KISS = “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” In order to program masterworks of high art you may want to sing something fun and easy as well. John Ward’s simple arrangement of O Danny Boy will give your choir that sublime feeling of singing in and for their community. Your audience will probably react more to this song than the Bainton “I Saw a New Heaven” you spent all semester on.
There is something about St. Paddy’s Day that puzzled me in my college days. A tenor friend of mine would walk into a bar, stand on a table and sing O Danny Boy. The puzzling part is that people would begin crying and then buy him drinks all night. It took me a few years to realize the power a sentimental melody can have on people.
Let your singers engage with a beguiling melody in this easy to learn setting.
O Danny Boy is available from the composer’s website.