Dartmouth Professor Offers Musical Twist on Holiday Classics


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Liven up the holidays with these contemporary “twists” on holiday classics (listen and download here):

Jolly Old St. Pachelbel

Three Disoriented Kings

Alla en un pesebre

Carol of the Bells

O Holy Night

[[{“type”:“media”,“view_mode”:“media_large”,“fid”:null,“attributes”:{“class”:“media-image alignright size-full wp-image-11154”,“typeof”:“foaf:Image”,“style”:“”,“width”:“150”,“height”:“150”,“alt”:“Photo of Steve Swayne”}}]]These pieces, courtesy of Associate Professor of Music Steve Swayne, are selected from his album Holiday Twists.

Swayne’s  piano arrangements of well-known holiday songs date from his time as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, when he also worked as a pianist in a department store. Once the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping season arrived, recalls Swayne, “playing nothing but holiday music for three hours straight without repeating songs was a challenge.” So he re-imagined the songs to create a mix for his performances.

Asked which “holiday twist” he favors, Swayne answers, “Whichever one I’m playing. They’re all my favorites in different ways.”

See if you agree.

Tiffany Pollack