Tag Archives: Christmas

The Chills – my wedding / event band

We are a five-piece band. I play keyboard and sing, Freya Monks sings, Scott Halliday plays guitar, Alan Elliott plays bass, and the lovely Paul Kenny plays drums. (They’re all lovely, but I’m singling Paul out because I’m feeling guilty at listing him last.)

We recorded some demos in February this year. Please have a listen and pass on this link to anyone who you think might like us. As I wrote in our bio, we are ‘seeking to spread music and joy throughout the land’!

A full-on share on your Facebook page would be absolutely wondrous. A message to a friend who’s looking for a band for a wedding or event would be sublime.

(I also love to play at ceremonies…)

Anyway, here are the songs we did demos of – enjoy πŸ™‚

Advent calendar: 14

Behind today’s window is the angel Gabriel, no less 👼 This is an arrangement for piano that I did of the carol ‘Gabriel’s Message’. (Click that link to go to my original post, where you’ll find the SoundCloud player. You can download the track by clicking the arrow in the top right corner of the player.)

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
‘All hail,’ said he, ‘thou lowly maiden Mary;
Most highly favoured lady β€” gloria!’

‘For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold;
Most highly favoured lady β€” gloria!’

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
‘To me be as it pleaseth God,’ she said,
‘My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.’
Most highly favoured lady β€” gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say:
Most highly favoured lady β€” gloria!

S. Baring-Gould (1834-1924)

Advent calendar: 13

(So I’ve missed a few – I’ll fill in the gaps next year!)

Today, I’ve made a tutorial video for a piece that you might recognise from Greg Lake’s moody Christmas hit, ‘I Believe In Father Christmas’. It’s called ‘Troika’ and was written by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and is in his ballet ‘Lieutenant Kije’. This easy piano arrangement was done by the prolific composer and arranger Pauline Hall and is one of the 2016 Preliminary exam piano pieces set by the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Troika is the Russian word for three-of-a-kind and here depicts a team of three horses pulling a sleigh.

Enjoy!

Advent calendar: 8

I was out in Howth yesterday, visiting my sister and her family. I had great fun with my wee niece and was given the honour of reading her a bedtime story. We had ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and then ‘The Nutcracker’.

So, for today’s Advent calendar, here’s Clement Clarke Moore’s evocative telling of ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’…

Click on ‘ADVENT 2015’ at the top of this post (above the title) to see the previous posts I’ve done.

Advent calendar: 7

Today I’ve got two great Christmas tunes for beginner piano players to enjoy β€” ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!’ and ‘Frosty The Snowman’. This video will help you learn them by heart (there’s no music reading required). Have fun, and get everybody to join in and sing with you at Christmas time πŸ™‚

Click here for more information on my music teaching.

Advent Calendar: 2

Today, under the second window of my creative Advent calendar, is my cover of John Mayer’s jazz waltz Christmas love song, St Patrick’s Day.  The guitar chords are very, very much up my street, and our voices have a similar range. 

If you’re interested in learning how to play the song, I’d recommend getting the published sheet music. It’ll save you a lot of trouble. Believe me, there is a lot of incorrect stuff on the internet when it comes to music…! My go-to site for lyrics and chords is Sheet Music Direct. Paying a euro for their clear formatting and accuracy is absolutely worth it, compared to trawling around hoping the person who posted such-and-such a tab actually knows what they’re talking about :-/

Click here to go to St Patrick’s Day lyrics & chords on Sheet Music Direct.

Okay, without further ado, here’s my version of the song β€” enjoy!

Advent Calendar: 1

I’m going to post something every day of Advent!

First up is something special that I’ve been meaning to get done for aaaages. It’s a piano arrangement of the Christmas classic, Winter Wonderland, written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (lyrics by Richard B. Smith). I wrote this at the request of one of my piano students at the time, Chloe. A big, big thank you to my friend Mark Summers and his father, Ian, for their advice on the musical typesetting.

So, please have a listen πŸ™‚ The mp3 is downloadable, so feel free to add it to your Christmas playlists! Just click the little ‘down arrow’ at the top right of the SoundCloud player below.

If you’re a piano player, the sheet music is available in PDF format at my online music store – click here to go directly to the score. I’d really love you to share this with friends, too.