Steve Danyew

Alcott Songs


Ashley Danyew | Alcott Songs_2 A few months ago, I had the privilege of recording part of SD's newest work - "Alcott Songs" for soprano and piano (and soon, for soprano and chamber winds! Read more here). This set of six songs, with text by Louisa May Alcott would be such a fun addition to a recital or concert program. The songs are short and playful and each one has such a unique character. See the vocal score here.

Ashley Danyew | Alcott Songs_1

We set up a little recording studio in the beautiful sanctuary at Pittsford Presbyterian Church. If you look closer at the picture above, you'll see how we cleverly rigged our portable recording device to a boom mic stand!

Ashley Danyew | Alcott Songs_4

Here is a recording of the sixth song, "Lullaby":


Now the day is done, Now the shepherd sun Drives his white flocks from the sky; Now the flowers rest On their mother’s breast, Hushed by her low lullaby.

Now ‘mid shadows deep Falls blessed sleep, Like dew from the summer sky; And the whole earth dreams, In the moon’s soft beams, While night breathes a lullaby.

Ashley Danyew | Alcott Songs_3

Interested in performing these songs? Purchase the soprano / piano version (digital - $18, print - $24) or join the soprano / chamber winds consortium and be among the first to perform the new version!

What is a consortium? A consortium is a group of schools, ensembles, and individuals that buy into or co-commission a new musical work. The consortium members get first access to the new work and sole performance rights for a certain period of time. A consortium is a great way to be part of a new music project without the sole responsibility of funding it!

Consortium info: -  Duration: 12 minutes -  Instrumentation: soprano (voice) and chamber octet: Flute, Oboe, 2 Clarinets in Bb, 2 Bassoons, Bass Clarinet in Bb, Contrabass Clarinet in Bb* -  Difficulty Level: Grade 5 -  Timeline: Printed music will be sent to all consortium members no later than June 1, 2014. Consortium members will receive individually numbered scores, and a complete set of printed parts. Consortium members will have the exclusive performance rights to the piece through the end of the 2014 calendar year.

*String bass may be substituted

Sign up for the consortium here!

The consortium closes June 1, 2014.

Adventures in Bell Ringing: Free Handbell Acclamation!

Hooray!  I am so excited to share this with y'all today!

As you know by now, SD and I have been directing a beginning handbell choir at church these past two months. 

We've been working on a few reading pieces but we've also enjoyed doing some improvising (read more here) and teaching a few things by rote.

SD wrote this acclamation for our bell choir to play in worship last week. 

I thought it was too good not to share and he was gracious enough to let me give it to you as a free printable! 

Glorioso - free handbell acclamation by Steve Danyew

Free Handbell Acclamation

Download "Glorioso" for Handbell Choir (16 bells) and print as many copies as you need for your choir.

The piece is designed for a smaller group (16 bells) and is simple enough to teach without notation.  Each player has a rhythm pattern that is repeated throughout.  The piece is gradually built from the bottom, with two parts entering at a time.

Since we had been practicing rhythmic reading in our rehearsals, I wrote out index cards for each player with their rhythmic pattern and bell position to help them keep track of their own part.

This piece works really well as an introit - something short but joyful to begin worship.  It was well-suited for the third Sunday in Advent but it really could be used any time of the year!

Get Your Free Copy

Download "Glorioso" for Handbell Choir (16 bells) and
print as many copies as you need for your choir.

See more music for small handbell choirs here. Enjoy, and happy ringing!

P.S. I'd love to hear from you if you end up using this with your bell choir.  Please leave a comment below or email me and let me know how it goes!

Starting a Bell Choir
Improvisation Activities

Happy birthday, darling


SD birthday Dear SD,

Happy birthday, darling!  I love this picture of you from our Christmas card shoot - it reminds me of the silly moments we've shared and all the things you do to make me laugh.  Best feeling in the world.  I love sharing this life with you and feel so fortunate to have you by my side.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to celebrate you this week!  Wishing you a wonderful birthday and a great year to come!

xo, Ashley

Three Hymn Arrangements for Advent


Last Sunday was Choral Sunday at church, complete with a performance of Vivaldi's "Gloria," Handel's Organ Concerto as prelude and postlude, and three Advent hymns that SD orchestrated for the occasion. It's so much fun to sing hymns with a chamber orchestra, don't you think? 

Seeing as how Advent isn't quite over yet, I thought it might be nice to let y'all know about these arrangements in case you're looking for a little something extra for your upcoming services.

Three Hymn Arrangements for Advent

1. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (listen here)
2. Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (tune: Hyfrydol) (listen here)
3. Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending (listen here)

These arrangements are for organ, strings, trumpet, and oboe (though instrumentation is flexible) and may be purchased individually.  Read more and take a look at the scores here.

Image Credit: personal

Happy birthday, darling

Today is my sweet husband's birthday. Happy birthday, darling! I love each and every opportunity to celebrate you - I admire you so much! I look forward to cooking a delicious steak dinner (or more accurately, watching you cook the steaks while I wrap the potatoes for baking) and sharing the evening with you. I love you!

Image Credit: Nicholas Garofalo