Instrumentation: B-flat clarinet, Oboe, Trumpet in C, Tuba, 2 Percussion, Strings (no Contrabass), Narrator
Publisher: Reese & Hassing Music
The Mitten is a musical story perfect for children’s or family concerts. The Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra commissioned me to write a children’s piece for their Kinder Konzerts (Children’s Concerts). The Minnesota Orchestra has performed it hundreds of times. The Mitten is also a favorite for the Atlanta Symphony and appears regularly on their children’s programs.
(These notes are for children.)
The Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra commissioned me to write a children’s piece for their Kinder Konzerts (Children’s Concerts). I decided to use The Mitten as the basis for my piece because it had so many interesting characters to portray in music.
To get an idea for a character, I pretended to be each animal. I closed the door to my studio and acted like a mouse, frog, owl, rabbit, fox, wolf, boar and bear. I thought “How does a mouse run?” then I tried to run like a mouse. “How does a mouse sound?” I wrote some notes that sounded the way a mouse runs.
I did that for every animal in the piece. It took a long time to get everybody just right. Some days, I couldn’t think of anything. The hardest character was the wolf. I wanted him to be really scary and sneaky and make your neck hairs stand up.
Whenever I got stuck writing, I’d talk to my daughter, Greer. She was four then, and the same age as the children at the Kinder Konzerts. I’d play the music for her and ask her what she thought. She even gave me an idea for the fox. The first two notes of the fox music are the notes Greer sang when I asked her how a fox sounds.
Each animal has its own instrument. When you listen to the music, you will be able to tell which instrument plays each role.
Frog—oboe and trumpet
Wolf—viola and cello