• details

    • Order numbers: AM 123-010
      Hal Leonard # 4000298
    • Instrumentation: wind orchestra
    • Duration: 8'30
    • Grade: 3+
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Songs from the Catskills

Johan de Meij

The Catskill Mountains is a beautifully preserved region in Upstate New York, flanked to the east by the Hudson River. From the moment my wife and I settled in 2008 in Saugerties, a quaint Hudson Valley town 100 miles north of Manhattan, I started immersing myself into the area's rich musical history. Discovering a fascinating mix of American, Irish and Scottish folk music, ultimately, it was not easy to choose from such abundance. I ended up using the following six songs:

* The Foggy Dew - is of Irish origin, but was adopted with another text into the local folk song repertoire;
* Last Winter was a Hard One - tells the story of two Irish immigrant women who complain that their husbands can not find work, and that ‘Those Italians’ steal their jobs;
* A Poor and Foreign Stranger - a gorgeous, heart-breaking ballad;
* The Bluestone Quarries - describes the hard work in the nineteenth-century stone quarries. This song is very similar to When Johnny Comes Marching Home;
* The Arkansas Traveler - made famous by folk singer Pete Seeger (If I Had a Hammer) The music makes a side trip to The Old Tobacco Box before coming to a festive conclusion.

Songs from the Catskills was commissioned by Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and Scott A. Jones, Director of Bands, for its 2011 Honor Band Weekend. In April 2011, the work was premiered during this event, conducted by the composer.
The work is dedicated to Marilyn and Travis Rothlein, our dear friends and neighbors in the Catskills.

Johan de Meij
Saugerties, NY