Folk Dance Suite

for String Orchestra

Some of the first music I remember hearing as a child was international folk dance music. My parents used to hold folk dance evenings in their basement, and I have early memories of staying up, after I'd been put to bed, standing behind my bedroom door and listening to the fascinating music drifting up from the basement. I've always loved this music, and I can see how elements of the music have found their way into my original compositions. Folk Dance Suite is a collection of five folk dances: Die Alte Kath (from Germany), Miserlou (Greece), Dodi Li (Israel), Tropanka (Bulgaria), and Patsh Tantz (from the Klezmer tradition). I arranged the piece as a 50th wedding anniversary gift to my parents, who met while folk dancing. I originally presented it to them with a string quartet, but I had in mind a full string orchestra when I wrote the piece. Two movements, Dodi Li and Miserlou, are published by Alfred Publishing, under the title, "Two Folk Dances." The Andover All Town Orchestra, under the baton of Julie Diehl, gave the orchestral premiere of the piece in Andover, MA on May 13, 2009, with dancing by the Southside Folk Dancers (fourth and fifth graders from South Elementary School), under the direction of Linda O'Donnell. The piece was originally written as concert music, but it was a wonderful touch to have children on stage dancing to the music. Special thanks are due to Arline Ferguson, the folk dancer who gave her time and expertise to teach the folk dances to Linda O'Donnell.

"Folk Dance Suite"

The Andover All Town Orchestra
Julie Diehl, Director
The Southside Folk Dancers
Linda O'Donnell, Director

* Filmed on May 13, 2009 at the J. Everett Collins Center, Andover, MA.