Winter Canon by Andy Beck is simply beautiful. Not only is it beautiful, but it has my 5th graders talking. Yesterday during dismissal, a couple of 5th grade choir members who also serve as Safety Patrol were telling me, “Mrs. McSpadden! Everyone, and I mean everyone is talking about how beautifully we sang on Tuesday during rehearsal!” This was stated with a ton of smiles. They told me that Winter Canon was their favorite song this year…. and we are doing some really cool music.
This is the song that has “hooked” my students into moving beyond singing some songs and into singing beautiful music together.
Back in May we decided to use this song for several reasons.
- The Tallis Canon which is the “canon” part of the Winter Canon is really great to use with a choir when you want to have them singing solfa. I knew that I could introduce this song as our warm up in the beginning of the year.
- The melody for Bleak Midwinter was written by Gustov Holst. We plan on studying “The Planets” later in the year and we want our students to be familiar with more than just that huge work.
- We needed a great piece that sounded winter-esque but we needed something that was not particular to a specific holiday. Although Bleak Midwinter is a Christmas Carol, the only portion included in the Winter Canon are talking about snow.
Being a 5th grade volunteer choir means that my students can sing a round in 2 parts with confidence and our 2-part singing is coming along nicely. Although my students can do the 3 part round with help, since we are pushing past November, we’ve decided to stick to our amazing sounding 2 part rounds when the octavo splits into 3 and 4 part rounds.
The piano accompaniment is lovely.
Here is a link to the piece.
This piece is fantastic, it fosters successful singing and introduces beautiful harmonies.
Have fun singing!