Program notes

little tree for children’s choir and orchestra, opus 65 (2004)

little tree is a setting for two-part children’s choir and orchestra of e e cummings’ charming child’s view of a Christmas tree being decorated – in fact, that of a brother and sister. My piece tries to depict the excitement that children feel at the first sight of the Christmas tree. The concept is naughty children sneaking a look at Christmas presents under the tree so I’ve gone for a kind of bouncy sneaky motion and a contrasting well-behaved big tune.

The piece was written in September 2004 . It is seven minutes long and has high tinkly, Christmassy sounds throughout. cummings’ text actually has capitals for ‘Noel Noel’, so he must have really liked Christmas too as there are very few capitals in his work.

little tree was commissioned by Symphony Australia for the Sydney Symphony, Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices. Lyn Williams conducted the premiere in the Sydney Opera House in December 2004.

© Andrew Schultz, 2004