As a pianist who occasionally enjoys writing choral music, I was absolutely shocked to find my holiday choral titled, ‘Christmas In A Minute’ listed at www.jwpepper.com as an Editor’s Choice! I actually wrote the piece, based on Chopin’s ‘Minute Waltz’ back in February 2001 in less than 2 hours. I heard Barbra Streisand’s voice in my head as I wrote it, much akin to her spectacular ‘Jingle Bells’ from her 1960s Christmas album. I immediately faxed it to David Foster, the creative genius composer/arranger/producer–well, God of the pop industry. I respect his taste and judgement in all genres of music.

When I visited his home in Malibu in June, 2001, I showed it to him, and he remembered my fax copy. He mentioned he was helping Barbra produce her next Christmas album, and he called her with my song. I played and sang a page or so (it’s really difficult to do, and I had no clue he was going to do that–me not being a vocalist–here was my big break with the great Barbra Streisand!) She told David that she had already recorded the Minute Waltz (which both David and I didn’t remember–it was a stroll through the museum in New York on the ‘Color Me Barbra’ release) and she never repeats musical material as such. As a result, David encouraged me to keep the piano/vocal alive somehow. Don’t give up on it, he told me.

I turned it into an SATB a cappella divisi waltz, and the Hal Leonard Corporation graciously agreed to publish it. Since they needed a piano part, I called upon my friend, the brilliant violinist/conductor/composer/arranger (yes, he is all of these)Kermit Poling, from Shreveport. Since he was already creating an orchestral arrangement to accompany a female vocalist for the chart,I had asked him to create a piano part of the orchestration so Hal Leonard can publish it as an optional accompaniment for the chart.

I checked with www.halleonard.com on May 14th and found the song already available. If you type my name ‘biegel’ in the search box, several tunes will come up on the screen. If you click on ‘Christmas In A Minute’, you can sample audio nearly half of the tune.

If there are choral conductors out there or orchestral conductors that might enjoy programming the tune for choir/orchestra or vocalist/orchestra for holiday concerts, please be in touch with me at sharpnat@aol.com. I thought it would be fun to have some new holiday material.

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