New Music Friday: Three Yuletide Carols

Yule comes from a name for a 12-day festival, celebrated by Germanic peoples, around the winter solstice in December and January. By the 900s (yes, that long ago), yule was already mapped on the Christian celebration of Christmas and its surrounding festivities.

In modern use, the word Yuletide is occasionally invoked as a synonym for Christmas. Yuletide is the much older of the two words; its first half, Yule, derives from an Old English noun geōl. Both geōl and its etymological cousin from Old Norse (jōl) referred to a midwinter festival in December.

About Three Yuletide Carols

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Adeste Fidelis: 17th C. French carol. Use full bows to achieve a large, warm sound. Use an extended amount of the bow at all times – “Sing with a full-throated voice” with LOT’S of resonance! Let the audience enjoy your sound!

Ukrainian Bell Carol: Weighted notes ( – ) require weighted emphasis as they represent the clapper striking the bell. Accents throughout should be played as “bow-length” accents or “bow-speed” accents. As to ‘voicing,’ this particular work needs an equal weighting with a gentle or restful
approach into the ending…

Pat-a Pan: 18thC.French Carol. Requires a bit of separation between the notes and a ‘dance-like character throughout – a bit “bouncy,” if I may use that term! Think festive or holiday party! Be incredibly attentive to articulation markings.

About Robert D. McCashin

In addition to an extensive list of publications, Dr. McCashin holds the title of Professor Emeritus, having completed 43 years of teaching at the university level. His former position was as Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting and Violin at James Madison University. During Dr. McCashin’s final 24 years of teaching (at JMU), he served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Camerata Strings. In addition, he taught Graduate Applied Conducting, MM, and DM academic courses for conductors as well as applied violin & viola. Dr. McCashin is a string educator and an active writer/arranger in the string education field. He maintained a busy Conference presentation schedule throughout his career, making presentations on conducting technique, string pedagogy, and the Math, Science, Physics, and Physiology of String playing.

His works can be found through The FJH Music Co. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Tempo Press in Madison Heights, MI, and Wingert Jones/JW Pepper in PA. He is the Founder of and Past President of the nationally recognized College Orchestra Directors Association.

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