George Washington Never Slept Here
George Washington Never Slept Here! is a set of variations on “Soldier’s Joy,” which was a popular tune 250 years ago. It appeared in published collections of sheet music on both sides of the Atlantic, and as a fiddle tune was played for barn dances and square dances in colonial America and was surely heard by George Washington himself. The melody and harmony of the original are simple tonic-dominant structures, and are typical of fiddle tunes and hornpipes of the period. My set of variations is written in historic tradition, but with modern conventions like bi-tonality and jazz-like structures and rhythms. The title captures the good humor of the set, and celebrates the Hudson Valley, home to the composer.
I am grateful to the Equinox Chamber Players of St. Louis who first commissioned a shorter set of variations for woodwind quintet, to the Palisades Virtuosi and the Hudson Valley Piano Club who commissioned a set for piano, flute, and clarinet, and to Mrs. Kathy Bina who commissioned this set for her son Jeff who is both a pianist and percussionist. Synchronicity, comprised of Garah Landes, piano, and Gregory Landes, percussion, performed the premiere on May 6, 2005 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. –John Lampkin
Percussion Kit: Vibes, Marimba, Glock, Bass Drum, Snare drum, Toms, Su spended Cymbals, Woodblock played with a foot pedal, Woodblock, Cowbell, Nose whistle, two amusing noise-makers of the percussionist’s choosing, Mark tree, Gong, Three Tympani
Published by John Lampkin
Annotated by Mike Daley