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VIV 705


A Page from the Christmas Story
By Barbara Harbach
VIV 705 $7.95

The title character, Zak, is a young servant to the Three Wise Men. This energetic, playful page finds himself on a journey he doesn't understand to a destination that no one exactly knows. Mystic Star, Magnet Bright captures some of the wonder fo the wise men who follow the star across the world. But a few on the trip are getting tired of Zak's mischief; they proclaim him a pain-in-the-neck and A Single-Page Disaster. Zak is not having a much better time. Discouraged by the endless sun and sand and by all the discomforts of travel, he complains to the others in A Thousand Miles From Nowhere. But the journey continues, driven by the Kings' determination to find out what the star means. They consider the cosmic perspective on this event in From Celestial Vaults Sublime. The difficult journey is made somewhat easier for Zak when he is told that A Small Step Forward can make the difference between feeling overwhelmed and feeling in control.

As the caravan draws nearer to Bethlehem, the Kings decide on gifts for the Christ child; Polished Gold and Bitter Myrrh examines how each gift expresses a different vision of who Christ will be. They reach the manger and are deeply moved by the stillness and beauty of This Wondrous Place. Having seen the Lord, Zak and the Kings begin the trip back home, but now they are filled with Christmas joy and hope. No longer guided by the Star of Bethlehem, they are guided by the light of what they have seen. The Star Within expresses how each has been transformed by the wondrous spectacel they have witnessed.

A Page from the Christmas Story is a 35 minute musical for youth, written for unison choir with optional two and three-part choruses. It has opportunities for 14 characters, but many of the speaking parts may be combined or divided as needed.

Click here to view a page of the score of the Overture

Click here to view a page of the score of Song One

Click here to view a page of the score of Song Two

Click here to view a page of the score of Song Three

Click here to view a page of the score of Song Four

Click here to view a page of the score of Song Five

Click here to view a page of the score of Song Six

Click here to view a page of the score of Song Seven

Click here to view a page of the score of Song Eight

A Brief Bio of the Composer

Barbara Harbach has a large catalog of works, including symphonies, opera, string orchestra, musicals, works for chamber ensembles, film scores, modern ballets, organ, harpsichord, piano, choral anthems, and many arrangements for brass and organ of various Baroque works. She is also involved in the research, editing, publication and recording of manuscripts of eighteenth-century keyboard composers as well as historical and contemporary women composers. Her work is available in both recorded and published form through MSR Classics, Naxos Records, Gasparo Records, Kingdom Records, Albany Records, Northeastern Records, Hester Park, Robert King Music, Elkan-Vogel, Augsburg Fortress, Agape Music and Vivace Press. Harbach is also the editor of the journal, Women of Note Quarterly.

“Harbach’s music astonished me for its heavy reliance on the lyric and the beautifully (and cogently) framed melodic line. I could listen to her music for hours.” American Record Guide ~ March / April 2008. “ Harbach has distinguished herself as one of the preeminent American composers of any generation.” All Music Guide ~ December 2007.

Harbach has toured extensively as both concert organist and harpsichordist and her lively performances and recordings have captured the imagination of many American composers, and the body of work written for and dedicated to Harbach is substantial. Musical America has called her “nothing short of brilliant,” and Gramophone has cited her as an “acknowledged interpreter – and, indeed, muse – of modern harpsichord music.” She was host of the weekly television music series Palouse Performance seen throughout the Inland Northwest.

Currently professor of music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she holds academic degrees from Pennsylvania State University (B.A.), Yale University (M.M.A.), Musikhochschule (Konzertdiplom) in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). In 2002, Harbach received an honorary doctorate in music, honoris causa, from Wilmington College, Ohio for her lifetime achievement as a composer, performer, editor and publisher.

Barbara Harbach initiated Women in the Arts-St. Louis, a celebration of the achievements of women creators. The over 800 events by various cultural organizations in the St. Louis region provided audiences with new and historical examples of the work of women writers, composers and artists. In 2006 for her work Women in the Arts-St. Louis she was the recipient of the Arts Education Award from the Missouri Arts Council; the Missouri Citizen for the Arts Award; the Yellow rose Award from the Zonta International Club of St. Louis; the UM-St. Louis College of Fine Arts and Communication, Faculty Excellence Award; and in 2007 she was awarded the Hellenic Spirit Foundation Award.


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