Beginning in 2000, my wife Dorothea Cook and I decided to write a round each year to send to friends with our holiday cards. We haven’t quite managed to live up to our vow; we missed one year (2002) and, in 2005-6, we had to write an apologetic round for cards that were sent well after the season was over. Some of the the rounds (2003, 2008) were inspired by the events of that particular year; others are just all-purpose holiday music. For the two of us, the fun has been the joy of sharing music with our friends, and collaborating on something new every year.
A wonderful surprise in 2018 was when the Seattle Girls Choir performed this year’s round, “Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New”. It is a setting of a stanza from Tennyson’s “In Memoriam.” (Full disclosure: the phenomenal artistic director of the choir is my nephew, Jacob Winkler.)
An earlier round, also with a “Ringing” theme, was used to begin my opera-in-progress, The Herbert Situation: