The song, Danny Boy, has been in my head a lot this week, so I thought I’d share a few good performances of it here.
Often associated with Irish diaspora, Danny Boy was actually written by an Englishman, Frederic Weatherly, back in 1913. The song itself was originally written to another tune three years earlier, but he changed the melody to be based on Londonderry Air after receiving a copy of it from his sister-in-law.
If you’ve seen the movie, Memphis Belle, (Or love Harry Connick, Jr.) you’ll easily recognize this big band version, but be warned. You’ll also have chills when DB Sweeney appears as that part was also left in this youtube video.
I like this version with the King’s Singers
Over the summer I came across this beautiful version by soprano, Charlotte Hoather, (who also happens to be the first person to follow my blog!)
And because we’re in the middle of NCAA football season, it seems only right to include the Ohio State University Marching Band, a.k.a. The Best Damn Band In The Land, playing Danny Boy at this year’s Buckeye Invitational.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
I live in Columbus, Ohio. We’re a large city in a small state located on the edge of the midwest – in between my home state of Indiana and another adopted state of Pennsylvania. (Having lived in 7 states, I have a lot of “adopted” states.) We’re also next to Michigan.
These are great states. Why, you ask? They are all home to Big Ten Universities. Big Ten schools are big on academics, of course, but they’re also big on athletics. If you’re not aware, or you’re from out of the country, you should know this:
American football is kind of big over here.
All these Big Ten universities have football teams and in Ohio – especially in Columbus, Ohio, home of The Ohio State University and one of the most storied football programs in the country – football is pretty much everything. If you don’t like football, you might as well just move away now. Starting in late August / early September, you automatically have plans on all your Saturdays – unless your allegiance is only to one school at which point you have at least one bye week during the season.
Classical music fans in Columbus
As I say over and over again in this blog, Columbus is home to an awful lot of arts organizations including my personal favorite, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. It performs on an awful lot of Saturday nights, which during football season, might – to the outsider – appear to be no problem, especially for a 12 noon kick off.
But that’s where you’d be wrong. No. You see – that IS a problem to the 100,000 + fans who have tickets to the game and the thousands more who will tailgate despite not being able to set foot inside the actual stadium. Trust me. Buckeye fans take tailgating to a whole new level. It’s an art unto itself. And it sure as heck doesn’t end when the alma mater is sung at post-game!
You’d be amazed at the game watching set up people create out of the trunks of their cars. Can’t imagine what Buckeye fans can do? Well, I think it’s pretty safe to liken it to the Weasley family tent at the Quidditch World Cup.
But with all the people watching football – either inside the stadium or on their 52″ TVs that some have inside their trailers (yes, friends – I’ve seen them – with my own eyes) still in the stadium parking lots, or at the veritable plethora of game watching parties in sports bars or people’s homes, there are classical music fans among them.
Saturdays are taken up with college football. Home game? Away game? Doesn’t matter, it’s all about Buckeye football. So I ask you to please consider the difficulty classical music fans experience during the football season – the tugging at their heartstrings – Buckeyes? Or Beethoven? The CSO is performing Beethoven’s 5th on November 16th – the same day as the OSU game against the Illini. Sure, it’s an away game, but Buckeye fans will be glued to their TVs watching it anyway.
Now imagine this dilemma of having bought season tickets to the Symphony last year only to learn that my alma maters, Indiana University and The Ohio State University were playing each other the night I had tickets to hear Shubert’s Great Symphony. I was torn. Imagine how nerve wracking it was to not be able to check the score until intermission. Imagine as well that the Hoosiers went 1-11 in 2011, yet on that October night in 2012, we scored 49 (yes – forty-nine) points against the Buckeyes – THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES – but – we – still – lost! GAHH! 49-52!
OH THE HUMANITY!
But man oh man – the Schubert piece was great. And the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 was just beautiful.
So what’s a football fan to do?
Well fortunately, these Big Ten universities also have great music schools – especially my first alma mater of Indiana University, about which, of course, I have a slightly biased opinion!
But alas we’re talking about Columbus, Ohio now and the Ohio State University School of Music is also rather incredible. Not only is it home to The Best Damn Band in the Land, i.e. the Ohio State University Marching Band which does an amazing script Ohio in all their pre-games (the real reason people attend games), but it’s also home to Jazz ensembles, a Wind Symphony, a Percussion ensemble, Symphonic Band, the Men’s Glee Club and Symphonic Choir and a Symphony Orchestra. Shall I go on and list more ensembles? …because I can! The OSU School of Music has so much to offer and there’s almost always something going on.
And fortunately, there’s a lot going on, on days other than Saturday. The Ohio State University School of Music has over 300 events and performances throughout the year. Over 300! That’s pretty impressive!
While the Columbus Symphony Orchestra also performs on Fridays and occasional Sundays, the OSU School of Music has music ensembles performing nearly every day of the week. So you see, classical music-loving football fans? You DON’T have to miss out on good music!
Check out this schedule of upcoming events. There’s so much going on and tickets to most events are $10 to $20 – literally half that if you’re a member of the alumni association. Concerts are already happening and last Saturday was even the First Annual Viola Day. Coming up in November is a Clarinet Spectacular – Jazz Meets the Classics which includes performances, master classes, clinics, etc. You can attend the entire event or just the Saturday evening concert.
Even though events are already taking place, I encourage you to check out the schedule because there is an absolute ton of great concerts coming up in October and November.
Each of the main ensembles puts on about 2-3 concerts per semester and the majority of them start at 8pm, though there are Sunday concerts that begin at 3. Check out the schedule. Whether it be sports or music, you’re still supporting your Buckeyes.
So what do you say, sports fans?
Looks like you can have your football and music, too!
- Must See Classical Music in Columbus (giocosity.com)
Visit the OSU School of Music Facebook page for more info, too!
French Horn Week – coming up the week of September 23-27 here on Giocosity!