10 Things: Marimba at a Connecticut Wedding

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I recently provided the prelude, processional, recessional, and postlude music for the Catholic wedding of a percussionist friend in southern Connecticut. I had performed as part of a marimba quartet for a wedding, but never as an unaccompanied soloist. I was given complete autonomy regarding my literature choices with one exception – Pachelbel's Canon for the bridal processional.

The wedding was lovely. The weekend was great fun. And I learned a few things. Here are 10 of them:

  1. Connecticut drivers are fast and reckless.
  2. There is a law in CT allowing passengers to consume alcoholic beverages. 
  3. In related news, Stratford, CT needs to stop trying to make craft beer (or maybe they need to just try a lot harder).
  4. You only have to drive 7 minutes down the road and you're in a new town/city. Seriously, the hotel, church, rehearsal dinner, & reception were all in different towns.
  5. Not everyone shares my need to score their wedding like a movie soundtrack. My wedding was in October 2013 and I arranged all of the ceremony music for flute, cello, & marimba. I think I was more concerned with the timing of the music than remembering my vows. Yes, I have issues.
  6. The following marimba pieces are perfect for wedding prelude music: A Cricket Sang and Set the Sun, True Colours, The Offering, Piacer d'Amor, Memories of the Seashore, opening chorale to the Ewazen Concerto, etc. (see the full wedding playlist below)
  7. There are apparently some misconceptions about the marimba. Both the pastor and the organist/cantor were concerned I would be playing a bunch of pop music (e.g. The Beatles). 
  8. Improvisation (spontaneous composition) is a good skill to have when the ceremony inexplicably starts 12 minutes late.
  9. Beethoven's "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" in a lively 7/8 works beautifully as a recessional. It does, however, encourage a slightly lopsided gait.
  10. This one I learned at my own wedding... Brides are ALWAYS right.

The Playlist

Prelude Music

  • The Offering - Michael Burritt
  • Concerto for Marimba, Mvt. I Opening Chorale - Eric Ewazen
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - J.S. Bach/arr. N. Daughtrey
  • One Hand, One Heart - Bernstein/arr. N. Daughtrey
  • Opening - Philip Glass
  • Piacer D'Amor - Giovanni Martini/Keiko Abe
  • True Colours (first 1-1/2 pages played calmly) - John Thrower
  • Una Limosnita por Amor de Dios - Barrios/adapt. N. Daughtrey
  • La Catedral - Barrios/adapt. N. Daughtrey

Processional

  • 'Andante' from A Minor Violin Sonata - J.S. Bach
  • Transformation of Pachelbel's Canon - Pachelbell/arr. N. Mimura

Recessional

  • Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee - Beethoven/arr. N. Daughtrey (Sacred Marimbist, Book 2)

Postlude

  • Amazing Grace - arr. Nathan Daughtrey (Sacred Marimbist, Book 2)
  • A Cricket Sang and Set the Sun - Blake Tyson
  • All Creatures of Our God & King - arr. Nathan Daughtrey (Sacred Marimbist, Book 2)
  • Land - Takatsugu Muramatsu