Fun and Games for string orchestra was commissioned in 2016 by Karen and Jeff Helmick for the Maumee Valley Country Day School string ensemble in Toledo, Ohio. It was premiered by the MVCDS ensemble in the fall of 2017 under the direction of their music director Thomas Sieberg.
The piece opens with syncopated rhythms and a light counterpoint of motives in tutti strings. The bubbling energy of the full ensemble gives way to occasional episodes of more lyrical writing for a quartet of soloists (vn1, vn 2, va, vc). The piece closes with a chorale-like return of the solo quartet, answered by a final burst of exuberance in the full orchestra.
Fun and Games is an excellent choice for directors seeking an appealing, quasi-tonal work that challenges and engages each member of the orchestra while featuring a quartet of principal players. The bright character of this five minute work makes it an excellent choice to open or close a program.
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