Throw Open Your Shutters

introduced by Lynn Nichols

At CDSS, we are stewards of traditional music, dance, and song, but while the songs may be traditional, the traditions are living ones. Which brings me to "Throw Open Your Shutters." Connecticut composer Amy Fell Bernon wrote this high energy, festive choral work in the Renaissance madrigal style in 2000 as a tribute to her high school choral director in Jamesville-DeWitt, NY. The piece features a wonderful interplay between voice parts, particularly in the “Hey Ding-a-dong” section. Bernon has set it in SATB, SSA, and TBB versions, and it is performed either with piano accompaniment or a cappella.

Amy Fell Bernon is one of Connecticut’s leading composers of choral music. She’s also a talented singer, pianist, conductor. Amy’s music is accessible and unpretentious, and she has received countless commissions from choral festivals and ensembles of all levels. Her works for treble voices are especially popular among women’s choirs and youth choirs.

In fact, it is the accessibility of "Throw Open Your Shutters" that has made it a such a choral favorite over the years. Of the many renditions of the tune that are available on YouTube, I have selected three:

The first is by the Stoughton High School Madrigal Singers (Stoughton, WI) and it’s available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLlLfeQCtdQ (and also embedded above).

The second is from a children’s production of “A Christmas Carol (location unknown): https://youtu.be/8cj3YQS1Dks.

The third is from the Ocean Springs High School Madrigal Choir (Ocean Springs, MS): https://youtu.be/L8sH8pVq7Pg

The music for Throw Open Your Shutters is distributed by JW Pepper, so I am including a sample jpg here. You can buy the music at https://www.jwpepper.com/Throw-Open-Your-Shutters%21/3253739.item#/submit.

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LYRICS

Throw open your shutters ye maids and lads
Sound out, ye trumpets, be glad, sound and be glad.
Celebrate this festive day! Hey!
Ring your bells and let the psaltry play!
Celebrate this festive day! Hey!
Ring your bells and let the psaltry play!

Gather ye neighbors, with candles bright
Sing out your choruses, sing, sing of delight
Celebrate this festive day! Hey!
Ring your bells and let the psaltry play!
Celebrate this festive day! Hey!
Ring your bells and let the psaltry play!

Hey ding a ding-a, ding, ding-a, ding-a, hey a-ding dong!
Hey ding a ding-a, ding, ding-a, ding-a, hey a-ding dong!
Hey ding a ding-a, ding, ding-a, ding-a, hey a-ding dong!
Hey ding a ding-a, ding, ding-a, ding-a, hey a-ding dong!
Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong! Hey! Ding! Dong! Hey! Ding! Dong!

Climb to the rooftops and shout your noise
Join us in dancing, rejoice! Dance and rejoice!
Celebrate this festive day! Hey!
Ring your bells and let the psaltry play!
Celebrate this festive day! Hey!
Ring your bells and let the psaltry play!

Sing! Ring! Dance!


Lynn Nichols has worked for the Country Dance and Song Society since 2012, first as Webmaster and currently as Marketing and Design Manager. She is an avid choral singer, musician (mountain dulcimer), and English dancer. 

     
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