Music by Daniel Dorff

MUSIC FOR CHILDREN'S CONCERTS

THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE & OTHER TALES is available at amazon.com and other leading retailers!

Rossen Milanov conducts the Symphony in C, featuring Ann Crumb and Ukee Washington as narrators in Blast Off!, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Billy and the Carnival, and Three Fun Fables (including The Fox and the Crow, The Dog and his Reflection, and The Tortoise and the Hare).

Dorff's narrated stories entertain adults as well as children and are frequently performed at concerts around the world, while introducing young listeners to the sounds of an orchestra. Perfect for holiday and birthday gifts, music education classes, and plain old enjoyment!

More information about this CD!
Click here to hear ASCAP's "Audio Portrait" about the CD.

Fanfare Magazine July 2013 review of the CD, by David DeBoor Canfield

 
NARRATED CHILDREN'S STORIES
A Treeful of Monkeys for Narrator with Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Percussion, and Piano (7')
Based on the African folk tale that inspired the familiar story "Caps For Sale."

- COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for 4 performances on its Sound All Around series, May 2015.
Billy and the Carnival: A Children's Guide to Musical Instruments
for Narrator and Orchestra (14')

Narrated guide to instruments based on an original story - a boy goes to his local park and is surprised to meet musicians coming to a concert there. As he meets musicians they play their instruments, so demonstrations of each instrument fit the story.

- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by Sacramento Symphony for 26 performances. 
- PERFORMANCES INCLUDE the Pittsburgh Symphony.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based introduction to the characteristic sounds of each orchestral instrument.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; full score available for sale.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222-2210 Timp 2Perc Strings
- COLORING BOOK illustrating complete narrated script and showing instruments,  also published by Theodore Presser Company. A special printing with your orchestra's name on the cover is available for quantity orders. 
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the CD:
          1) The opening orchestral jam session (bars 1-20)
          2) "A trumpet can play strong and exciting music, and it sounds like this!" (bars 33-50)
          3) From the lullaby featuring clarinet and then cello, over the strings (bars 116-123)

-
PROGRAM NOTES
 
 

Blast Off! for Narrator and Orchestra (9')

 
Travelog of a child's journey to outer space - episodes feature various sections of the orchestra to add music educational value.

- COMMISSIONED by Lockheed Martin and the Haddonfield Symphony for NASA Astronaut Kenneth Reightler, Jr. to narrate the PREMIERE, Daniel Hege conducting.
- PERFORMANCES also include Philadelphia Orchestra and many others.
- SCORE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE on the 100th Space Shuttle!!!
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based introduction to the characteristic sounds of each family of orchestra instruments. Also ties in with interdisciplinary learning. Story is approved by NASA Astronauts!
- FEATURED on League of American Orchestras' www.playmusic.org educational website.
- PUBLISHED SCORE from Theodore Presser Company (416-41327), parts on rental.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)2(EH)22(Cbn)-4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ukee Washington as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the CD:
          1) "Have you ever looked up at a bright, shiny, full moon?" (bars 9-20)
          2) The brilliant and blazing sun, portrayed by the brass section with percussion (bars 89-96)
          3) The ride back home and landing (bars 193-end)
-  PROGRAM NOTES
 

Click on the image above to browse the complete score

Goldilocks and the Three Bears for Narrator with Mixed Octet or Orchestra (8')

A traditional telling that highlights small-medium-large contrasts, and varying repetitions in the story; at the end Goldilocks apologizes for her actions and cooks the bears' first-ever pancake breakfast.

1) OCTET VERSION: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Trombone, Harp, 1 Percussion, Violin, Cello, and Bass
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. 51 performances, 2000-2001 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2006-07 season.
- OCTET PERFORMANCES also include Aspen Music Festival and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based way to introduce variations on recurring patterns, and to show the correlation between small-medium-large and high-medium-low sounds.
- RECORDED (octet version) by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the CD:   
          1) "Once upon a time, there were three bears." (bars 1-16)
          2) The entrance of Goldilocks (bars 38-51)
          3) The happy ending (bars 244-end)

2) ORCHESTRA VERSION
- PREMIERED December 2001, Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sheldon Bair (yes, Goldilocks was premiered by a conductor named Bair).
- PERFORMANCES include Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, many others.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1111 111(Bass)0 1-2Perc Hp Strings.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- PROGRAM NOTES

Click the image above to browse the complete orchestra score
Old MacDonald Had an Orchestra
for Narrator with Oboe, Trombone, Percussion, Cello, and Piano (6')
Old MacDonald enjoyed those sounds on his farm so much that he got himself an orchestra. Using the familiar song, young listeners learn what each instrument sounds like and also hear variations on the song.

- COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for 4 performances on its Sound All Around series, May 2013.

Take the Orchestra Out to the Ballgame
for Narrator with Quintet or Orchestra (5')
Through musical and mood variations on "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," the narrator tells a story of your local orchestra's baseball team playing against the nearest professional team.

1) QUINTET VERSION: English Horn, Trumpet, Percussion, Bass, and Piano
- COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for 5 performances on its Sound All Around series, March 2003.
- PREMIERE featured Philadelphia Orchestra principal players: Elizabeth Masoudnian (English Horn), David Bilger (Trumpet), Don Liuzzi (Percussion), Harold Robinson (Bass).
- QUINTET  PERFORMANCES include Aspen Music Festival.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (111-40191).
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Introduces "variations" by using a familiar theme transformed through various moods, and featuring characteristic instrumental solos on the melody.
2) ORCHESTRA VERSION  
- PUBLISHED on rental from Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- PREMIERE of orchestra version by Brazos Valley Symphony, January 23, 2012, Marcelo Bussiki conducting.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1(Picc)111 1110 1Perc Strings.

Click the image above to browse the complete orchestra score 

The Adventures of Mary's Little Lamb for Narrator and Quintet (3')

Through musical and mood variations on "Mary Had a Little Lamb," the narrator tells a story about Mary's little lamb, introducing the concept of variations on a familiar theme to young listeners.

1) QUINTET VERSION A: Contrabassoon, Horn, Violin, Viola, and Piano
- COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for 5 performances on its Sound All Around series, May 2002.
2) QUINTET VERSION B: Bassoon, Trombone, Violin, Percussion, and Piano
- COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for 5 performances on its Sound All Around series, April 2006.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (version A 111-40219, version B 111-40220)

 
The Bear Went Under the Mountain
for Narrator with Flute/Piccolo, Bass Trombone, Cello, Percussion, and Piano  (5')
 
Through musical and mood variations on "The Bear Went Over the Mountain," the narrator tells a story with a twist on the familiar song, introducing the concept of variations on a familiar theme to young listeners.

- COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for 5 performances on its Sound All Around series, April 2004.
- PERFORMANCES include Aspen Music Festival.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (111-40196).

 


2010 performance at Aspen Music Festival
all-Dorff children's concert

 

The Three Little Pigs for Narrator, Violin, and Cello (10')
The familiar story is told with lots of special effects, and with leitmotives identifying each of the pigs and the wolf, to illustrate variations on recurring patterns. A perfect story for illustrating variations on a theme.

- COMMISSIONED in 2004 by the American Composers Forum community partnerships for the Auricolae ensemble and Strings in the Schools.
- OTHER PERFORMANCES include Aspen Music Festival, Society for New Music, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (111-40216).
- RECORDED on New Focus Recordings, FCR108.
- PROGRAM NOTES and TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE

 

The Tortoise and the Hare for Narrator with Octet or Orchestra (5')
A comical telling of the Aesop fable, featuring Contrabassoon and Clarinet as the Tortoise and the Hare. Themes are exaggeratedly low/slow and high/fast to illustrate contrasts in music. This is a stand-alone movement taken from Three Fun Fables (see below).

1) OCTET VERSION: Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Bass, Percussion, Harp
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. 52 performances, 1996-97 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2003-04 season, and another 48 in the 2010-11 season.
- OCTET PERFORMANCES also include Chicago Pro Musica, Aspen Music Festival, and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: A very clear illustration of "opposites" in music, making clear contrasts between the low and slow tortoise (contrabassoon) and high, fast hare (clarinet). Frequently used for this purpose in educational concerts.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- Instrumentation makes this a perfect companion for L'Histoire du Soldat performances.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS provided below under Three Fun Fables
- PROGRAM NOTES

2) ORCHESTRA VERSION
- PREMIERED by Haddonfield Symphony featuring Olympic track star Carl Lewis as narrator, conducted by Daniel Hege.
- PERFORMANCES include Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony (over 30 performances so far), Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and many others.
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: A very clear illustration of "opposites" in music, making clear contrasts between the low and slow tortoise (contrabassoon) and high, fast hare (clarinet). Frequently used for this purpose in educational concerts.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1112(Cbn) 1110 Hp 1-2Perc Strings.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.

- AUDIO EXCERPT from Carl Lewis's premiere with the Haddonfield Symphony
- PROGRAM NOTES

 


Daniel Dorff shaking hands with Olympic
track star Carl Lewis, narrator for the
world premiere of
The Tortoise and the Hare
Three Fun Fables for Narrator and Octet or Orchestra (11')  
1. The Fox and the Crow (features Trumpet and Bass)
2. The Dog and His Reflection (features Trombone and Violin/Harp/Percussion)
3. The Tortoise and the Hare (features Contrabassoon and Clarinet)
Each character is portrayed by an instrument, allowing for pre-concert illustrations to help instrument recognition, musical contrasts, and familiarity with the story and music.

1) OCTET VERSION: Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Bass, Percussion, Harp
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. 52 performances, 1996-97 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2003-04 season, and another 48 in the 2010-11 season.
- OCTET PERFORMANCES also include Chicago Pro Musica, Aspen Music Festival, and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Three familiar stories use humor, irony, and contrast, to illustrate "opposites" in music, and introduce characteristic sounds and moods of the instruments.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- Instrumentation makes this a perfect companion for L'Histoire du Soldat performances.
-
REVIEWS: 
"I was very pleased to have the opportunity to conduct this work in a Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert in April of 2000.  Mr. Dorff's work is exciting, engaging, and funny for the children, as well as containing some very good learning experiences from the wonderful Aesop's fables.  It is very skillfully written for the orchestra, and uses the instruments in a most effective way.  I can recommend this work with great enthusiasm for a Family or Children's Concert."
                            - Wolfgang Sawallisch, Music Director, Philadelphia Orchestra
"delightful"
            - Ted Shen, Chicago Sun-Times, 4/12/01
"the hit of the show. more fun for adults than children"
          - Donald Peck, principal flute Chicago Symphony, 4/19/01

- AUDIO EXCERPTS - THE FOX AND THE CROW
         
1) The crow singing proudly (featuring Kurt Muroki on the amazing bass solo)
          2) The fox planning how to get the cheese from the crow
- AUDIO EXCERPTS - THE DOG AND HIS REFLECTION
         
1) The dog... 
          2) ... and his reflection 
- AUDIO EXCERPTS - THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE
         
1) Introducing the tortoise and the hare
          2) The hare falls asleep...
- PROGRAM NOTES


2) ORCHESTRA VERSION
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Philadelphia Orchestra April 29, 2000 with Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting, Susan Spafford narrating.
- PERFORMANCES include Louisville Orchestra and many others.
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Three familiar stories use humor, irony, and contrast, to illustrate "opposites" in music, and introduce characteristic sounds and moods of the instruments.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1112(Cbn) 1110 Hp 1-2Perc Strings.
- RECORDED (octet version) by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the Philadelphia Orchestra premiere:
          
from Mvt 1
           from Mvt 2
           from Mvt 3
-PROGRAM NOTES

 


click here to view or download
the complete orchestra score

 


Letter from Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch following his premiere of the orchestral version of Three Fun Fables


Daniel Dorff with Ann Crumb following
her performances of
Three Fun Fables
and
Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Trees (after the poem by Joyce Kilmer) for solo Flute (or Violin) with narration (5')
- PREMIERED by Tiffany Holmes, flute, and Cindy Anne Broz, narrator, February 22, 2009 at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, Reston VA. 
- PERFORMANCES also include Tiffany Holmes and Cindy Anne Broz at NFA 2009.
- PREMIERE of "one-performer version" by Cindy Anne Broz, May 10, 2009, 
Temecula, CA
- PUBLISHED by Tenuto/Presser (494-02853).  

- AUDIO EXCERPTS by Cindy Anne Broz, flute and narration
          Bars 1-30
          Bars 108-139
-PROGRAM NOTES
INSTRUMENTAL  
Philly Rhapsody for Orchestra (11')
Homage to The Sound of Philadelphia (Philly International Records' rhythm & blues style) and "The Philadelphia Sound" of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as a hybrid of these two traditions.
- COMMISSIONED by Network for New Music for Philadelphia's Creative and Performing Arts H.S.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company
- INSTRUMENTATION: 3(Picc)23(Bcl)2 4331 Pno Hp DrumSet 3Perc (no Timp) Strings
                [Ob2, Bn2, Hn3&4 may be omitted].

Click on the image above to browse the complete score

It Takes Four to Tango many various instrumentations (2')

Bassoon Quartet - Presser (114-40872)
Clarinet Quartet - Presser (114-40870)
Flute (or Violin) and Guitar - Presser (114-41327)
Flute Quartet - Presser (114-41507)
Saxophone Quartet - Presser (114-40871)
String Quartet - Presser (114-40942)
String Quintet - Presser (114-41060)
String Orchestra - Presser (116-40040)

-
AUDIO EXCERPT of Harmo Saxophone Quartet
- PROGRAM NOTES

SOLO INSTRUMENT FEATURED
Allegro Volante for Solo Xylophone and Orchestra (4')

A dazzling showpiece in the style of a Russian galop, with jazzy American harmonies; Movement 3 from Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra.
- PREMIERE: Alan Gilbert conducting the Haddonfield Symphony; Dean Witten solo xylophone.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222-4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings 
- ALSO AVAILABLE for Xylophone with Piano or with Band.
- AUDIO EXCERPT from premiere
- PROGRAM NOTES

 

 
Concerto for Contrabassoon with Clarinet, Horn, and String Orchestra (12')
- PERFORMANCES at youth concerts include Louisville Orchestra and Charlotte Symphony, to demonstrate contrabassoon, in a style attractive to teen audiences.
- PUBLISHED by Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- Complete information detail on Contrabassoon page of this website.

- AUDIO EXCERPTS from Roger Soren's performance with Haddonfield Symphony conducted by Daniel Hege.

          from Mvt. 1
          from Mvt. 2
          from Mvt. 3
    
- PROGRAM NOTES

Daniel Hege, Daniel Dorff, Roger Soren
following their Haddonfield Symphony performance.

Summer Solstice for Clarinet and String Orchestra, Movement 3 jazz waltz (5')

This final movement stands on its own as a jazz waltz, ideal for teen and youth concerts.
- PREMIERE: James Freeman conducting Orchestra 2001, Arne Running soloist.
- PERFORMANCES have also included
Chicago Symphony's John Yeh and Colorado Symphony's Bil Jackson. Jazz great Eddie Daniels is also available.
- PUBLISHED by Lauren Keiser Music; clarinet/piano version also available.
- AUDIO EXCERPT:
          John Yeh with the Haddonfield Symphony, conducted by Alan Gilbert
- PROGRAM NOTES


John Yeh and Alan Gilbert applauding the composer 
after their performance.

Sunburst for Solo Violin with String Orchestra (3')

- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Colorado Symphony's Up Close and Musical series for 20-30 performances (1998-2000 seasons), to demonstrate sounds and colors of the violin.
- PERFORMANCES at youth concerts include Nashville Symphony
- PUBLISHED on rental from Theodore Presser Company.

 

 

OPERA FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

Stone Soup: An Operatic Fable in One Act
for SATB Soloists, optional Chorus, with Piano or Chamber Orch. (c.35')

A light-hearted comical interpretation of the fable, in which a Solider (T.) is hungry and lost, but with the help of children and Mayor (A.), he convinces the Vegetable Lady (S.) and Butcher (B.) to contribute food to his soup. The musical refrain "It Takes All Kinds of People to Make Up a Happy Town" is echoed by the story's use of all kinds of food to make the most delicious Stone Soup, and to celebrate community and diversity.

- COMMISSIONED by Young Audiences' Philadelphia chapter for ongoing in-school use since 1983. Continuous run for 20 seasons. Over 1000 performances!! 
- Atlanta Opera: 22 performances October-November 2012, more scheduled for 2013.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (vocal score 411-41126)
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1111-1110 Pno Hp 1Perc Strings (may be solo or section)
- PROGRAM NOTES and SYNOPSIS

Scenes from The Atlanta Opera 2012-13 production

 
last updated 12/24/15
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