12 December 2011

The Holly and the Ivy -- George Winston

In addition to my tendency to want to stalk Straight No Chaser (as well as Josh Groban), you may have noticed thus far that I also have a fondness for good instrumental music, particularly of the New Age variety.  This sort of music has always helped me focus on my work (I am easily distracted), so for me such music is as practical as it is beautiful.  When I was in grad school and had to slog through marathon grading sessions with less than fabulous student work, George Winston's December was my go-to album.  I can't listen to music with words when I work, whether grading back then or writing now, because I am too inclined to sing along with whatever is playing.  Dead silence is no better, because I find the quiet deafening and therefore also distracting.  But with orchestrations like those of Mannheim Steamroller or Windham Hill artists such as Winston, I can enjoy the music that fills my heart and calms my soul while allowing me to concentrate at the tasks at hand. 

One of my favorite pieces from Winston's album December is "The Holly and the Ivy," which I offer up for tonight's selection.

An interesting side note:  Winston is also well-known for his cover of Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy," which I posted just two days ago.  Turns out that Winston was 16 when A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered in 1965 (a good year for red-headed bloggers as well).  He was so enamored of the music that he rushed out to purchase the soundtrack the very next day.  He enjoyed the soundtrack so much that he eagerly awaited each new Peanuts special so that he could hear Guaraldi's latest music.  Winston's fascination never waned; he went on to create two tribute albums to Guaraldi's music.  I knew I liked him for a reason.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Winston


  1. I love George Winston! Christmas doesn't begin until we listen to his December album. p.s. way to go on 1 1/2 month NABLOPOMO!

  2. Thanks! Never thought I'd make it through the first month, now here I am doing it again! I guess it's true what they say about it taking 21 days to form a new habit. ;-)