Dashing Vol. 4

Sounds of the Season

Daniel Powers composer
James Shrader composer
L Peter Deutsch composer
Gerry Bryant arranger, piano
Brian Latchem composer
Kim Diehnelt composer
John Mitchell composer
Michael G. Cunningham composer
David Peoples composer

Release Date: November 10, 2023
Catalog #: NV6569
Format: Digital
21st Century
Folk Music

Light the fireplace, don your coziest sweater, and let the festive sounds of DASHING VOL. 4 from Navona Records whisk you away on a joyful journey through holiday music both new and familiar. Featuring a fresh line-up of contemporary composers, this edition of the series fuses the magic and warmth of holiday tones with the modern flair of today’s classical music, making for a neatly-packaged gift that’s sure to spark the spirit of the season. From new choral and orchestral expressions to cherished melodies and bluesy interpretations of classic tunes, DASHING VOL. 4 spares no expense in merriment and good cheer.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Overture - Rejoice and Be Merry Daniel Powers Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 5:11
02 Watchman Tell Us Of The Night James Shrader Brno Contemporary Orchestra | Pavel Šnajdr, conductor 2:59
03 I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In James Shrader Brno Contemporary Orchestra | Pavel Šnajdr, conductor 1:31
04 Der Tannenbaum L Peter Deutsch The Kühn Choir of Prague | Lenka Navrátilová, choirmaster 2:39
05 Holiday Works: Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring arr. Gerry Bryant Gerry Bryant, piano 2:44
06 Holiday Works: The Christmas Song arr. Gerry Bryant Gerry Bryant, piano 4:00
07 Holiday Works: Jingle Bells arr. Gerry Bryant Gerry Bryant, piano 4:54
08 The Gorseland Carol Brian Latchem The Kühn Choir of Prague | Lenka Navrátilová, choirmaster; Marcel Javorček, piano 2:37
09 Bell Carol Fantasy Kim Diehnelt Janáčkova Filharmonie Ostrava | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor 4:53
10 Winter from Seasons John Mitchell Benda Quartet | Jakub Čerrnohorský, violin; Ondřej Pustějovský, violin; Petr Benda, viola; Tomáš Svozil, cello 7:10
11 A Child This Day is Born Michael G. Cunningham The Kühn Choir of Prague | Lenka Navrátilová, choirmaster 3:32
12 A Christmas Carol Michael G. Cunningham The Kühn Choir of Prague | Lenka Navrátilová, choirmaster 2:52
13 Variations on a Winter Theme II David Peoples Emily Howard, violin 6:41

Overture: Rejoice and Be Merry
Recorded April 21, 2023 at Reduta Hall, Olomouc, Czech Republic
Session Producer, Editing Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Assistant Engineer Jana Jelínková
Additional Editing and Mixing Lucas Paquette

Watchman Tell Us Of The Night; I Saw Three Ships
Recorded February 15, 2023 at The Orlí Street Theatre Studio in Brno, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Jana Jelínková
Additional Editing and Mixing Lucas Paquette

Der Tannenbaum; The Gorseland Carol
Recorded March 8, 2023 The Chapel at Korunni in Prague, Czech Republic
Session Producer, Editing, Mixing Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring; The Christmas Song; Jingle Bells
Recorded January-November 2019 at CCI Media Studio in Gardena CA
Sessions Producers Gerry Bryant & Gregory Cook
Sessions Engineer, Editing, Mixing and Mastering Gregory Cook

Bell Carol Fantasy
Recorded February 1, 2023 at Vesmír Concert Hall in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer, Editing Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Pavel Kunčar
Additional Editing and Mixing Melanie Montgomery

Winter from Seasons
Recorded July 12-14, 2021 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture) in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Recording Sessions Director Levi Brown
Editing Jana Jelinkova
Mixing Lucas Paquette

A Child this Day is Born; A Christmas Carol
Recorded January 18, 2022 at The Chapel at Korunni, Prague, Czech Republic
Session Producer Pavel Kunčar
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Production Director Levi Brown
Editing, Mixing Melanie Montgomery

Variations on a Winter Theme II
Session Producer & Engineer David Peoples

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson, Ivana Hauser, Danielle Sullivan

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Manager Martina Watzková
Production Assistant Adam Lysák (tracks 1-4, 8)

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Chelsea Kornago

Artist Information

Daniel Powers

Daniel Powers


Daniel (Dan) Powers found his way into music by way of an early love of newspaper comic strips. When he noticed that a character in a highly popular strip kept mentioning someone named Beethoven, he had to ask his parents who Beethoven was. After correcting his pronunciation, they explained who Beethoven was and what he did, and for some reason he decided he wanted to do that too.

James Shrader

James Shrader


James Shrader is a composer, conductor, author, and retired academic administrator. He holds degrees from Bradley University (Music Education), The Cleveland Institute of Music (Opera Direction), and Texas Tech University (Fine Arts/Conducting). He was Director of Music and Fine Arts at The First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, Associate Director of Choral Activities at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State Universities, Chair of the Music Department and Director of Choral and Opera Studies at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and Head of the Department of Music at Valdosta State University. He was Chorus Master for Tulsa Opera where he prepared nine productions.

L Peter Deutsch


L Peter Deutsch is a native of Massachusetts, now living in Sonoma County CA, and British Columbia, Canada. He writes primarily for small instrumental or a capella vocal ensembles, spanning styles from devotional to romantic to jazzy, and from Renaissance to early 20th century. Works to date include four choral commissions; releases through PARMA Recordings include music for chorus, string quartet, woodwind and brass quintets, piano trio (featuring work with Trio Casals), and full orchestra.

Gerry Bryant

Gerry Bryant

Arranger, Pianist

Gerry Bryant has been described by many as a renaissance man. Multi-talented Bryant graduated cum laude from both Phillips Andover Academy and Harvard, and received two graduate degrees (J.D. & M.B.A.) from UCLA. His musical influences range from masters of the Romantic Period in classical music (in particular Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff), to jazz legends Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington, to contemporary pianists Keith Jarrett and Ramsey Lewis. He describes his original music as “Third Stream,” a term coined in 1957 by composer Gunther Schuller to describe a musical genre that is a synthesis of classical music and jazz.

Brian Latchem


Brian Latchem is an English composer who was born in Bath and started to learn the piano at the age of 5. He comes from a musical family with both parents, grandparents, and great grandparents playing a variety of musical instruments. He trained to be a music teacher and started his career in Felixstowe, where he taught Music and Drama to pupils aged 11 to 14. In 1972 he moved to a new school to become responsible for music, teaching children from 5 to 11.

Kim Diehnelt


Kim Diehnelt (b. 1963) is compelled to create beauty through her work as a conductor, composer, and artistic coach. Trained in the United States and Europe, Kim Diehnelt established her musical crafts in Finland and Switzerland, leading Baltic, Russian, and European ensembles. Trained in the United States and Europe, Kim Diehnelt established her musical crafts in Finland and Switzerland, leading Baltic, Russian, and European ensembles. She currently resides in Burlington VT. Diehnelt has been composing works for solo instruments, chamber, orchestral and choral ensembles since 2011 when, after decades on the conductor’s podium, she “suddenly had something to say.”

John Mitchell


Born in Hollywood CA on April 26, 1941, American classical composer John Mitchell has written works for solo piano and organ, choral music, chamber music, operas, and more than 400 art songs over the course of his life. Mitchell comes from an artistic family, his father being pianist John Stewart Mitchell, and Canadian novelist W. O. Mitchell and Hungarian-born singer Teresa Hideg Mitchell, his cousins. Mitchell studied composition under the guidance of Dr. John Vincent, the successor of Arnold Schoenberg as professor of composition at the University of California, Los Angeles until 1965. From there, he went on to work as a church music director, organist, opera coach, and composer, all of which he continues.

Michael G. Cunningham


A great artist can manifest answers to otherwise perplexing aspects of our world through their craft and help us find understanding. Composer, author, and long-time PARMA artist Michael G. Cunningham (1937-2022) was the embodiment of this truth, a prolific artist whose timeless body of work will resonate for years to come. From symphonies and other orchestral works to piano pieces, art songs, opera, choral compositions, and works for jazz ensembles spanning 11 Navona Records releases, Cunningham showed an unwavering dedication to sharing his music with the world. Upon receiving his doctorate from Indiana University, Cunningham embarked on an artistic journey that would lead him to write over 250 musical compositions spanning multiple genres, pedagogical music books, and more.

David Peoples

David Peoples


David R. Peoples writes with a ginger ale in hand on a balcony surrounded by forest. It’s from Flowery Branch GA, surrounded by nature, that all his compositions begin before being released into and around the world. Peoples enjoys sharing his own and other composers’ new music in recitals. From April 2021 to May 2022, he presented recitals featuring over 100 composers in all 50 states through the National Association of Composers, Music Teachers National Association, Research on Contemporary Composition Conference, and Electrophonic Concerts.

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra


The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene.

Stanislav Vavřínek


Stanislav Vavřínek is one of the most prominent Czech conductors and has been Chief Conductor of the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice since 2018. Having graduated from the Conservatory in Brno where he studied flute and conducting, he continued his education at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Subsequently, he also took master classes with Roberto Benzi in Switzerland, culminating with a concert in which he conducted the Biel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Brno Contemporary Orchestra

Brno Contemporary Orchestra


The Brno Contemporary Orchestra (BCO) was founded in 2011 with the aim of performing the world’s contemporary music and selected 20th-century works in Czechia and Czech music throughout the world. The ensemble includes top-level professional musicians employed in the leading Czech orchestras. It draws on a large pool of permanent collaborators who perform in various lineups according to the needs of each project.

Pavel Šnajdr


Pavel Šnajdr is a Czech conductor and composer. He is a graduate of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU), Brno in composition (which he studied with Alois Piňos) and conducting (with Emil Skoták). Beyond working with symphony orchestras, he has been engaged by music theatres including the J.K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, the Prague State Opera and the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc, and currently conducts opera at the National Theatre in Brno.

Kühn Choir of Prague


The Kühn Choir of Prague is one of the largest Czech choirs and has been part of the musical world for over 60 years. It devotes itself to the choral repertoire of all periods, and its activities include significant performances of contemporary music, performances of large vocal-instrumental works in collaboration with leading Czech orchestras and, last but not least, projects for the performance and recording of film music.

Lenka Navrátilová


Lenka Navrátilová studied piano and harpsichord at the Teplice Conservatory and choral conducting (sacred music) under the guidance of Jiří Kolář and Marek Štryncl at the Faculty of Education of Charles University in Prague. She is second chorus master of the Kühn Choir of Prague, professor of opera coaching at the Prague Conservatory, and répétiteur of the Prague Philharmonic Choir. As the assistant to the chorus master of the Prague Philharmonic Choir, she has participated in its appearances in Doha, Berlin, and at the Sankt Gallen opera festival.

Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava


The Janáček Philharmonic is a world-class symphony orchestra based in Ostrava, Czech Republic and an emerging figure on the international performance scene. With over 100 top-level musicians, the orchestra aims to introduce unique, quality repertoire while showcasing their own recognizable sound.

Benda Quartet


Since the Benda Quartet began performing in 2012 they have achieved a wide variety of musical successes and established themselves among highly respected Czech ensembles. Their first significant landmark was the concert debut they performed at the 60th Jubilee of the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava in April 2014. The concert was recorded by Czech Radio and garnered a huge audience acclaim. Since then has the collaboration with the studio of Czech Radio continued on regular basis and resulted in a number of publicly appreciated recordings. The Benda Quartet have worked intensively together with the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra and artist management agency Janáčkův Máj on numerous chamber music and educational projects.


In the last years of the previous millennium, The Terre Haute Children’s Choir began making regular appearances on the annual Christmas programs of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. Finding that the repertoire of traditional Christmas music arranged for children’s choir and orchestra was limited, they invited me to contribute to it. Thus began an ongoing annual project of orchestral arrangements of traditional Christmas carols. Most (but not all) of them involved Children’s Choir. While that project has mostly ended, its products continue to be performed. Every year, performances throughout the United States and overseas are reported.

In 2001, I arranged the English carol Rejoice and Be Merry for children’s choir and orchestra. It was performed once, but I felt the arrangement was unsuccessful. There has been no performance since, and I have not published it.

Still, I didn’t think it was a complete failure. A few years later I reimagined it for soprano and piano, which seemed better. But it turned out I still wasn’t done with it. I liked the way it began, and eventually had the idea that it might work as the starting point of a new work, purely orchestral.

Years passed before I finally decided to begin. The piece that resulted began with whatever I could salvage from the original arrangement, joined by new original material. It was finished near the end of 2019. Due to pandemic-related delays, the premiere had to wait until 2022. The Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra was conducted by David Bowden.
The bell-like opening measures of the Overture come directly from the original arrangement (lightly reorchestrated). Soon the upper strings vigorously introduce the English carol which gives the piece its title. A quieter second theme follows. Both themes are developed and recapitulated in the manner of a concise classical sonata form. As you might reasonably expect, the Overture ends in a mood of rejoicing and merriment. Merry Christmas!

— Daniel Powers

Arranged by James Shrader (ASCAP). The hymn tune Aberystwyth (Joseph Parry, 1879) is set for antiphonal instruments accompanied by vibraphone and bass. A counter melody by the piccolo and clarinet evokes a middle-eastern atmosphere. The antiphonal instruments provide a call and response flavor as the travelers call to the watchman inquiring about the details of the nativity. The bass line is a rollicking ostinato possibly portraying a camel caravan crossing the desert. The ending finds the caravan disappearing as it travels on the journey.
Arranged by James Shrader (ASCAP). This traditional English carol is set for bassoon solo with accompanying instruments including flute, clarinet, percussion, and piano. The flute and clarinet parts produce a simultaneous quodlibet on some familiar carols: Away in a Manger, O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Nowell, and Joy to the World. The three ships of the title commonly refer to the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem.
This rendition of Jingle Bells could be called “Jingle Bell Blues” because it is a very bluesy interpretation of the playful and popular holiday classic.

The Christmas Song, one of the most beautiful holiday standards, was composed by multi-talented Mel Torme and made famous in a 1946 recording by the great Nat King Cole. Gerry Bryant received the highest compliment for his arrangement of the song when, whilst playing a set of Christmas songs at his weekly gig at an L.A. restaurant’s Sunday brunch, a lady Bryant did not know came up to him after playing the song. She told him that she had heard the song millions of times in her household growing up and for her, this was by far one of the most beautiful renditions of it. She also said that she was certain that if her father was alive, he would’ve thought the same thing. Bryant thanked her and she walked away. Bryant found out later that the lady was Mel Torme’s daughter!

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring is given a reimagined outing as a melodic but upbeat, funky, and grooving piece.

The Gorseland Carol was originally written in 1980 for a carol service at the end of the Christmas term that year. The school where I worked at the time had a boy treble with a beautiful voice and as is tradition in England asked him to sing the opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City at the start of the Carol Service. I also wanted to make full use of the singer and decided to write a new carol.

Towards the end of August in 1980, I was talking to a friend, Derek, about finding some words for a new carol when he offered to write a few verses. Later that day I had a phone call to say the words had been written and Derek proceeded to read them out over the phone. Immediately, I went straight to my piano and began to play an accompaniment I felt was suitable after hearing the words. The friend came round the following day with the words and together we completed the carol over the next hour or so.

It was performed at the Carol Service in December 1980 and then was almost forgotten until in 2004 when I decided to rearrange the carol for a choir of mixed voices, which is the version that is heard on this recording. In September 2022 I became the Musical Director of the Dorian Singers, a local choir based in Felixstowe where I live. We were able to give the first performance of the choral version in December 2022 at the choir’s annual Christmas Concert.

— Brian Latchem

The Gorseland Carol
by Derek Taylor

Red Sprinkle on the thorn,
Christ in the Manger,
Traffic light to all mankind,
Signalling danger.

A Satellite in the sky
Leading three kings on
And shepherds with their flocks are told:
All that was is gone.

That a new braveness is born
To bring here the true joy:
All glory to all love,
All hatred to destroy.

For Christ was in the manger
To let blood go on the thorn,
That all who would want it
Would have strength to brave the scorn.

Brave the scorn.

When an orchestra player expressed interest in playing Carol of the Bells as part of a fun December rehearsal, I checked out what arrangements already existed. To me, they all seemed too simple and repetitive, so I set about writing my own. I discovered that the familiar carol has its roots in a traditional folk chant about a swallow bringing a New Year’s message of a plentiful new year, and the title comes from the Ukrainian word for “bountiful.”

I decided to emphasize the sense of bountifulness and I open this arrangement with the familiar bell tune now played slowly and elongated by the low, autumnal clarinets. I let this new “theme of abundance” build and fill out colorfully among the whole orchestra before fading away. The flutes offer a suggestion of birds passing in gentle flight. This theme soon becomes recognizable as the well-known bell motif as the piece launches into the familiar carol tune. To close out the work I bring out the dance energy of the cross rhythms and counter melodies.

— Kim Diehnelt

Variations on a Winter Theme II was composed for Emily Howard as part of the “A Little Hawk Night Music Series” presented at the Ed Cabell Theatre in Gainesville GA. The piece utilizes a familiar winter theme.

— David Peoples

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