Alyssa Hess Reit

Alyssa Hess Reit

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Alyssa Reit is a composer, arranger, harpist, storyteller, and teacher. 

For nearly two decades, she composed theatrical-musical versions of classic myths and fairy tales for the arts troupe Singing Harp, presenting shows throughout the New York metropolitan area and Europe to critical acclaim. Other theatrical works include the Japanese tale Inch Boy, the native American story The Star Maiden, several settings of Aesop’s fables, the Arthurian tale The Loathly Lady, the Grimms classic The Brementown Musicians (as part of a grant from Meet the Composer), and three settings of Hans Christian Andersen tales (commissioned by the New York Scandinavian Summer Music Festival ). In the fall of 2015 she wrote, arranged and performed music for The Triumph of Love, a production based on the life and work of Botticelli, which premiered in Italy. In 2019 she was the featured harpist-composer at the American Harp Society Summer Institute, where they presented her newly commissioned work, The Tinder Box. 

Alyssa’s non-theatrical compositions and arrangements have been played at events sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music, the Greenwich Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as at festivals all over the world. Her body of work ranges from solos for diverse instruments, brass quintets, mixed chamber music, and choral pieces, to music for string orchestra.

Recent projects include three commissions: a set of Suffragette songs, a multiple movement work for ten horns and percussion, and a setting of a Lenape Indian Creation myth, for storyteller, harp, and percussion.  She recently completed and scored a full length musical, and is currently working on a ballet based on the classic H. C. Andersen tale “The Snow Queen.”

A Moravian Carol

Year: 2021

Duration (in minutes): 3:00

Difficulty: Low (student/pedagogical)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/harp-ensembles

Description: A setting for mixed level harp ensemble of a traditional Moravian carol.

A Potrait of Milton Phibbs

Year: 2021

Duration (in minutes): 13:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass ensemble, mixed instrument ensemble

Instruments: horn, percussion

Publisher: 7 Stars


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Score PDF: A-Portrait-of-Milton-Phibbs.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/brass

Description: Milton Phibbs was a supremely talented horn player and also a composer who wrote music with eccentric sense of humor—especially challenging pieces for multiple horns.
Scored for ten horns and percussion, this commissioned piece is my tribute and portrait.
A few things worth mentioning: Milton was often, shall we say, “a little tipsy,” and sweetly so. The first movement is a nod to that aspect of his character. He was also an avid WWI buff; the second movement is a setting of the WWI song “When the Boys Come Home,” as well as a commentary on war. The final movement is my response to his wild and wonderful music.

Freedom Variations

Year: 2020

Duration (in minutes): ca. 21

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Freedom-Variations-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/brass

Description: Freedom Variations is a full length brass quintet in seven movements, based on the spiritual “Oh, Freedom.”

The Nightingale

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: flute, harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: nightingale_th-hfls_p_score_4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-nightingale

Description: In this story from H. C. Andersen, a Chinese emperor and his court are so impressed by the fake song of a mechanical bird that their contact with the living nightingale is broken. As the old emperor is dying at the end of the tale, the real bird returns to sing for him, charming Death into sparing the man’s life.

Set for narrator, flute (and piccolo), and pedal or lever harp, with a variety of light percussion played by the instrumentalists. The harpist may also be the narrator.



The lever harp part (34 string) requires advanced lever skills.

Miniatures for Solo Horn

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): 1:15; 3:00; 3:45; 1:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo brass instrument

Instruments: horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: miniatures_hnp_4_up_score_-_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/miniatures

Description: This is a set of four contrasting solo pieces: Opening; Rubenstein; Nevertheless, he continued...; Taming the Wild Beast.
They can be played as a suite or separately.

Reverie and Romp

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): ca. 5:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass ensemble

Instruments: horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Reverie-and-Romp.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/reverie-and-romp

Description: This is a setting of a lively Celtic tune, for eight French horns.

When the Clouds Clear

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 2:30; 3:30; 4:50

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: flute

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: when_the_clouds_clear_set__fl2p_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/when-the-clouds-clear

Description: The three movements in this composition (“A Difference of Opinion,” “You Can’t Be Serious!,” and “When the Clouds Clear”) are illustrations of inner or outer events, as suggested by the titles.

Demeter and Persephone

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Demeter-and-Persephone-harp.pdf

Text PDF: Demeter-and-Persephone-Storyteller-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/demeter-and-persephone

Description: This timeless myth transports us to the realm of the ancient Greeks, bringing us a story about the mystery of the seasons, a mother’s fortitude, the relation of man to the Gods, and the expansion of Love in the universe.

Set for narrator and lever harp, with light percussion played by the harpist.

Dance of Impossible

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): ca. 9 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: brass ensemble

Instruments: harp, horn, percussion, timpani, trombone, trumpet, tuba, vibraphone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_dance_of_impossible_brenshppercp_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-dance-of-impossible

Description: This is a three part rhythmic work, featuring a lyrical trumpet solo, scored for brass ensemble, with harp and three percussionists.

Excellent for college or professional level performers.

The Ugly Duckling

Year: 2014? Revised 2022

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: English horn, harp, horn, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_ugly_duckling__th-hhns_p_score_4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-ugly-duckling

Description: This famous H.C. Andersen classic follows the young "duckling "as he contends with a world that doesn’t understand or accept him, and celebrates his eventual self-discovery and triumph.

Many of the melodies in the setting are based on traditional Scandinavian folk tunes, making this an especially lovely presentation for school groups.

Set for narrator, French horn, and pedal harp, with colorful light percussion played by the French hornist. The harpist or both musicians may narrate. A version substituting English horn is also available.

Ready

Year: 2014

Duration (in minutes): ca. 2+ minutes

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: horn, trumpet

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: ready_-_br-tpthnp_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/ready

Description: This is a duet for horn and trumpet, intended for college level students.

The Emperor's New Clothes

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker, trombone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: The-Emperors-New-Clothes-SCORE.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-emperor-s-new-clothes

Description: This classic H.C. Andersen tale comically highlights the human weaknesses of lying and pretense, exposed by an innocent child.

The story is set for narrator, trombone, and pedal harp, with an amusing collection of light percussion, played by the trombonist. The harpist may also be the narrator.

Mustard Seed

Year: 2011

Duration (in minutes): ca. 8 1/2 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass ensemble

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: unpublished


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Score PDF: Mustard-Seed-Score.pdf

Description: A piece for brass ensemble, inspired by the Biblical text "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Currently in revision.

Where?

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 3-4 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo brass instrument

Instruments: trombone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: where-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/where

Description: "Where" is a one movement concert solo romp — a series of journeys and returns, musically expressed in short melodic adventures separated by regular visits to an opening thematic idea.

“I have played ‘Where’ all over the world to rave reviews...it is one of my favorite unaccompanied solos in a recital.”—Paul Pollard, recitalist

Upon This Hallowed Ground

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 3 min

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, woodwind quintet

Instruments: bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: upon_this_hallowed_ground_wq_p_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/upon-this-hallowed-ground

Description: This memorial is inspired by all those who fought and died at Gettysburg.
It was selected to be performed by the West Point Woodwind Quintet, and is dedicated to them.

Mercy of Forgiveness

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): ca. 4 1/2

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: alto, bass voice, cello, harp, piano, soprano, tenor voice

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: mercy_misc_p_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/mercy-of-forgiveness-chor-pnohpvc

Description: The text is a prayer based on Christ's injunctions in an excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount. It begins: “Father, bless us with the mercy of forgiveness. Help us to love our enemies.”
The piece is for chorus accompanied by piano, harp, and cello.

Two Folksongs from the Americas

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 2:30; 1:45

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: flute, harp, viola

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Two-Folksongs-from-the-Americas-SCORE-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/folk-songs-of-the-americas-i-harp-duets-entire

Description: This set includes two traditional folk melodies from South America. La Vidalita is a song sung by the gaucho cattle herders of Uruguay and Argentina—very rubato and expressive. Las Tres Damas is a “joropo”-an extremely rhythmic, dynamic musical style, full of offbeat accents and syncopations, with added counter melodies.

Other versions of this set include a harp ensemble version--which has a two harp base of professional players, (with optional easier parts)--and a harp, flute, viola trio.

Short and Sweet VII

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): ca. 2:20

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: short__sweet_vii_bqp_4_up_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/short-sweet-vii

Description: This is the final movement in a set of seven, originally designed to be played in sequence. However, this movement is very successful played "stand-alone." The other movements are in revision.

Earth, Air, Water, Fire

Year: 2006

Duration (in minutes): ca. 3 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo instrument other than piano

Instruments: harp

Publisher: unpublished


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Description: This suite based on the elements is currently in revision.

Oisin in Tir na n-Og Suite

Year: 2005

Duration (in minutes): ca. 20 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo instrument other than piano

Instruments: harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Oisin-Suite-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/oisin-suite

Description: A suite composed to accompany the Irish myth, adapted for solo performance. Playable on both lever and pedal harp.

Oisin in Tir na n-Og

Year: 2005

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Oisin-in-Tir-na-N-Og-harp.pdf

Text PDF: Oisin-inTir-na-n-Og-Storyteller.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/oisin-in-tir-na-n-og

Description: This gallant saga from traditional Irish mythology unites the old world of the Fianna with the emerging civilization brought by St. Patrick. The great warrior-bard Oisin’s sojourn in the “land of the ever young” and his shocking return home raises questions of time and scale, as well as man’s relationship to struggle.

Set for narrator and lever harp; a pedal harp version is also available.

Legends of Isis

Year: 2004

Duration (in minutes): 9 min

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: string ensemble

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: legends_of_isis_score_orchunp-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/legends-of-isis

Description: The piece was written to capture the evocative atmosphere of the Temple of Isis in Egypt, and the sounds of an unusual vocal event that took place there. Although written for string orchestra, it is also successfully performed as a string octet.

Three Treasures

Year: 2004

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Three-Treasures-MUSICIAN-.pdf

Text PDF: Three-Treasures-SCRIPT.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-three-treasures

Description: A remarkable story from the Arabian Nights tells about an extraordinary Arabian princess as she sets about gaining three valuable treasures. Her quest takes her through unusual perils, and her cleverness and humility bring her to the prize where all others have failed. Her profound willingness to receive help and instruction uncovers surprising secrets and ultimately leads to the healing of her entire kingdom.

Set for 3 actors and lever harp, with light percussion played by the harpist.

Six Swans

Year: 2003

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_six_swans_th-hps3shphp-5.pdf

Text PDF: The-Six-Swans-SCRIPT-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-six-swans

Description: This is a setting of the tale from the Brothers Grimm, for three female actresses/narrators and harp.

Valiant Little Tailor

Year: 2003

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_valiant_little_tailor_th-hps-2apscore4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-valiant-little-tailor

Description: A clever, light-hearted commoner becomes a king in this hilarious comedy from the Brothers Grimm. Marionettes, wild boars, unicorns, and a host of characters all add to the overall mayhem and fun. The original production used three identical puppets of different sizes.

Set for 2 or 3 actors (one part may be played by the harpist), pedal harp and light percussion (played by the harpist).

Renaissance Suite

Year: 2002

Duration (in minutes): 2:15; 1:45; 2:00; 1:30; 2:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: flute, harp, horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: renaissance_suite_hhn_p_score_4_up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/renaissance-suite

Description: This five movement suite features settings of music by Byrd, Dowland, Morely, and Playford. The arrangements include the addition of counter-melodies, melodic embellishments, and harmonizations intended to honor the spirit of the time.
The selections can be performed successfully as a suite or independently—a great program opener!

The same suite is also available arranged for harp and flute.

Faith, Hope and Love

Year: 2001

Duration (in minutes): ca. 10 1/2minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: harp, horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: faith_hope__love_mvt.i_-4_up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/faith-hope-and-love

Description: This piece was conceived from reflections on the meanings of faith, hope, and love. Although in three movements, all three movements are about all three ideas.

Prigione V

Year: 2000

Duration (in minutes): 5:46

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, harp, piano, viola

Publisher: unpublished to date


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Score PDF: il_prigione_v_score_3-20-08-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/mixed-ensembles

Description: This is the fifth in a series of pieces inspired by the sculptures of Michelangelo, exploring prison and freedom.

Appalachian Brass

Year: 1999

Duration (in minutes): 4:00; 2:45; 3:45

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: brass trio

Instruments: horn, trombone, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: appalach._brass_br-hntbntubpscore-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/appalachian-brass

Description: An arrangement of three traditional Appalachian tunes: Arise, Arise; One Morning; Sourwood Mountain.

Sine Nomine

Year: 1999

Duration (in minutes): 5-7 minutes

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Sine-Nomine-HpVcP-Score.pdf

Description: Sine Nomine --"No Name" --is a tribute to all that goes beyond words, and can not be named. Scored for harp and cello, it can be performed successfully at an unusually wide range of tempi.

Frog Prince (Faithful Henry)

Year: 1998

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_frog_princeth-hpsp_score_4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-frog-prince

Description: An unusual promise bonds a Princess to a frog and leads to a moving transformation. This classic account of perseverance, courage, and faith from the Brothers Grimm is illuminated with storytelling, movement, and an extensive harp score.

Set for 3 mimes, narrator, and pedal harp; the harpist may also play the narrator.
The original unpublished version is a ballet, set for horn, harp, viola, and piano.

"What a pleasant and refreshing change to see a children’s show not steeped elbow deep in patronizing Panto over-enthusiasm…The Frog Prince’ is a tale regaled by a harp plucking narrator, wonderfully creating moods and atmosphere... Silent flowing movement from the players allows a magical setting to blossom on stage, while an audience, comprising far more three-year-olds than adults, sits mesmerized… A very welcome alternative to conventional children’s theatre.”--Three Weeks

Il Prigione I

Year: 1997?

Duration (in minutes): ca. 7:10

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Il-Prigione-I-SCORE.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/mixed-ensembles

Description: This is the first in a series of chamber pieces inspired by Michelangelo's profound sculptures depicting men half encased in stone, and half free. It is scored for harp and cello.

Il Prigione IV

Year: 1996

Duration (in minutes): 2:21

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any string, cello, viola

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: prigione_iv_st-vavcp_4_up_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/ll-prigione-iv

Description: “Il Prigione” is a series of sculptures by Michelangelo. Each is a man, half encased in stone and half free. Many believe that the statues were intentionally left unfinished, to represent a metaphor for man’s condition. This piece is the fourth of a set of compositions inspired by those sculptures.

American Songs

Year: 1992

Duration (in minutes): 0:07:51

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: american_songs_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/american-songs

Description: This medley of beloved American classics—including Blue Tail Fly, Arkansas Traveler, Shenedoah, and Oh, Suzannah!—is a highly successful concert work.

Reviews:
“...by the time this sequence got past ‘Jimmie Crack Corn’ and ‘Arkansas Traveler,’ and a close-harmony brass rendition of ‘Shenendoah,’ with fragments of‘ Turkey in the Straw’ and ‘O Susanna’ folded in, if there had been an aisle around I would have been dancing in it.”— Paul Kresh, Musical Heritage Review

“Despite the fact that I am not normally drawn to song medleys, I greatly enjoyed the intelligent arrangement by Alyssa Hess Reit...” -- Barry Kilpatrick, American Record Guide

“On behalf of the Eastern Brass Quintet, I would like to thank you for your “American Songs.” It has been a tremendous success in every way,...” - Richard Green, Eastern Brass Quintet

Veni Emanuel

Year: 1987

Duration (in minutes): ca. 3 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: veni_emanuelbqp_4_up_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/veni-emanuel

Description: A setting of the traditional carol Veni Emanuel.

Silent Night

Year: 202

Duration (in minutes): ca. 1:45

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: harp, horn, trombone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Silent-Night-SCORE-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/mixed-ensembles?Categories=Small+mixed+ensembles++%E2%80%A2%5BWith+Harp%5D%E2%80%A2

Description: This arrangement of Gruber's beloved carol features jazz harmonies and the expansion of phrases. It is scored for horn, trombone, and harp but may be performed without trombone. The harp part may be played also by a lever harpist with advanced lever skills; a lever part as well as a pedal harp part is included.

Golden Bird

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Publisher: Grey Lake Music


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Score PDF: the_golden_bird_th-hpspstor_4up-5.pdf

Description: A setting of the classic Grimm's tale with musical accompaniment

BIOGRAPHY

Alyssa Reit is a composer, arranger, harpist, storyteller, and teacher. 


For nearly two decades, she composed theatrical-musical versions of classic myths and fairy tales for the arts troupe Singing Harp, presenting shows throughout the New York metropolitan area and Europe to critical acclaim. Other theatrical works include the Japanese tale Inch Boy, the native American story The Star Maiden, several settings of Aesop’s fables, the Arthurian tale The Loathly Lady, the Grimms classic The Brementown Musicians (as part of a grant from Meet the Composer), and three settings of Hans Christian Andersen tales (commissioned by the New York Scandinavian Summer Music Festival ). In the fall of 2015 she wrote, arranged and performed music for The Triumph of Love, a production based on the life and work of Botticelli, which premiered in Italy. In 2019 she was the featured harpist-composer at the American Harp Society Summer Institute, where they presented her newly commissioned work, The Tinder Box. 


Alyssa's non-theatrical compositions and arrangements have been played at events sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, the Eastman School of Music, the Greenwich Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as at festivals all over the world. Her body of work ranges from solos for diverse instruments, brass quintets, mixed chamber music, and choral pieces, to music for string orchestra.


Recent projects include three commissions: a set of Suffragette songs, a multiple movement work for ten horns and percussion, and a setting of a Lenape Indian Creation myth, for storyteller, harp, and percussion.  She recently completed and scored a full length musical, and is currently working on a ballet based on the classic H. C. Andersen tale “The Snow Queen.”

COMPOSITIONS

A Moravian Carol

Year: 2021

Duration (in minutes): 3:00

Difficulty: Low (student/pedagogical)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/harp-ensembles

Description: A setting for mixed level harp ensemble of a traditional Moravian carol.

A Potrait of Milton Phibbs

Year: 2021

Duration (in minutes): 13:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass ensemble, mixed instrument ensemble

Instruments: horn, percussion

Publisher: 7 Stars


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Score PDF: A-Portrait-of-Milton-Phibbs.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/brass

Description: Milton Phibbs was a supremely talented horn player and also a composer who wrote music with eccentric sense of humor—especially challenging pieces for multiple horns.
Scored for ten horns and percussion, this commissioned piece is my tribute and portrait.
A few things worth mentioning: Milton was often, shall we say, “a little tipsy,” and sweetly so. The first movement is a nod to that aspect of his character. He was also an avid WWI buff; the second movement is a setting of the WWI song “When the Boys Come Home,” as well as a commentary on war. The final movement is my response to his wild and wonderful music.

Freedom Variations

Year: 2020

Duration (in minutes): ca. 21

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Freedom-Variations-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/brass

Description: Freedom Variations is a full length brass quintet in seven movements, based on the spiritual “Oh, Freedom.”

The Nightingale

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: flute, harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: nightingale_th-hfls_p_score_4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-nightingale

Description: In this story from H. C. Andersen, a Chinese emperor and his court are so impressed by the fake song of a mechanical bird that their contact with the living nightingale is broken. As the old emperor is dying at the end of the tale, the real bird returns to sing for him, charming Death into sparing the man’s life.

Set for narrator, flute (and piccolo), and pedal or lever harp, with a variety of light percussion played by the instrumentalists. The harpist may also be the narrator.



The lever harp part (34 string) requires advanced lever skills.

Miniatures for Solo Horn

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): 1:15; 3:00; 3:45; 1:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo brass instrument

Instruments: horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: miniatures_hnp_4_up_score_-_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/miniatures

Description: This is a set of four contrasting solo pieces: Opening; Rubenstein; Nevertheless, he continued...; Taming the Wild Beast.
They can be played as a suite or separately.

Reverie and Romp

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): ca. 5:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass ensemble

Instruments: horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Reverie-and-Romp.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/reverie-and-romp

Description: This is a setting of a lively Celtic tune, for eight French horns.

When the Clouds Clear

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 2:30; 3:30; 4:50

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: flute

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: when_the_clouds_clear_set__fl2p_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/when-the-clouds-clear

Description: The three movements in this composition (“A Difference of Opinion,” “You Can’t Be Serious!,” and “When the Clouds Clear”) are illustrations of inner or outer events, as suggested by the titles.

Demeter and Persephone

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Demeter-and-Persephone-harp.pdf

Text PDF: Demeter-and-Persephone-Storyteller-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/demeter-and-persephone

Description: This timeless myth transports us to the realm of the ancient Greeks, bringing us a story about the mystery of the seasons, a mother’s fortitude, the relation of man to the Gods, and the expansion of Love in the universe.

Set for narrator and lever harp, with light percussion played by the harpist.

Dance of Impossible

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): ca. 9 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: brass ensemble

Instruments: harp, horn, percussion, timpani, trombone, trumpet, tuba, vibraphone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_dance_of_impossible_brenshppercp_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-dance-of-impossible

Description: This is a three part rhythmic work, featuring a lyrical trumpet solo, scored for brass ensemble, with harp and three percussionists.

Excellent for college or professional level performers.

The Ugly Duckling

Year: 2014? Revised 2022

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: English horn, harp, horn, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_ugly_duckling__th-hhns_p_score_4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-ugly-duckling

Description: This famous H.C. Andersen classic follows the young "duckling "as he contends with a world that doesn’t understand or accept him, and celebrates his eventual self-discovery and triumph.

Many of the melodies in the setting are based on traditional Scandinavian folk tunes, making this an especially lovely presentation for school groups.

Set for narrator, French horn, and pedal harp, with colorful light percussion played by the French hornist. The harpist or both musicians may narrate. A version substituting English horn is also available.

Ready

Year: 2014

Duration (in minutes): ca. 2+ minutes

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: horn, trumpet

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: ready_-_br-tpthnp_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/ready

Description: This is a duet for horn and trumpet, intended for college level students.

The Emperor's New Clothes

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker, trombone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: The-Emperors-New-Clothes-SCORE.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-emperor-s-new-clothes

Description: This classic H.C. Andersen tale comically highlights the human weaknesses of lying and pretense, exposed by an innocent child.

The story is set for narrator, trombone, and pedal harp, with an amusing collection of light percussion, played by the trombonist. The harpist may also be the narrator.

Mustard Seed

Year: 2011

Duration (in minutes): ca. 8 1/2 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass ensemble

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: unpublished


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Score PDF: Mustard-Seed-Score.pdf

Description: A piece for brass ensemble, inspired by the Biblical text "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Currently in revision.

Where?

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 3-4 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo brass instrument

Instruments: trombone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: where-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/where

Description: "Where" is a one movement concert solo romp — a series of journeys and returns, musically expressed in short melodic adventures separated by regular visits to an opening thematic idea.

“I have played ‘Where’ all over the world to rave reviews...it is one of my favorite unaccompanied solos in a recital.”—Paul Pollard, recitalist

Upon This Hallowed Ground

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 3 min

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, woodwind quintet

Instruments: bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: upon_this_hallowed_ground_wq_p_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/upon-this-hallowed-ground

Description: This memorial is inspired by all those who fought and died at Gettysburg.
It was selected to be performed by the West Point Woodwind Quintet, and is dedicated to them.

Mercy of Forgiveness

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): ca. 4 1/2

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: alto, bass voice, cello, harp, piano, soprano, tenor voice

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: mercy_misc_p_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/mercy-of-forgiveness-chor-pnohpvc

Description: The text is a prayer based on Christ's injunctions in an excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount. It begins: “Father, bless us with the mercy of forgiveness. Help us to love our enemies.”
The piece is for chorus accompanied by piano, harp, and cello.

Two Folksongs from the Americas

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 2:30; 1:45

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: flute, harp, viola

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Two-Folksongs-from-the-Americas-SCORE-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/folk-songs-of-the-americas-i-harp-duets-entire

Description: This set includes two traditional folk melodies from South America. La Vidalita is a song sung by the gaucho cattle herders of Uruguay and Argentina—very rubato and expressive. Las Tres Damas is a “joropo”-an extremely rhythmic, dynamic musical style, full of offbeat accents and syncopations, with added counter melodies.

Other versions of this set include a harp ensemble version--which has a two harp base of professional players, (with optional easier parts)--and a harp, flute, viola trio.

Short and Sweet VII

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): ca. 2:20

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: short__sweet_vii_bqp_4_up_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/short-sweet-vii

Description: This is the final movement in a set of seven, originally designed to be played in sequence. However, this movement is very successful played "stand-alone." The other movements are in revision.

Earth, Air, Water, Fire

Year: 2006

Duration (in minutes): ca. 3 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo instrument other than piano

Instruments: harp

Publisher: unpublished


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Description: This suite based on the elements is currently in revision.

Oisin in Tir na n-Og Suite

Year: 2005

Duration (in minutes): ca. 20 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo instrument other than piano

Instruments: harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Oisin-Suite-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/oisin-suite

Description: A suite composed to accompany the Irish myth, adapted for solo performance. Playable on both lever and pedal harp.

Oisin in Tir na n-Og

Year: 2005

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Oisin-in-Tir-na-N-Og-harp.pdf

Text PDF: Oisin-inTir-na-n-Og-Storyteller.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/oisin-in-tir-na-n-og

Description: This gallant saga from traditional Irish mythology unites the old world of the Fianna with the emerging civilization brought by St. Patrick. The great warrior-bard Oisin’s sojourn in the “land of the ever young” and his shocking return home raises questions of time and scale, as well as man’s relationship to struggle.

Set for narrator and lever harp; a pedal harp version is also available.

Legends of Isis

Year: 2004

Duration (in minutes): 9 min

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: string ensemble

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: legends_of_isis_score_orchunp-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/legends-of-isis

Description: The piece was written to capture the evocative atmosphere of the Temple of Isis in Egypt, and the sounds of an unusual vocal event that took place there. Although written for string orchestra, it is also successfully performed as a string octet.

Three Treasures

Year: 2004

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Three-Treasures-MUSICIAN-.pdf

Text PDF: Three-Treasures-SCRIPT.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-three-treasures

Description: A remarkable story from the Arabian Nights tells about an extraordinary Arabian princess as she sets about gaining three valuable treasures. Her quest takes her through unusual perils, and her cleverness and humility bring her to the prize where all others have failed. Her profound willingness to receive help and instruction uncovers surprising secrets and ultimately leads to the healing of her entire kingdom.

Set for 3 actors and lever harp, with light percussion played by the harpist.

Six Swans

Year: 2003

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_six_swans_th-hps3shphp-5.pdf

Text PDF: The-Six-Swans-SCRIPT-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-six-swans

Description: This is a setting of the tale from the Brothers Grimm, for three female actresses/narrators and harp.

Valiant Little Tailor

Year: 2003

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_valiant_little_tailor_th-hps-2apscore4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-valiant-little-tailor

Description: A clever, light-hearted commoner becomes a king in this hilarious comedy from the Brothers Grimm. Marionettes, wild boars, unicorns, and a host of characters all add to the overall mayhem and fun. The original production used three identical puppets of different sizes.

Set for 2 or 3 actors (one part may be played by the harpist), pedal harp and light percussion (played by the harpist).

Renaissance Suite

Year: 2002

Duration (in minutes): 2:15; 1:45; 2:00; 1:30; 2:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: flute, harp, horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: renaissance_suite_hhn_p_score_4_up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/renaissance-suite

Description: This five movement suite features settings of music by Byrd, Dowland, Morely, and Playford. The arrangements include the addition of counter-melodies, melodic embellishments, and harmonizations intended to honor the spirit of the time.
The selections can be performed successfully as a suite or independently—a great program opener!

The same suite is also available arranged for harp and flute.

Faith, Hope and Love

Year: 2001

Duration (in minutes): ca. 10 1/2minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: harp, horn

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: faith_hope__love_mvt.i_-4_up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/faith-hope-and-love

Description: This piece was conceived from reflections on the meanings of faith, hope, and love. Although in three movements, all three movements are about all three ideas.

Prigione V

Year: 2000

Duration (in minutes): 5:46

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, harp, piano, viola

Publisher: unpublished to date


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Score PDF: il_prigione_v_score_3-20-08-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/mixed-ensembles

Description: This is the fifth in a series of pieces inspired by the sculptures of Michelangelo, exploring prison and freedom.

Appalachian Brass

Year: 1999

Duration (in minutes): 4:00; 2:45; 3:45

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: brass trio

Instruments: horn, trombone, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: appalach._brass_br-hntbntubpscore-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/appalachian-brass

Description: An arrangement of three traditional Appalachian tunes: Arise, Arise; One Morning; Sourwood Mountain.

Sine Nomine

Year: 1999

Duration (in minutes): 5-7 minutes

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Sine-Nomine-HpVcP-Score.pdf

Description: Sine Nomine --"No Name" --is a tribute to all that goes beyond words, and can not be named. Scored for harp and cello, it can be performed successfully at an unusually wide range of tempi.

Frog Prince (Faithful Henry)

Year: 1998

Duration (in minutes): ca. 35 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Instruments: harp, narrator/speaker

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: the_frog_princeth-hpsp_score_4up-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/the-frog-prince

Description: An unusual promise bonds a Princess to a frog and leads to a moving transformation. This classic account of perseverance, courage, and faith from the Brothers Grimm is illuminated with storytelling, movement, and an extensive harp score.

Set for 3 mimes, narrator, and pedal harp; the harpist may also play the narrator.
The original unpublished version is a ballet, set for horn, harp, viola, and piano.

"What a pleasant and refreshing change to see a children’s show not steeped elbow deep in patronizing Panto over-enthusiasm…The Frog Prince’ is a tale regaled by a harp plucking narrator, wonderfully creating moods and atmosphere... Silent flowing movement from the players allows a magical setting to blossom on stage, while an audience, comprising far more three-year-olds than adults, sits mesmerized… A very welcome alternative to conventional children’s theatre.”--Three Weeks

Il Prigione I

Year: 1997?

Duration (in minutes): ca. 7:10

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, harp

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Il-Prigione-I-SCORE.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/mixed-ensembles

Description: This is the first in a series of chamber pieces inspired by Michelangelo's profound sculptures depicting men half encased in stone, and half free. It is scored for harp and cello.

Il Prigione IV

Year: 1996

Duration (in minutes): 2:21

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any string, cello, viola

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: prigione_iv_st-vavcp_4_up_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/ll-prigione-iv

Description: “Il Prigione” is a series of sculptures by Michelangelo. Each is a man, half encased in stone and half free. Many believe that the statues were intentionally left unfinished, to represent a metaphor for man’s condition. This piece is the fourth of a set of compositions inspired by those sculptures.

American Songs

Year: 1992

Duration (in minutes): 0:07:51

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: american_songs_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/american-songs

Description: This medley of beloved American classics—including Blue Tail Fly, Arkansas Traveler, Shenedoah, and Oh, Suzannah!—is a highly successful concert work.

Reviews:
“...by the time this sequence got past ‘Jimmie Crack Corn’ and ‘Arkansas Traveler,’ and a close-harmony brass rendition of ‘Shenendoah,’ with fragments of‘ Turkey in the Straw’ and ‘O Susanna’ folded in, if there had been an aisle around I would have been dancing in it.”— Paul Kresh, Musical Heritage Review

“Despite the fact that I am not normally drawn to song medleys, I greatly enjoyed the intelligent arrangement by Alyssa Hess Reit...” -- Barry Kilpatrick, American Record Guide

“On behalf of the Eastern Brass Quintet, I would like to thank you for your “American Songs.” It has been a tremendous success in every way,...” - Richard Green, Eastern Brass Quintet

Veni Emanuel

Year: 1987

Duration (in minutes): ca. 3 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: brass quintet

Instruments: horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: veni_emanuelbqp_4_up_score-5.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/product-page/veni-emanuel

Description: A setting of the traditional carol Veni Emanuel.

Silent Night

Year: 202

Duration (in minutes): ca. 1:45

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: harp, horn, trombone

Publisher: 7 Stars Publishing


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Score PDF: Silent-Night-SCORE-.pdf

Purchase score URL: https://www.alyssareit.com/mixed-ensembles?Categories=Small+mixed+ensembles++%E2%80%A2%5BWith+Harp%5D%E2%80%A2

Description: This arrangement of Gruber's beloved carol features jazz harmonies and the expansion of phrases. It is scored for horn, trombone, and harp but may be performed without trombone. The harp part may be played also by a lever harpist with advanced lever skills; a lever part as well as a pedal harp part is included.

Golden Bird

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: musical theater

Publisher: Grey Lake Music


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Score PDF: the_golden_bird_th-hpspstor_4up-5.pdf

Description: A setting of the classic Grimm's tale with musical accompaniment

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