As of Spring 2008, I've begun entering some of my music into Sibelius.

I'm doing this for several reasons: to make my earlier music available (music of mine that isn't published elsewhere), to become as facile with Sibelius as I am with Finale (which is also for may reasons, the foremost of which is to be able to make an informed choice between the two), and as stress relief. Naturally, I'm starting with the easier works and continuing with works of progressively greater complexity. While you can purchase the sheet music for these at and even listen to a Standard MIDI File scrolling playback at that site for many of these (courtesy of the free Scorch plugin), I've also created mp3 files that you can listen to here by themseleves (without the score in hand or on the screen), and these usually employ sounds of somewhat higher quality than the default General MIDI synth.

Considering virtual instrument libraries, these mp3s feature the virtual orchestra included with Sibelius (usually), Finale (occasionally), or Garageband. In some cases multiple intruments are combined (Mellow Maidens uses the Steinway grand piano of Garageband in conjunction with Finale's solo violin). In other cases, live humans are used either exclusively, or in combination with virtual instruments. Speaking of virtual orchestras accompanying live musicians, don't forget to listen to my Countdown — An Opera for the Nuclear Age, the first entirely computer-assisted opera, and the first virtual orchestra performance of an opera in history (February 20, 1987) by the Boston Lyric Opera, with a second production the following year in Virgina after winning the Virginia Opera Society's New One Act Opera competition, and the first opera in cyberspace (December 1, 1994, through the present), for which it received a week of coverage on MSNBC.

Hear Stephanie Yavelow singing some of the songs I've been orchestrating for "The Watchman," a musical by Deborah Richa.

So far, I've finished 3 of the songs and my daughter Steph has sung 2 of them, with an additional version of song number 13 in Hebrew (thanks to Erika Schon for the Hebrew lesson). The first one ("Pray for the Peace") has the melody played by the English horn -- it should be a tenor, but we haven't had time to make a demo of that one. The English version of "My Name is Ruth" was the one we did long-distance (via the internet, 4000 miles apart). I'm using mainly ethnic instruments in "God Said to Abram" (a first for me). "My Name is Ruth" has a big ending, however, there is one song after it!

(Disclaimer: these works are all "in progress")

Streaming versions of the MP3 files:

The songs will open in a new window for streaming. When you close that window, you should be returned to this one.

Videos of "My Name is Ruth," are available at the following links (the files are at YouTube):

        Portions copyright Deborah Richa 2005          Portions copyright Chris Yavelow 2005

Speaking about long-distance collaborations (Celina's Body-Mind-Spirit )...
In 2004, my daughter Celina and I collaborated on a dance work while being 4000 miles apart. The choreography was her final senior project (high school) and included a multimedia slideshow she designed to accompany the 8-minute dance. For several months in advance, she directed the composition of the music by way of telephone and iSight webcam, telling me to shorten this, lengthen that, make this more gentle or that more angular... Add 8 beats here and take 22 beats away there. Every few days, I sent her a new MP3 of the results. Finally, she approved and the dancers started to learn her choreography. I made an abridged version (5 minutes) and entered the music in the first Apple GarageBand Music Competition. Body-Mind-Spirit won third prize!

Celina Yavelow, is also an accomplished pianist (some recordings here).
I started teaching her when she was five years old. By the time she turned 18, she could play better than me! (And that is very good considering that I have six degrees and diplomas in music!). If you click on the link above, you can hear Celina play Sylphide, Oiseaux Triste, and Kobalt when she was 16 years old. I wish I had something more recent. (note: Most of the other links on that page do not function anymore.)

Yes, I am proud of my daughters (can you tell?) and sometimes we work together.
This is a song called "A Simple Melody" that we did together one afternoon in the summer of 2004. Celina did the music in GarageBand, while Stephanie made and sang the lyrics. After they were done laying down tracks, I mixed the whole think together and made it the soundtrack fo a slide-show of their summer exploits in America.

Have you heard my opera Countdown?
My award-winning opera Countdown was the first opera available on the Internet and the first use of a "virtual orchestra" in a public performance and it was given a good deal of coverage by MSNBC when I launched it in 1994. The website has remained unchanged since then. The only difference is that the original site divided the opera into 16 short segments, each less than 2 minutes, to accommodate the slower transfer rates of telecommunications systems of the 1990's. In 2004, around the ten-year anniversary of the appearance of Countdown in cyberspace, I pasted those files together into one large streaming MP3 file (about 25 minutes in length). I also raised the sample rate to somewhat increase the fidelity. The performance is by the Boston Lyric Opera Company.

Remember, I gradually uploading my sheet music to my Sibelius Music page.
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