The Song

I picked this song for many reasons.  One reason being that this was my first festival and I wanted to pick a simple song.  I was looking through my Festival Solos book  searching for simple key signatures and easy rhythmic patterns.  When I came across To a Wild Rose I listened to it on the CD and I found that I liked the song and how it was simple yet very beautiful. Before I made my decision on what song I wanted to do, I went through the rest of the book.  Finally, after I looked through the entire book I came to the decision to play To a Wild Rose composed by Edward Macdowell. 

Edward MacDowell wrote To A Wild Rose in 1896 as part of his Opus 51 "Woodland Sketches" which had 10 songs.  The songs of this opus are To a Wild Rose, Will o' the Wisp, An Old Trysting-Place, In Autumn  From an Indian Lodge, To a Water-Lily, From Uncle Remus, A Deserted Farm, By a Meadow Brook, and Told at Sunset. To a Wild Rose was originally written for piano, but was originally performed with a piano and two soprano singers and one alto singer.

Song Information

Song:   To A Wild Rose
Composer:   Edward MacDowell
Year Written:   1896
Written For:   Piano
Location:   Peterborough, New Hampshire

Song Versions

To a wild rose was written in 1896 as a piano song within opus 51, Woodland Sketches. To a Wild Rose was written in a cabin he bought in Peterborough, New Hampshire. MacDowell wrote this song because he was inspired by the beautiful and natural surroundings of the cabin. His inspiration for writing songs on this property was so strong that he eventually turned his land into the MacDowell Colony in 1907. 

In 1919 To A Wild Rose was changed from its original key of A major to the key of F major and given lyrics by Hermann Hagerdorn. This new version was performed by a trio of singers; two sopranos and one alto accompanied by a piano. The version that I performed was in the key of C major and I believe the key was changed for two reasons, one being that the saxophone is not in the same key as a piano and the other being that the key of C major is the simplest key signature to play. Because the saxophone is in the key of Eb and the piano is in the key of C, I don't think there would be much of a difference in the sound of the song other than the difference between a piano and a saxophone.

Versions on Different Instruments

Strings Orchestra

Nat "King" Cole's Version

Played on a Flute

Vocal Performance

Clarinet and Guitar