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Songbook Review: Memories in January
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the songbook Memories in January by James Michael Stevens
Memories in January
James Michael Stevens
2024 / James M Stevens Music
31 pages / 10 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Memories in January solo piano songbook is the companion sheet music collection for James Michael Stevens' first album release for 2024. As the title suggests, the ten original piano solos are dreamy and often nostalgic with gently-flowing rhythms that make them expressive and very satisfying to play. As is often true of Dr. Stevens' music, many of the themes are nature-related with romantic nuances. I'm sure many people will find this music excellent for unwinding at the piano after a stressful day - or simply to relax and enjoy. None of the pieces are difficult and they are all three pages long (see below for the keys they are in), so I would expect that pianists at an intermediate playing level would be able to master most of these lovely pieces with ease.

Many sheet music collections are copied from the recordings and written out by professional transcribers, but James Michael Stevens writes his music out himself before recording it, and then reads his music as he records it, ensuring that the sheet music matches the recordings as closely as possible. The Dean of the School of Music at Welch College in Gallatin, TN, Dr. Stevens' sheet music is very well-suited for teaching materials for piano students of pretty much any age. He has also arranged many hymns and composed music for other instruments, choirs and ensembles. An incredibly prolific composer, he is approaching 7500 items on SheetMusicPlus.com!

The Memories of January songbook and the sheet music for individual pieces are available to download from SheetMusicPlus.com and SheetMusicDirect.com.

The titles of the pieces, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

When Roses in Winter are Blue - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 3 pages
Theme from Whisper Lake - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 3 pages
Starlight Beams Across a Silver Sky - Key of E (4 sharps) - 3 pages
Cloud Ridge - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
When Wings Fly Away - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 3 pages
Meditation at Mirror Lake - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Snow Petals - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
Ode to a Galician Twilight - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Dreams Drift Away - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 3 pages
Memory of a Lullaby - Key of D (2 sharps)/ D minor (1 flat) - 3 pages
January 19, 2024
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