In this sixth edition of Monday’s Musical Musings, Sophie Lane, our Performing Arts Coordinator, talks to us about some of her favourite Christmas music.

Music is a great comfort to me. I notoriously have a very eclectic taste with what I listen to and I am a big believer that music can support and enhance anyone’s mood. Those of you who visit the KES Music Department will often see me in my office listening to anything from classical to hip hop. Like most people at this time of year, I will start adding some classic Christmas songs to my daily playlist as the big day approaches!

When I think of Christmas, I am fortunate to have many happy memories. Time with family, friends, and all of the festive traditions that we keep to year after year. Things change as we grow up, but a staple of the traditions in our house is that of binge-watching as many classic Christmas films we can possibly pack into the cold winter evenings from December 1st until Boxing day!

Now… It would be very easy to make this a contest for the greatest Christmas film and soundtrack of all time, but I promised Miss Briggs I would keep on topic. I would however like to pin-point two very iconic pieces of music that to me scream Christmas and everything that I adore about music, so I have broken the rules slightly for this edition of ‘Monday’s Musical Musings’.

‘Home Alone’ came out in 1990, but I remember watching this for the first time around 1995. I was captivated. Firstly, the concept that a child can take on two burglars in that huge house was just awesome! Secondly, my ears had never woken up to orchestral music like that before. John Williams is rightfully referred to as a ‘master of composition’, but to make a child sit up and immerse themselves in a moment as he creates with “The Holiday Flight” is something else – especially for a piece that is initially 58 seconds long when first introduced to the film. Even to this day, this piece of music will make me smile and think of the festive hustle and bustle that we embrace year after year. Looking into John Williams’ influence for the score, he was asked by the film’s creators to provide a Prokofiev-like score and he definitely delivered! The intense drama in a score for such a light-hearted film is most definitely apparent from the first crescendo to the incidental moments.


The second piece I have chosen is from the contemporary tracks used in ‘Home Alone’ and a song that hits more of my background in music. Not many know that I am a massive lover of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, so Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” is a must have in my listening at Christmas. Growing up I used to frequent blues and jam sessions with friends. Something about this genre of music reached my soul and made me really feel music. It probably influenced me taking up the Double Bass… which I need to pick up again! I stopped playing a long time ago and it is something I regret… But I digress… When watching the film, I can whole-heartedly relate to the scene in the movie where the McCallisters are running through the airport to this rock ‘n’ roll classic, as my family are notoriously late for everything, especially at Christmas! However, the thing I love most about this song is that it was written to give the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer a bit more attitude and grit!

As Mr Lane and I prepare to welcome Baby Lane, I look forward to continuing our holiday traditions, influencing our little one’s taste in music and making plenty more happy memories. After a turbulent few years for us all, I hope that these pieces of music can provide some light-hearted relief and encourage all of you to enjoy this time of year.

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