Order MusicReport a PerformanceLicensing & Permissions
WorksChoral MusicMixed ChorusRun, Toboggan, Run
See also: Burt Family Christmas Carol Series

Run, Toboggan, Run
Editors' Choice Award, 2011 (JW Pepper)

Voicing: SATB div. a cappella (see "Performance Notes" below to sing SATB non divisi)
Text: Holly Windle
Duration: 1:45 min.
Premiere: The MPR Carolers, Minnesota Public Radio - December 21, 2007
Published by: Fred Bock Publications, F2356
See the score: PREVIEW THE SCORE
Order now: Sheet Music Plus

 REVIEWS (Click to view/hide)
"Here is an absolute gem for better a cappella choirs! Composed by the grand-neice of the legendary Alfred Burt (The Alfred Burt Carols), this delightful piece will let your singers feel as though they're on a toboggan, following the contours of the melody over joyful chord progressions and smooth key changes. "In each of us there glows a spark where joy and hope have left their mark. Soon Christmas Day will come. Run, toboggan, run!" It's an invigorating ride for everyone! Highly recommended!"
- JW Pepper, Editors' Choice Award, 2011

"The exuberant, Run, Toboggan, Run showcased the singers’ crisp diction."
- Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), Dec 3, 2012

Deviated Septet
Performed by Deviated Septet (Carrie Henneman Shaw, Jennifer Rissman, Laura Krider, Abbie Betinis, Jeff Stern, Bryan Fisher, Chad Shultis, Mike Meyer)

More audio: Feature webpage on Classical Minnesota Public Radio

More audio: All Things Considered interview

                Can't hear the sound file above? download mp3 here

In 1922, Rev. Bates G. Burt, a self-taught musician, began composing Christmas carols and sending them as seasonal greeting cards to his friends, family, and parishioners.

Emily Betinis In 1942, he passed the job of composing the music to his son, Alfred Burt, a jazz trumpeter who had just received his music degree from the University of Michigan. The father-son team produced five carols together before Bates' death in 1948. Alfred Burt went on to write a total of fifteen Christmas carols, including the popular Caroling, Caroling, and Some Children See Him, made famous originally by the Voices of Jimmy Joyce and now recorded by artists all over the world.

Since 2001, Abbie Burt Betinis has been continuing this family tradition begun so long ago by Bates, her great-grandfather.

More information on the Burt Family Carols here.

 PERFORMANCE NOTES (How to sing this as a quartet) (Click to view/hide)
To sing this carol as an SATB quartet, try these modifications:

m.3-4: T sing tenor 1 (G#-F#-G#)
B sing tenor 2 (E-D-E)
m.9: S sing alto
A write in low G#-G#-F#-F# (same as baritone line)
T sing stems-up tenor 1
B sing bass as written
m.10-11: S as written
A as written
T tenor 1 (G#-F#-G#)
B tenor 2 (E-D-E)
m.22: T make downbeat an eighth note F# (you can catch your breath in m.23)
B sing the D#
m.25-26: T sing tenor 1 (G#-F#-G#); legato
B sing tenor 2 (E-D-E); legato
m.32-33: T sing tenor 1 (G#-F#-G#)
B sing tenor 2 (E-D-E)
m.44: T make downbeat an eighth note F# (you can catch your breath in m.45)
B sing the D#
m.47: T sing tenor 1 (G#-F#-G#)
B sing tenor 2 (E-D-E)
m.54: T sing tenor 1 (G#-F#-G#)
B sing tenor 2 (E-D-E)
m.66: T make downbeat an eighth note F# (you can catch your breath in m.67)
B sing the D#
m.69-70: S sing alto
A write in low G#-G#-F#-F#-G# (same as tenor 1 line) - sing "In" bt.6 as written
T sing tenor 2 (E-D-E)
B sing baritone (B-A-B)
m.75: B sing baritone, but join tenor on bt 6 (F#) "will"
m.76: T sing tenor 1 (G#-F#)
B sing tenor 2 (E-D)
m.77-78: T sing baritone (G#-F# / G#-F#)
B sing bass (B-A / B-A-C#)
m.79: S as written (B)
A take F#
T take G#
B take E

Run, Toboggan, Run Poem by Holly Windle
Anticipation's in the air,
    (Run, toboggan, run!)
The snow is fresh and waiting there;
The children chatter and prepare.
    (Run, toboggan, run!)

    Assemble sweaters, coats and caps,
    The mittens, gloves, and fleeces,
        The scarves and jackets, hats with flaps -
            With buttons, zippers, clips, and snaps -
                So many separate pieces!

A vee of geese flies overhead
    As southward their migration,
While armed with snowballs, skates, and sled,
The families frolic, noses red,
    With noisy jubilation.

    Oh, sledding teaches useful skills,
    Philosophy and science:
        Respect the steepness of the hills;
            And try again, despite the spills,
                To steer with self-reliance.

The safest and most pleasant way
    Is taking turns and sharing;
Help rescue any runaway,
And know the risks when you display
    Outrageous feats of daring.

    Find happiness to hold and keep.
    The joys of just an hour
        Become a comfort, strong and deep
            To help you when the hills are steep
                With mem'ries' golden power.

December days are cold and dark
    (Run toboggan, run!)
In each of us there glows a spark
Where joy and hope have left their mark.
    Soon Christmas day will come.
    (Run, toboggan, run...)

Text © 2007, Holly Windle. Reprinted here with permission.

Chorus pro Musica (Betsy Burleigh, conductor), Massachusetts
Deviated Septet, Minnesota
Rudsambee Company of Singers (Oliver Singleton), SCOTLAND
Minnesota Center Chorale (J. Michele Edwards), Minnesota
Una Vocis Choral Ensemble (Dennis Lee), Iowa
Century College Choir (Jocelyn Kalajian), Minnesota
Musica! (Robert Jones), Ohio
Palmdale High School (Michael McCullough), California
Milwaukee Choristers (James Kinchen), Wisconsin
Jubilus-Luther College Chamber Choir (Brett Epperson), Iowa
Cloquet High School Choir (Chad Felton), Minnesota
Illumini (Chris McCafferty), Washington
University of MN-Duluth (Stanley Wold), Minnesota
Murray County Central HS (Chad Felton), Minnesota

(Have you performed this piece? Add your performance!)