"Arranged by Denis Moreen"
My Musical Memoirs

A website collection of vintage recordings,
anecdotes and photos

Denis as a teen-ager
Denis as a teen-ager, 1955

Denis as a post-teen-ager
Denis as a post-teen-ager, 2012


In 10 chapters
--Chapter 1--

Click below
to go to
other chapters
and recordings:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Denis Moreen, 2015

Chapter 2: Past, Present, Future
Denis Retirement Party, 2000

Chapter 3: The Twelve Songs of Christmas
Moreen family Christmas tree, 1943

Chapter 4: Standing on Many Corners
New Trier HS West corners, 1968

Chapter 5: Showtime at Five O'Clock
Showtime at Five O'Clock

Chapter 6: Chicago Off-Off-Off Broadway
Northwestern University Music School

Chapter 7: San Francisco Off-Off-Off Broadway
College of Notre Dame Ralston Hall

Chapter 8: Palm Springs Off-Off-Off Broadway
Rancho Mirage Library

Chapter 9: With a Song in My Heart
New Trier High School

Chapter 10: Index of Performers and Songs
Lakeside Drive, 2017

A piano accompanist

I love accompanying. As a pianist, my goal is to help other performers sound as good as they can. During a performance, I'm continually imagining ways in which the work of the singers and instrumentalists can be elevated.

I play attention to their pitches and rhythms, their tempos and dynamics, their coloring effects and emotional feelings - and adjust accordingly. I strive to anticipate the needs of the performers and be there for them.

Sometimes I relax and let them take the lead; other times I push them ahead into the next phrase. Sometimes I play every note on the page exactly as written; other times I improvise a melody or chord, or change an octave, or imitate an orchestral instrument on the piano, in order to magnify the performance.

Ever since being a first grader, playing the piano while my classmates were singing "Happy Birthday," I have experimented with ways to make music more interesting and more accessible. And thus I became . . .

A music arranger

I love arranging. It involves getting to know not only a specific musical work but also a specific performer. How did the original composers envision the work? How have arrangers and performers changed the work throughout the years? What singers and instrumentalists will be performing the work? What are their performance concepts for the work, their musical strengths and weaknesses, their quirks which might be concealed or amplified?

I think of myself as a pop music arranger. There are many of us in the music business. We take a well-known tune, often from what is now known as "The Great American Songbook," and rejuvenate it for a new group of singers and instrumentalists.

Honoring a long-revered tradition of echoing music from previous eras, we feel free to "borrow" from works created by earlier composers, including ourselves. Hopefully the words and music are still recognizable, and even more hopefully some new creative ideas emerge that make for unique performing and listening experiences.

A lifetime of arranging can lead to unexpected occasions. For instance, who would have imagined back in 1965, when I first arranged "With a Song in My Heart" for the boys at New Trier High School in Illinois, that fifty years later I'd be reprising the same arrangement for the adults in California Desert Chorale?

An invitation and thanks

Please sit back: Enjoy vintage recordings of some of the music I've arranged and accompanied over the years, along with many timely anecdotes and photos. The recordings are organized into chapters 2-9 listed on the left side of this screen. You can read and listen to all chapters in order from 1-9 (just like a book, you can spread them out over several days). Or you can click these chapters in any order and enjoy them at your leisure.

Extra-added attraction: I've also included, as chapter 10, a comprehensive index of all performers and music on this website. If you wish to find a specific person or work, just click the relevant link in chapter 10, and you'll be taken immediately to the corresponding chapter and section. To return to the previous screen, click the back key on your browser.

A note to performers and directors: It has been my great pleasure to accompany and arrange music for you over the years. Thank you for singing with me!

These works are my musical memoirs: They truly reflect my ongoing wish that "...I would live life through, With a song in my heart for you."

Website designed and published by Denis Moreen
Latest update November 12, 2017
For more information, please contact denismoreen@yahoo.com

Website www.Butchie.com

Butchie in a bag
Butchie in a bag, 1979
T-shirt design by Rob Tackes, 2009