UMass Boston News

UMass Boston Archivist’s Arrangement Strikes a Chord with BBC

Colleen Locke | November 20, 2012
Dale Freeman shows off his CD of children's music.

UMass Boston Archivist Dale Freeman shows off his CD of children's music, called "Let's Go."


Dale Freeman, the digital resources archivist for the Joseph P. Healey Library, excels at finding photos and information. Turns out he also excels at writing music, and his work recently caught the attention of the BBC.

A representative of the British Broadcasting Company contacted Freeman about using his arrangement of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” for the BBC/CBBC children’s program Dick and Dom’s Hoopla! The song, “Music Box Ballerina,” is a piano arrangement of “Twinkle” that starts out with a winding clock.

Freeman’s inspiration for the tune came from simple moments with his kids. “I used to play this game with my children where they could pretend to be a music box and I would wind them up,” he said.

The BBC didn’t just use Freeman’s song: they also paid him 50 pounds ($80 U.S.) for it.

Freeman isn’t sure how the BBC found his arrangement, but it may have been online or on iTunes. “Music Box Ballerina” is on Freeman’s children’s album Let’s Go!

Freeman, who has worked in the library’s University Archives and Special Collections for more than a decade, has self-recorded a pair of children’s albums.

He also has record for adults, Daylight is Fading, that is scheduled for release by the end of the year. To learn more about Freeman and his work, visit his website.

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