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Piece: Armenian Folk Dances Pt.

1
Composer: Alfred Reed
Year Published: 1972
Publisher: Alfred Music
Grade Level: VI

This piece is part 1 of 2 Armenian folk dances written by Alfred Reed


based on five actual Armenian folk songs. Dr. Harry Begian and the
University of Illinois Symphonic Band first performed it. The five pieces were
gathered, notated, and edited by Gomidas Vartabed. The first folk song is
actually a combination of three songs that are connected through their
expression. The second song was composed by Vartabed himself and
features a light melody with simple accompaniment. The third song is a lively
tune about a man singing to a woman. The fourth is a majestic song, drawing
inspiration from a mountain in Armenia. Finally, the fifth song is a light,
comedic song that depicts laughter throughout. The piece is arranged for a
wind band that includes piccolo, 2 flutes, English horn, 2 bassoons,
contrabassoon (optional), 7 clarinets (including Eb, alto, bass, and
contrabass clarinet), 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, 3 trumpets, 2 cornets, 4 french horns, 3 trombones, bass
trombone, euphonium, tuba, and string bass. Percussion instruments include
bass drum, cymbals (crash and suspended), glockenspiel, snare drum,
tambourine, vibraphone, and xylophone.

This piece would be a great piece for a more advanced, larger wind
ensemble in high school. It calls for a variety of interesting instruments that
may allow the director an opportunity to expand the ensemble and introduce
some new sounds. The piece is lengthy (approximately 12 minutes) and
would be great for building musicians endurance. This piece also presents a
great chance for the director to bring up discussion on folk music from
another country, especially a country that most American students in the
public school system probably do not know much about. An entire unit on the
country could be presented and the director could use this information to
help shape the way the ensemble makes its musical decisions.

Piece: Arabesque
Composer: Samuel Hazo
Year Published: 2008
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Grade Level: V

The Indiana Bandmasters Association commissioned Arabesque in


2008 for the All-State High School Honor Band. It is an expressive piece that
attempts to capture the sounds of the Middle East in a format playable for a
wind band. The styles and techniques in this piece are varied and range from
intimate, soloistic sections to forceful, full ensemble passages full of fast
rhythms and chaotic percussion. It has three sections. The first features a
flute solo in which the flutist is free to play improvisatory sections. The
second section displays music that is often heard during line dances
performed at weddings and has a underlying drum beat that pervades the
whole section. The last section is a chorale and a recapitulation of previously
heard material, culminating in a flashy ending. The piece is set for piccolo, 2
flutes, oboe, bassoon, 5 clarinets (including bass clarinet and contra-alto
clarinet), 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3
trumpets, 2 french horns, 2 trombones, bass trombone, bass and treble clef
baritone, tuba, string bass, and timpani. Additional percussion instruments
include darabuka or doumbek, med/large bass drum, muffled halfway and
laid on its side with two Charmois mallets, congas, mounted plastic
tambourine, suspended cymbal, xylophone, glockenspiel, and bass drum.

Arabesque offers a program the unique opportunity to showcase its


talent through the solo portion in the beginning of the piece. It would be a
great way for the conductor to discuss intimate listening and playing in
sections of the piece that are scored very thinly to accommodate the soloist.
The piece would also be a great choice for an ensemble that needs or
particularly enjoys a piece with a lot of variation. Arabesque has several very
expressive moments but also has an overall rhythmic vitality and drive that
makes it quite enjoyable and invigorating to play. It might present a
challenge to an intermediate group, but a higher-level group should have
much to learn with this exciting piece.

Piece: William Byrd Suite


Composer: Gordon Jacob
Year Published: 1924
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Grade Level: V

The William Byrd Suite is a set of 6 pieces written to honor the 300th
anniversary of Byrds death. Throughout the piece, Jacob has transcribed and
rescored Byrds original keyboard pieces for wind ensemble. The set of
pieces is described as increasing in intensity through use of added texture,
complexity, and embellishments instead of relying on dynamics. Though the
piece travels through several styles, the entire thing is very stately, and
Jacob stays mostly accurate to the original melodies, harmonies, and forms
but writes utilizing the full possibilities of wind instruments timbres. He also
makes use of variation and embellishment to develop each of the pieces and
give them variety. The piece is written for piccolo, flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons,
6 clarinets (including soprano and alto clarinet), alto saxophone, tenor
saxophone, 2 cornets, 2 trumpets, 4 french horns, 3 trombones, euphonium,
tuba, and timpani. Other percussion parts include bass drum, cymbal, and
snare drum.
The William Byrd Suite is another challenging piece for a more
advanced high school wind ensemble. It would be great for a conductor who
is looking for variety in their program and needed a piece that harkens back
to 17thC harmony and style. The piece is longer, but the conductor could
choose to perform any one of the contrasting movements, depending on the
type of piece needed to create a balanced concert cycle. Choosing to focus
on only a portion of the movements might also be useful for a director who
thinks the piece might be too much of a challenge for their ensemble.
Overall, musicians could learn much about history, style, and contrast by
performing this work.

Piece: Suite Francaise


Composer: Darius Milhaud
Year Published: VI
Publisher: MCA Music
Grade Level: VI

Suite Francaise was commissioned by the Leeds Music Corporation,


as part of a series of works by outstanding contemporary composers and was
premiered by the Goldman Band. Milhaud himself describes this work as
being easy enough for high school ensembles but challenging enough to
allow them to learn from it. Each of the five movements is named after a
province in France, which helped the American and Allied armies during
WWII. Milhaud uses some folk songs from each of these provinces in order to
allow young Americans to hear music of his birthplace as well as music from
lands who helped their ancestors fight to defeat the Germans. The five
pieces generally alternate between faster, rhythmically energetic
movements with slower more introspective movements. The overall work is
written for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 6 clarinets (including
soprano, alto, and bass), 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, bass saxophone, 3 cornets, 2 trumpets, 4 french horns, 3
trombones, euphonium, tuba, and string bass. Percussion parts include bass
drum, crash cymbal, military drum, snare drum, and timpani.

Milhauds piece would be most appropriate for an upper level wind


ensemble. It is a lengthy work that provides the opportunity for discussion of
geography and history and how it pertains to musical styles and composers.
The use of folk tunes would also give the ensemble the chance to sing along
to their parts and listen more carefully for style and intonation. Similar to
some other pieces, conductors could choose only one or some movements to
focus on or to create a unit around. The pieces offer a lot of variety in styles
and require a high level of listening in order to be performed at a high level.

Piece: Variations on a Korean Folk Song


Composer: John Barnes Chance
Year Published: 1967
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Grade Level: IV

John Barnes Chance wrote Variations on a Korean Folk Song based on


a tune he heard while serving in the U.S. Army Band in Seoul, Korea. It is
based on the folk song Arirang which is said to have been around for over
1000 years. Chance discusses how the piece intrigued him, as it is more
complex than it seems. The beginning of the piece begins with an iteration of
the theme in a slow, calm style. As the variations continue, the piece gains
momentum and energy before reaching a calm middle section in which the
theme is presented in a different modality. The entire piece ends with a
fanfare-like, strong closing scored for the full ensemble. It is written for
piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 7 clarinets (including soprano, alto,
bass, and contrabass clarinets), alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, 3 trumpets, 4 french horns, 3 trombones, euphonium, tuba, and
timpani. Other percussion includes, bass drum, suspended cymbals,
glockenspiel, gong (tam-tam), snare drum, temple block, triangle,
vibraphone, and xylophone.

Variations on a Korean Folk Song would be an appropriate choice for


an intermediate level wind ensemble, looking to add variety to a program. It
offers an appropriate challenge and variety of styles all in one piece. It is also
a great example of the prevalent use of the pentatonic scale in much of East
Asian music. The conductor has the opportunity to discuss a new country and
its history with the ensemble, incorporating how it relates to the music and
adds to the expression and musicality of the piece. The use of driving
rhythms and beautiful melodies gives the ensemble a chance to showcase its
abilities.

Piece: Elegy
Composer: John Barnes Chance
Year Published: 1972
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Grade Level: V

Elegy was commissioned in memory of a member of the West


Genesee Senior High School Band. It is only one movement that is based
around a five-note motif. The piece slowly builds up to a grand climax in the
horns that is followed by a fanfare-like section. It closes with a soft echo of
beginning material that symbolizes a life that ended too soon, as the motif is
left unfinished in each of the voices as they fade away into nothing. Chance
wrote this piece only a few months before he, too, passed away, and the
piece is also often seen as a representation of his own death. The works
difficulty lies, not in its technicality, but in its use of extremely intimate and
thin scoring. The ensemble must be able to play with an appropriate style
that pays respectful homage to its dedicatee and composer. Elegy is
written for 4 flutes (divided in both parts), 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 6 clarinets
(including alto, bass, and contrabass clarinet), alto saxophone, tenor
saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 trumpets, 4 french horns, 4 trombones,
bass and treble clef baritone, tuba, and timpani. Other percussion parts are
undifferentiated in the score.

This piece would represent a great challenge for students who need to
have more experience with listening and playing very soft, intimate pieces.
Another great focus of this piece would be intonation, as the thin scoring and
sustained notes make for some difficult tuning spots. The piece is has
gorgeous lines and would also be another opportunity for the conductor to
discuss how composers receive commissions and the way in which they
compose for different occasions. They could also talk about the importance
of musicians in delivering the music so that it accurately portrays the intent
of the composer.

Piece: Amazing Grace


Composer: Frank Ticheli
Year Published: 1994
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Grade Level: IV

Much as the title suggests, Amazing Grace is based on the well-


known church hymn by the same name. In his own program notes on the
piece, Ticheli says that his goal was to write music that portrayed the
powerful simplicity and introspection of the original tune and words. He
describes the progression of the piece as traveling down a traditional path,
and mentions how important every aspect of the piece is: from the
orchestration to the form. John Whitwell commissioned this piece in memory
of his father. The original spiritual was written by a slave-ship captain who
came to see the error of his ways and found grace through religion. Tichelis
arrangement is written for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 3 soprano clarinets,
bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, 3
trumpets, 2 french horns, 3 trombones, Euphonium, tuba, and timpani. 2
additional percussion parts are included and make use of crash and
suspended cymbal, triangle, glockenspiel, and vibraphone.

Despite being a level IV, this piece would be more accessible for more
intermediate ensembles. The rhythms are not too difficult and many students
will probably be familiar with the melody of the piece. It would be a
wonderful choice for a conductor who is looking for a piece to add to a
concert with which much of the audience will be familiar. The piece also
holds musical value in its rich harmonic texture and subtle style variations.
The ensemble will have to listen carefully for balance to ensure that the
melody is heard as it is passed around from section to section in different
portions of the piece. Conductors can also use this piece as an opportunity to
refine dynamics and intonation, as the piece works with a lot of sustained
notes that travel through several dynamic levels.

Piece: Portrait of A Clown


Composer: Frank Ticheli
Year Published: 1988
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Grade Level: II

Portrait of a Clown is a light, upbeat piece written in ternary form


with a coda. The main melody is based around the first five notes in the Bb
Lydian scale and is played in a bouncy manner. The B section contrasts the A
with 2 melancholy, smooth melodies that are played in the same tempo as
the A section. Finally, the A section returns and a coda is added to wrap up
the piece. Ticheli wrote the piece while keeping ensembles that may have
deficient low brass and woodwind sections, meaning that ensembles who
have many of these instruments must take care not to let them overpower
the upper voices. The piece was written for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, 2 soprano
clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxiphone,
2 cornets, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba xylophone, snare drum,
bass drum, tambourine, triangle, crash cymbals, and woodblock.

This piece would be perfect for a beginner ensemble that may not have
full wind ensemble instrumentation. It is very short and features a fun
rhythmic melodic line that is not too difficult for early instrumentalists. The
clear form of the piece also offers the teacher a chance to discuss form,
perhaps allowing the students to look at this piece and analyze its form for
themselves. The piece is light and bouncy, opening up discussions on style
and articulation and how to match light articulation across the variety of
ensemble sections.

Piece: A Lincoln Portrait


Composer: Aaron Copland
Year Published: 1942
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Grade Level: VI

Andre Kostelanetz commissioned this piece for the Cincinnati


Symphony Orchestra that would reflect the nationalistic sentiments of pre-
WWII era. Interestingly enough, Copland was originally going to use Walt
Whitman as his subject for this commission but changed his mind at the
suggestion of Kostelanetz. In A Lincoln Portrait Copland quotes music from
several other patriotic folk songs. The piece also makes use of narration of
both quotes from Lincoln himself and of Coplands own thoughts on Lincoln.
While not in a strict ternary form, the piece is loosely organized into three
sections. The first hints at a mysterious air that hangs around the idea of
Lincoln and the end of his life. The livelier middle section relate to the time in
which Lincoln lived. The piece closes with a portion that hints at the grandeur
of Lincoln and his legacy. A Lincoln Portrait was written for a narrator,
piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, bassoon, 6 clarinets, alto saxophone, tenor
saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 cornets, 2 trumpets, 4 french horns, 3
trombones, bass trombone, 2 euphoniums, tuba, string bass, timpani. Other
percussion instruments include bass drum, bongos, congas, crash and
suspended cymbals, glockenspiel, snare drum, tam-tam, tenor drum,
triangle, wood block, and xylophone.

A Lincoln Portrait is a hefty piece that would require a lot of devotion


from an upper level wind band. It is a long work but provides many
opportunities for incredible examples of musicianship. This piece would also
fit in well with a unit on American history or the Civil War and could fit into a
program with other American composers. The conductor could also use this
piece to talk about musical sampling and how composers are able to use
other pieces to add to their own. This piece is also different from a lot of
other wind band literature in that it makes use of a narration to add to the
artistic value of the piece.

Piece: Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring


Composer: Reed/Bach
Year Published: 1723/1981
Publisher: C L Barnhouse
Grade Level: III

Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring is based off of a cantata by J.S. Bach under
the same name. The original work features choruses and arias with later
recitatives and movements added. The melody present in Reeds wind band
arrangement of the piece is taken from a cantus firmus chorale prelude. It is
a sweet, flowing melody that features beautiful counterpoints between the
different sections of the band. The music makes use of several dynamic
swells and features constant motion that propels the piece forward to reach
a content, settled end. This piece is written for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, English
horn, 7 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophones, baritone
saxophone, bass saxophone, 3 trumpets, 2 cornets, 4 french horns, 3
trombones, euphonium, tuba, string bass, harp, and timpani.

This piece is one that many students have probably heard but not
played before. The melody is a continuous line that passes through the band
and is supported by harmonic accompaniment. This piece is fairly repetitive
and not too difficult, so it would be very appropriate for an early or
intermediate ensemble. The piece could also be used as a teaching tool for
one of the most important composers of Western music, JS Bach. The
conductor might discuss the genre of the cantata, the specific cantata from
which this piece came, and how it relates to the way the wind band should
perform it. Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring allows a wind band to perform
repertoire originally composed by a famous composer who never wrote
material for that specific ensemble.

Piece: Air for Band


Composer: Frank Erickson
Year Published: 1956/1966
Publisher: Bourne Co. Music Publishers
Grade Level: II

Air for Band harkens back to certain practices found in the Baroque
and Classical periods, and thus is often labeled a neo-classic. It is in a binary
form with melodies and harmonies that sound reminiscent of Bach. It begins
quietly, in a minor key, and develops through the addition of instruments,
louder dynamics, and higher range. Approximately halfway through, the
piece reaches a climax before modulating to a major key and reaching a
maestoso ending. Erickson wrote this piece with beginning instrumentalists
in mind and included several opportunities for educational concepts to be
integrated into a rehearsal. The piece makes use of flute, oboe, bassoon, 3
soprano clarinets, alto clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor
saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 trumpets, 4 french horns, 3 trombones,
baritone, tuba, string bass, crash cymbals, and snare drum.

Erickson himself said that this piece is designed with early


instrumentalists in mind. It would be most appropriate for a young high
school band or a band that suffers from poor instrumentation. The piece is
not very technically difficult but offers enough variety and interest in
harmonic structure and melodic lines to make it enjoyable to play. Air for
Band is quite intimate and the conductor may choose to focus on
intonation, balance and blend, or creating interest in sustained parts. The
conductor could also discuss the genre of neo-classicism and its place in the
history of Western music and wind band repertoire.

Piece: Variations on America


Composer: Charles Ives (Schuman/Rhoads)
Year Published: 1903/1968
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Grade Level: V
Charles Ives composed Variations on America when he was only 18-
years-old and describes the work himself as but a boys work, partly serious
and partly fun. He takes the melody from the well-known song My Country
Tis of Thee and sets it in several variations that cover a vast array of
musical styles. Some are staccato or marcato and mimic that of a march
while others feature running chromatic figures in the woodwinds with the
theme played long and flowingly by the brass. He sets one variation as a
polonaise and another as a scherzo. One variation is extremely dissonant,
and the final variation even hints at the new genre of a ragtime. Variations
on America is composed for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2
bassoons, 6 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, 3 cornets or trumpets, 4 french horns, 3 trombones, euphonium,
tuba, stirng bass and 4 percussion parts. These percussion parts include bass
drum, castanets, suspended cymbals, glockenspiel, snare drum, tambourine,
timpani, triangle, and xylophone.

If a conductor wanted to devote an entire piece to discuss style


differences, they should choose Varations on America. Despite being only
approximately 6 minutes long, Ives travels through seemingly countless
different styles, even pulling from genres in different countries. The piece is
definitely more appropriate for a higher-level ensemble as it features a lot of
technically difficult sixteenth and eighth note passages in the woodwinds and
even in the low brass. The conductor might also be able to use this piece to
discuss patriotism and could perhaps use it in a Veterans Day program for a
school convocation.

Piece: The Red Balloon


Composer: Anne McGinty
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Queenwood
Grade Level: II

Popular composer Anne McGinty wrote The Red Balloon after seeing
a painting of an older man with a small child who was holding a red balloon.
The piece is a moving and emotional portrayal of the balloon floating in the
air. The melody rises and falls as it travels throughout different sections of
the band, starting in the woodwinds before moving through the brass.
Gradually the dynamics of the piece rise and fall before coming to a subtle
climax. The piece also features several solo and soli sections. It is written for
flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, alto saxophone, 2 cornets or trumpets, an optional
tenor saxophone or horn part, low brass and woodwinds, bass drum, bells,
claves, snare drum, suspended cymbal, tambourine, and triangle.

Anne McGinty is a wonderful composer to turn to if a conductor needs


to find quality pieces for early musicians or for ensembles with very sparse
instrumentation, and this piece is an example of one of her beautiful works.
Its beautiful, floating melody offers the wonderful opportunity for students to
explore how to play with matching styles. The several solo and soli
opportunities also encourage independence of parts and place greater
responsibility on the part of the students. The conductor might also use this
piece to discuss the connection between art and music and where composers
derive their musical inspiration.
Piece: Flourish for Wind Band
Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Year Published: 1939/1972
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Grade Level: III

Flourish for Wind Band represents a relatively accessible work by a


composer generally regarded as one of high stature and great skill who wrote
some of the earliest known pieces for wind band. This piece was originally
written as an overture, but the score was lost in 1971. When it reappeared, it
was not available for use by American bands until its publication in 1972. The
piece itself is only approximately 2 minutes long and features fanfare-like
rhythms and scoring that one would expect from an overture. The melody is
legato, simple, and pleasant and provides for nice contrast against the
opening and closing fanfare sections. The scoring includes flute, oboe,
bassoon, 9 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, 3 cornets, 2 trumpets, 4 French horns, 2 trombones, bass
trombone, euphonium, tuba, bass drum, crash cymbal, and snare drum.

Like stated in the program notes for this piece, Flourish for Wind
Band offers a unique opportunity for younger, less experienced players to
perform a piece written by one of the greatest composers for wind band. The
piece is very accessible and would be an appropriate opening to a concert
program. This piece could even be coupled with another piece written by
Vaughan Williams that may prove to be more of a challenge to the ensemble.
It would be an important introduction to the pillars of wind band literature in
the high school setting.

Piece: Rhythm Machine


Composer: Timothy Broege
Year Published: 1986
Publisher: Bourne Co.
Grade Level: II

Rhythm Machine makes use of several repeating rhythm and driving


eighth notes and is in the form of a French rondeau. A simple, repeating
refrain separates 3 distinct verses. Verse 1 is exciting and provides a sense
of urgency through the use of accented and staccato notes. Verse 2, on the
other, hand is lyrical and gentle with a trumpet solo featured. The final verse
can be described as march-like, and royal. The entire work is very accessible
while also providing reputable musical material around which to frame
lessons and rehearsals. The work is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, oboe,
bassoon, 6 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, 3 cornets, 2 french horns, 2 trombones, bass and treble clef
baritones, tuba, timpani, wood block, tambourine, snare drum, bass drum,
and crash cymbals.
This piece would be a great choice for an earlier, inexperienced band
that needs help with articulation or rhythmic accuracy. The eighth note pulse
pervades all of the sections and there are several instances of syncopation
created through the use of accents and other articulation markings. The
different sections provide material for lessons regarding style differences and
how to perform different styles successfully by changing up dynamics and
articulation. Rhythm Machines explicit form would also give the conductor
the opportunity to discuss rondeau form and how it functions within music.

Piece: Down a Country Lane


Composer: Aaron Copland
Year Published: 1962/1991
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Grade Level: III

Originally composed for piano, Down a Country Lane was Coplands


attempt to write quality musical material for the common pianist and
student. Copland, however, qualifies this work by stating that even the more
advanced musician will need to take time to study and rehearse this piece
before performing it in public. It was not until after the piece had been
entirely composed that Copland decided to give it its title, as he chose the
title based on the flowing melody. The piece is in a large ternary form with
specific instructions written into the score on how each section should be
played. It starts with a floating melody in the upper woodwinds before the
low brass joins in to provide harmonic accompaniment. The next section
changes keys and features a flute and trumpet solo. It is slightly more
dissonant than the first and is to be played a little bit faster. Finally, the first
section returns in a similar style to the first section. The wind arrangement of
this piece is scored for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 6 clarinets, 2 alto
saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 cornets, 3 trumpets, 2
french horns, 3 trombones, euphonium, tuba, string bass, and vibraphone.

Down a Country Lane is yet another great example of accessible


wind band literature written by a prolific and estimable composer. Its
beautifully flowing melody is simple enough that less advanced band can
experience success while still offering rich and interesting harmonic and
melodic ideas. A conductor might use this piece to discuss legato style or
ternary form. They could also set up an arranging unit based on some
melodies from this piece since its original composition was for piano. This
piece is also great to highlight some strong players as the accompaniment is
thin at times and there are opportunities for soloists.

Piece: Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night


Composer: Elliot Del Borgo
Year Published: 1978
Publisher: Shawnee Press
Grade Level: VI

This piece is based off of a poem written by Dylan Thomas under the
same title. Instead of being a programmatic retelling of the poem, however,
this composition works to establish the mood and tone of the poem through
music. the entire piece is based around an motive that can be heard in the
very opening. According to the composer, this motive represents life force
that experiences struggles throughout its journey through the piece. Many
times strife is displayed in this particular piece through the use of polytonal
hymns and layering effects between the different sections of the ensemble.
The piece is scored for a wind band consisting of piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2
bassoons, 7 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, 3 cornets or trumpets, 4 french horns, 3 trombones, euphonium,
tuba, celeste or piano, timpani, bass drum, claves, crash and suspend
cymbals, glockenspiel, field drum, marimba, snare drum, temple blocks, tam-
tam, tom toms (4), triangle, and wood block.

This is another work that would only be appropriate for a much more
advanced ensemble. Its rhythms are complex and require a high ability to
count and listen to other parts. The piece is also more atonal and quite
lengthy, perhaps making it difficult for ensembles that struggle with
attention span or endurance. Its strengths, however, are many. The
conductor may (and should) choose to discuss the poem upon which the
piece is built, opening up a discussion of how music and the other arts are
related. Similarly, the conductor may take this opportunity to discuss
atonality or polytonal hymns and how they relate to the piece. This work is
highly expressive and represents the plight of man, something all performers
and audience members will be able to relate to.

Piece: Variants on a Medieval Tune


Composer: Norman Dello Joio
Year Published: 1963
Publisher: Edward B. Marks Music
Grade Level: VI

Variants on a Medieval Tune contains 6 separate portions: a theme


with 5 variations. The piece was commissioned by The Mary Duke Biddle
Foundation and was written for the Duke University Wind Ensemble and its
director, Paul Bryan. Many might find the opening theme In dulci jubilo
quite familiar. Dello Joio takes this theme and expands upon it throughout the
5 variations. The variations differ in tempo and character, suggesting that
Dello Joio was interested in exploring as man different possibilities in sound
of a wind band as possible. The piece was written for piccolo, 2 flutes, oboe,
bassoon, 6 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone
saxophone, 3 cornets, 2 trumpets, 4 french horns, 3 trombones, bass
trombone, euphonium, tuba, string bass, and timpani. There are also 5
additional percussion parts that include bass drum, crash and suspended
cymbals, glockenspiel, snare drum, tam-tam, tubular bells, and xylophone.

Variants on a Medieval Tune would also only be appropriate for a


quite advanced high school ensemble. Its vastly different variations on a
somewhat common theme make necessary the prerequisite knowledge of
several styles, articulations, and dynamics. The piece also offers some
technical challenges. A conductor of this piece could most certainly
incorporate lessons on cantabile melodies and style to performers. They
might also use this piece to teach about theme and variations, and ask
students to look at what makes each variation different from each other.

Piece: A Childhood Hymn


Composer: David Holsinger
Year Published: 1991
Publisher: Wingert-Jones
Grade Level: II

David Holsinger uses the familiar church tune Jesus Loves Me as the
foundation for this work for wind band. It features a slower, legato melody
and harmonic accompaniment. The accompaniment provides flowing motion
that nicely contrasts with the simple melodic line. It begins softly before
crescendoing to reach a tutti climax and fading away to provide a calm close.
Holsinger wrote this piece for flute, oboe, 2 soprano clarinets, low reads, 2
alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, 2 cornets/trumpet, one French horn, two
trombones, euphonium, tuba, timpani, bass drum, bells, and suspended
cymbal.

A Childhood Hymn is a great example of a beautiful, simple work that


would be great for an early or inexperienced wind band. The small scoring
would be great for a program that struggles with instrumentation, and the
piece itself holds artistic merit in all that it can teach young students. The
conductor might choose to focus on phrasing, asking students to sing the
melody and mimic what they sing on their instruments. A piece such as this
is also great for working on intonation, and portions of it could be used as a
quick warm-up activity or for an easier piece that may be more relaxing in an
otherwise challenging concert program.

Piece: Fanfare, Ode, and Festival


Composer: Bob Margolis
Year Published: 1555/1982
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Grade Level: II
Fanfare, Ode, and Festival are three dance-like movements based off
th
of 16 Century Renaissance music of French composer Claude Gervaise. The
three movements are relatively short but contrast greatly in their styles. As
the names suggest, the first movement is a tutti fanfare, making use of the
entire band. The second movement, Ode, is a more foreboding, calmer
movement with the melody being interchanged between sections of the
band. The final movement, Festival, is a happy movement featuring spry,
dance-like rhythms and driving eighth notes. The pieces instrumentation
includes piccolo, flute, oboe, bassoon, 7 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, tenor
saxophones, baritone saxophone, 3 trumpets, 2 french horns, 3 trombones,
bass and treble clef euphonium, tuba, string bass, timpani, bass drum,
chimes, crash cymbals, glockenspiel, snare drum, tambourine, triangle, and
xylophone.

This piece is a shorter, simpler piece great for musicians who are in
between beginner and intermediate. It would be a great way to introduce
students to multi-movement works, and provides three nicely contrasting yet
engaging movements. The conductor of this ensemble might also choose to
mention the history of the music, discussing the Renaissance Era and the
common sounds typical of that time. This piece offers a variety of styles with
which an ensemble could work and would be great as an interior piece for a
performance.

Reference List

The Wind Repertory Project at: www.windrep.org

JW Pepper at: www.jwpepper.com

Program Notes courteous of the Wooster High School Music Department at:
http://www.whsmusic.nvi.net/pdf/winterbandprogram99.pdf

Young Band Repertoire Project at:


http://bandroom.com/YBRP/~bharris/ybrp/Analyses/S99/rhythmmachine.html

Program Notes courteous of the Raleigh Concert Band Organization at:


http://www.theraleighconcertband.org/programs/Arabesque%20-%20Samuel
%20R.%20Hazo.pdf