News & Views Thursday, July 31, 2014

Improve Your Band with These Recommended Warm-up Tools Thursday, December 01, 2011

With concert band season fully underway, the band staff at Stanton's would like to recommend the following warm-up tools to help your band grow and improve:

Classic Chorales for Band by James Swearingen – Over the years, band directors from around the world have expressed appreciation for the many teaching opportunities that have resulted from using James Swearingen’s First Chorales for Band.  Now, sixteen of his all-time favorite hymns have been added to a brand new collection that will further enhance the value of using quality chorales as part of your daily warm-ups.  Classic Chorales for Band includes sixteen warm-up chorales in eight major and relative minor keys, is skillfully designed to be playable by any size group, includes inspirational quotes with each chorale, and features a comprehensive list of musical terms, rehearsal suggestions, and performance tips.

Five Progressive Chorales for Developing Bands by Brian Balmages – This set of chorales was written to embrace a wide range of musical concepts, allowing directors multiple opportunities for working on ensemble sound, intonation, and phrasing.  Each chorale includes various tempo and dynamic markings, while additional elements, such as fermatas, are introduced throughout.  These chorales will work in a variety of situations - from beginning band (the first chorales use only 6 notes) to accomplished middle school groups.  Two mallet parts are included - an easier part and a more advanced part that includes multiple notes and rolls.  In addition, an auxiliary percussion part is included so students may secure proper techniques on triangle, suspended cymbal, and crash cymbals.  Finally, the piano part is useful for directors wishing to either supplement the ensemble or assist during singing.

Refining the March Style by Larry Clark – Improve your band’s march performance and concept with these 10 exercises/lessons designed to develop and reinforce characteristic march-style elements including specific patterns, phrases, rhythms, and articulations within familiar, stylistically harmonized scale patterns.

Warm-up Fundamentals by Gregg Gausline and Brian Balmages – A daily ensemble routine in a practical format!  Warm-up Fundamentals was conceived as a tool for directors to use as part of a daily ensemble routine.  It covers important fundamental concepts such as breathing, long tones, interval slurs, articulation, flexibility, chords, and chorales.  Each section breaks concepts down to their most fundamental elements before integrating them together.  This gradual approach to the ensemble warm-up helps extend the practical applications of these exercises well into rehearsals and performances.  Each instrument part fits on one folded piece of paper, so it’s extremely practical in size and can fit easily inside a folder without issue.  These warm-ups are also ideal for guest conducting appearances such as honor bands, where conductors need to achieve a uniform sound in a short amount of time.

Visit our concert band page for listings of other band warm-up sets, as well as chorale, technique, rhythm studies, and comprehensive warm-up series.

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