News & Views Monday, April 23, 2018

Best New Marches for Middle School Band Thursday, January 19, 2012

Marches are a staple of concert band repertoire, and as such remain a standard part of school band curricula and community band performance.  The Stanton’s band staff is pleased to recommend the following new marches for your next concert or adjudicated performance program.

We are pleased to feature two original marches for beginning and young bands alongside new arrangements of Harold Bennett and Karl King titles.  In addition, Larry Clark’s Refining the March Style will be an invaluable tool for developing and improving your band’s understanding and performance of any march.  We highly recommend this item regardless of whether you teach middle or high school, or direct a community band.

All of these arrangements are available from, or give us a call (1-800-426-8742).  We hope that you find these suggestions helpful.  If you intend to use any of these titles for adjudication, don’t forget to order your judges’ scores – ordering now can save you stress come contest time (avoid them being out-of-stock, or worse, temporarily out-of-print). Thanks for reading, and keep following the Stanton’s blog for more concert band recommendations.

March of the Champions – Timothy Loest – Grade 0.5
Courage, character, and the indomitable human spirit are conveyed using only six notes. Solid percussion writing (including a tam-tam) really adds color, and the triumphant style works as a beginning concert opener, or even a processional.

Pinnacle of Distinction – Larry Clark – Grade 1.5
Quality, traditional marches are not the providence of upper level bands alone. Larry Clark has written an exciting original march loaded with teaching opportunities that could be right out of the turn-of-the-last-century. A strong melody, counter lines in the low brass, bells, 8th note based rhythms, trio section, dynamic contrast, call and response, a fantastic “shout” section, a “stinger” – it’s ALL here!

Precision – Harold Bennett/arr. Larry Clark – Grade 2
Larry Clark’s arrangements of Harold Bennett marches have become educational and performance staples. Precision is no exception. Its stop-time style initial melody, call and response figures, mix of legato and staccato articulations, and break-strain make this a perfect teaching piece. Your horns, baritones, and saxes will love the counter line in the “shout” section, and your audience will enjoy its “fight-song” type sound.

Refining the March Style – Larry Clark – Grade 2
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.

Fidelity March – Karl L. King/arr. Andrew Glover – Grade 2.5
One of Karl King’s easier marches, this excellent arrangement is a great way to introduce your advancing band to his music. All of the standard style and formal elements are here plus dotted rhythms and a slight ragtime type syncopation in the A section melody. Great as a contest selection, and solid prep. for the transition to high school music.

Aces of the Air – Karl L. King/arr. James Swearingen – Grade 3
Karl King had a true gift for crafting flawless marches for bands of all levels. This splendid, straight-ahead march is solid, clean & uncluttered, with just the right amount of technical decoration, and marvelous low brass countermelodies that just make it sing.

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