News & Views Friday, November 28, 2014

Epic Adventures and Tales for Developing Band Monday, November 18, 2013

There is no better way to motivate growth with your developing band than to program some cool titles sure to capture their imagination!  Ranging from the epic scale and awesome history of the Great Wall of China, the movie score style and sound of Battle Quest, and the space sci-fi inspired Dominion, to depictions of the mythical sea monster, the Kraken, and the traditional Native American vision quest, there are plenty of creative programming and music teaching possibilities.  All of these pieces will be fun to play, and sure to be a hit on your concert, as well.

To explore more adventurous sheet music titles for developing band, visit the Adventure, Battles, and Myths & Legends categories in the Junior High School section of our concert band Listening Library.

Age of Empires
Rob Grice
Grade 2
Telling the story of the Great Wall of China, Age of Empires features pentatonic 8th note figures, and both characteristic and modern harmonization. Colorful percussion enhances the work with interesting rhythmic parts in each section of the band. The lyrical B-section is beautiful with figures passed throughout the ensemble. A great programming choice that wins the award for authenticity!

Battle Quest
Mike Forbes
First Plus Performance
Grade 1.5
Written in the style of movie and video game soundtracks, the adventurous, heroic sound and rhythmic punctuations of this piece are guaranteed to be a hit with your students! Mixed meter (2 bars of 3/4 + 1 bar of 2/4) adds intensity (counting!), and rhythmic accents address articulation. The word ‘epic’ really does apply to this piece!

Dominion
Sean O’Loughlin
First Plus Performance
Grade 1.5
Used in science fiction to describe ruling factions in space, this is a musical call to action to preserve the dominion’s rule. Majestic melodies combine with rhythmic quarter and 8th note punctuations and other exciting film score qualities that your students are sure to love!

Of Castles and Kings
Rob Romeyn
Rising Band Green
Grade 1.5
Opening with an explosive brass and percussion fanfare, this piece gives way to layered, chorale-style legato playing in the winds. Perfect for encouraging dynamics and developing blend and balance as well as ensemble phrasing, Of Castles and Kings is a fine concert opener or optional contest selection.

To Conquer the Kraken
Robert W. Smith
Rising Band Maroon
Grade 2
Embark on a North Sea adventure using strong unison ensemble statements followed by flowing interactive lines to conquer the legendary, mythical sea monster, the Kraken. Robert W. Smith’s trademark rhythmic punctuations and fantastic percussion writing bring this work to life, and create works that students love playing!

Vision Quest: A Rite of Passage
James Swearingen
Rising Band Green
Grade 1.5
Based on the Native American rite of passage, the legato, reflective opening provides plenty of opportunity to work on phrasing, blend, and balance. The rhythmic, primitive B-section continues the emphasis on balance, with attention to articulation and contrasting legato phrases, and call and response phrases are used throughout.

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