News & Views Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Favorites for Spring & Summer Programming Wednesday, February 12, 2014

“Hi.  Do you have any new patriotic/novelty/solo feature/fun arrangements for concert band?”

We get this type of question regularly, and not only are there new arrangements in each of these categories this year, our band staff likes them enough to include them in our Staff Selections and feature them here!  Each one fills a specific programming need, and is perfectly suited for spring high school programming or summer community bands.

Although there are plenty of patriotic arrangements available, occasionally it is nice to pay tribute to our nation with a stirring original concert work instead of the usual patriotic fare.  Brian Balmages’ Always United, Forever Strong does just that, and will add some variety to the patriotic selections in your library.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted novelty or encore number, you can’t go wrong with Curtain Call by John Wasson, composed for the Dallas Brass.  It features every section of your band, and is a programming throwback – a fun finale or encore number perfect for concerts “on the green”, or as a lesson in American wind band history for you high school group!

Divertimento for Tuba and Band is easily the best solo feature we’ve heard in a long time.  Its three contrasting movements highlight the flexibility of the instrument, and while sincere in its musicality and presentation, it never takes itself too seriously.  It’s enjoyable listening from beginning to end and a worthwhile showcase for your finest tubist.

Lastly, the aptly titled Fusion Generator by Ryan Fraley is just that.  The arrangers at FJH always capture the character of the style they’re going for perfectly, and this rock fusion chart just grooves and features an improvised solo section.  Great as a programming alternative!

Always United, Forever Strong
Brian Balmages
Patriotic – Grade 4
This dynamic concert opener reflects on the power of a community coming together to be greater than the sum of its individual members. A single note fanfare progressively builds and blossoms into a massive declaration of power and might. Glorious and resolute, this is a perfect programming alternative to the standard patriotic fare.

Curtain Call
John Wasson
Encore/Novelty – Grade 3
Originally composed for the Dallas Brass as part of a collection entitled Brass Grooves, this celebratory work really comes to life in this sparkling setting that features every section of the band. Conceived as a tribute to all the great finales and encores, it’s a flashy, energetic flag-waver sure to end your concert with pizzazz.

Divertimento for Tuba and Band
David Bobrowitz
Solo Feature – Grade 3; Solo Grade 4
This three-movement solo feature for tuba entertainingly showcases the many qualities of the instrument– flashy, whimsical, tender, and sometimes in-your-face! Each movement is a delightful stylistic gem in its own right (Kinetic Energy, Lullaby, and March) and all are a unique departure from the standard “solo feature” dryness.

Fusion Generator
Ryan Fraley
Fusion Rock – Grade 3.5
This fusion rock chart features rhythm section and can also showcase electric guitar. A great way to add a pop element to your program, this piece is also an ideal vehicle to feature your alto or tenor sax player in an improvised solo section. Memorable melodies and a groovin’ bass line will leave a lasting impression on both students and audience.

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