News & Views Saturday, July 21, 2018

Essential Repertoire for Band Tuesday, September 12, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

I am excited to share a new category on our concert band page, Essential Repertoire.  Believe it or not, we haven’t had such a listing on our website before simply because we had never created one.  Since undergrad repertoire courses can be hit-or-miss (in some cases nonexistent) and often ignore pieces for beginning & developing band, and school music libraries can be a nightmare to organize when you take over a new gig, we thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance toward standard selections at all grade levels that are good educationally and great programming.  These difficulty based categories feature cornerstone repertoire (including marches!) culled from numerous lists and professional development sessions, cross-referenced with the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and our 100+ years of experience as musicians, band directors, and sheet music specialists.  Highlights include:

Beginning Band – publisher grades 0.5-1
– Perfect for 1st-year players
– Includes: Anasazi (John Edmondson), A Prehistoric Suite (Paul Jennings), A Song for Friends (Larry Daehn), and The Tempest (Robert W. Smith)

Developing Band – publisher grades 1.5-2.5
– 2nd-year players to advanced middle school bands
– Includes: Ancient Voices (Michael Sweeney), Creed (William Himes), Entrance of the Tall Ships (James Swearingen), and The Red Balloon (Anne McGinty)

Concert Band Grade 3 – publisher grades 3-3.5
– freshman or secondary high school concert bands, small high school bands
– Includes: Air for Band (Frank Erickson), Kentucky 1800 (Clare Grundman), Nathan Hale Trilogy (James Curnow), and Overture for Winds (Charles Carter)

Concert Band Grade 4 – publisher grades 4-4.5
– advancing high school concert bands/wind ensembles, college or university bands
– Includes: Chorale and Shaker Dance (John Zdechlik), English Folk Song Suite (Ralph Vaughan Williams), First Suite in Eb/Second Suite in F (Gustav Holst), and Scenes from the Louvre (Norman Dello Joio)

Symphonic Band – publisher grades 5-6
– very advanced high school symphonic bands/wind ensembles, college or university bands
– Includes: A Festival Prelude (Alfred Reed), Incantation and Dance (John Barnes Chance), Of Sailors and Whales (W. Francis McBeth), and Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo (Malcolm Arnold)

Check your library.  If some of these titles are in there, program them; if not, build your library by adding a few each year along with your new music.  I hope you find this helpful, and keep Stanton’s as your go-to resource for music education.

About the Author:
A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.

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