News & Views Saturday, May 26, 2018

Community Band Spotlight: New & Unique Marches Thursday, January 11, 2018

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

This post is part of a series highlighting music for community bands.

Marches are a staple of community band repertoire, whether standard concert marches, galops, or star-spangled patriotic warhorses.  While we always keep an ear out for great new arrangements of tried-and-true staples and lesser-known marches by masters like King, Sousa, etc, we like to pay attention to interesting, outside-the-box compositions as well.  The three new titles below are of this sort, intended to add unique, quirky variety to your programming including a Civil War era tune, one from a Sousa opera (yes, he composed more than marches), and a tribute to “man’s best friend.”

Fireman’s Quickstep
arr. Michael Brown
Hal Leonard 1st Brigade Band
Grade 3.5                     $60.00
Although titled as a “quickstep” march, this appealing number from the Civil War era features a moderate tempo and distinctively spirited military style. Scored with plenty of variety in textures and dynamics, this is a wonderfully unique introduction to our musical heritage and critical period in our nation’s history.

The Loyal Legion
John Phillip Sousa
arr. Loras John Schissel
LudwigMasters Heritage of the Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $60.00
A great and very playable march by John Philip Sousa, The Loyal Legion was originally an entry march for his opera, The Queen of Hearts. Now available in a superb edition by Sousa scholar Loras John Schissel and exclusively endorsed by John Philip Sousa IV.

Service Dogs
J.c. Sherman
LudwigMasters Concert Band
Grade 3.5                     $50.00
A refreshing and spirited new march from a young composer, Service Dogs honors the service of man’s best friend. The work is a wonderful tool for teaching both compound meter and march style with first-rate melodies.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the Pittsburgh Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.  He spends his free time being Dad to 2 young children and playing saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.


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