News & Views Wednesday, September 26, 2018

AMERICANA for Orchestra Monday, June 04, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

String Teachers – here are some excellent String Orchestra pieces evoking the feel of Americana for young string students. They’re perfect for summer camps and workshops!

Deep Wood by Frank J. Halferty, Grade 3
Reminiscent of Jazz-Bluegrass that Bela Fleck and the Flecktones might offer, Deep Wood puts the cellos and basses in the spotlight, but keeps everyone on their toes with rhythmic layering, bluesy-greasy glissandi and wild color chords. Sounding way harder than it is, it features short duets for principal first & second violin and principal cello & bass plus one short violin solo. For everyone else, just count and groove!

The Girl I Left Behind Me arr. Sandra Dackow, Grade 0.5
All in first position with straightforward rhythms and thematic parts for everyone, this poignant song arranged by Sandra Dackow will be a wonderful addition to any concert. The Girl I Left Behind Me first appears in 18th century Ireland, often known as “Brighton Camp.” It emigrated to the United States along with many other Anglo/Scots/Irish folk tunes and became a popular marching song for soldiers. During the American Civil War, soldiers in both the Confederate and Union armies sang it. A number of cultures have embraced this song, adding their own local lyrics.

Lonesome Valley arr. Jason Krug, Grade 2
From a plaintive and prayerful opening in solo violin, this arrangement of a well-known spiritual builds in power and emotion with each successive verse. The melody passes between voices, and frequent and varied countermelodies are employed throughout, providing ensembles the chance to work on balance of parts. One key change, from G to D, should pose little difficulty. A rich and nuanced selection to challenge your ensemble’s musicality!

When Johnny Comes Marching Home arr. Sandra Dackow, Grade 2.5
An exciting arrangement by Sandra Dackow that students will love to play that remains in first position with strong eighth-note passages and great parts for all. This piece appears in the 1800s and is embraced as traditional folk music by both Ireland and the United States, where it is popularly known as When Johnny Comes Marching Home. The original words “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” are sung by the song’s narrator, a young Irish woman who watched her loved one run away to soldier in a war far away. When he finally does return home to her and his child, he is broken, but she still takes him in and loves him. In more recent times the song has become, in some ways, an anti-war anthem. The American words of the song were popular with both the Confederate and Union Armies during the US Civil War.

Contact us for more information, and don’t forget – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Dan C. has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions. A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.

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