News & Views Monday, October 15, 2018

Spooky Choices for Concert Band Tuesday, September 25, 2018

fjh-b1739-frecommended by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Dark Ride by Randall D. Standridge, Grade 1.5
A moonlit chase through a darkened forest… A haunted galop-esque character that adds to the thrill… This exciting work features dissonant harmonies, driving percussion, and optional synthesizer to create everything from an organ to voices and an eerie harpsichord. A frighteningly good choice to offer a little something different on your next concert!

The Secret Laboratory by Franklin D. Adams Jr., Grade 1.5
Late one stormy night in a dusty old mansion, a mad scientist is hard at work in his hidden laboratory. The moments tick by as he waits for just the right opportunity to harness the power of the lightning storm…explore the mysteries of “The Secret Laboratory!”

barn-rws-1813-00-fDragon Bones by Brian Bankston, Grade 1.5
Transport your audience to another realm with this exciting musical adventure. A strong heroic melody and a simple syncopated rhythm are used to create this powerful work based on mankind’s fascination with tales of the mythical dragon. It is sure to leave a lasting impression on your students and is full of great teaching opportunities.

Danny Elfman: Music in the Dark arr. Johnnie Vinson, Grade 2
The film music of Danny Elfman is often dark and sinister, but always unique and interesting. This entertaining medley for young players includes themes from “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Spider-Man,” and “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

alfred-46624-fEscapade at Twilight by Michael Kamuf, Grade 2
This exciting and bold original new work for developing bands contains lyrical themes, dissonant harmonies, and a sinister development section combined to create a musical story of a late night adventure that’s gone…well, a little awry! Perfect as an opening or closing selection, your students will enjoy performing this work…but let’s be careful out there!

The Masque of the Red Death Michael Story, Grade 2
Based on the 1842 Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name, this musically colorful depiction will engage your students adding cross-curricular significance to reading the story. Those familiar will recognize the clock striking midnight at the masquerade ball. Highly programmatic and compelling!

Midnight Fair by David Bobrowitz, Grade 2.5
It’s midnight, and all the creatures of the night are gathering for some playful mischief. The instrumentation in this imaginative work constantly evolves, suggesting ghostly apparitions sliding in and out of the magic soundscape. There’s fun for all in this delightfully eerie selection!

grandm-gmm411-fWaltzing with Dragons by Gavin Lendt, Grade 2.5
“Waltzing with Dragons” is a medieval fantasy inspired work for band that harkens back to a more ancient era with its use of modal harmonies. The piece attempts to place the listener in the midst of a medieval festival where one may overhear stories of ancient dragons and battles. The composer’s skills are evident as this lilting waltz unfolds, and both your students and audience will be delighted by this piece that is approachable for middle school and beyond.

Dr. Mayhem by Jeremy Bell, Grade 2.5
Chaos! Destruction! Mayhem! What more could an evil genius ask for? “Dr. Mayhem! and his No-good Nefarious Plot to Destroy L.A.” is a rambunctious, fun, and bombastic work for young bands, ripped from the pages of your favorite super-villain comic book! A quirky and entertaining work that will challenge your young musicians, with changing time signatures, variation of styles requiring performers to switch between playing with heavy accents and a more legato feel. The piece is written with varying sections that feature the low brass and woodwinds, and alternate focus between the treble and bass instruments. Guaranteed to spell doom for boredom in band class!

alfred-46634-fThe Mountain arr. Bob Phillips, Grade 3
Great for the holidays like all TSO pieces – yet based on classical music, so also fitting for any pops concert! Based upon “Mars, the Bringer of War” from The Planets by Gustav Holst and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Greig, this energetic setting of beloved favorites will rock your concert. Includes optional electric guitar, electric violin, electric bass, percussion, and piano parts. For a great opener or closer, this piece can be combined with the corresponding string arrangement. A compelling and unique addition to your holiday program or any pops concert.

A Ride Through the Haunted Mansion by Bryce Newton, Grade 3
A fun and creative composition designed to reinforce 6/8 compound meter. Interesting harmonies and an eerie mood will peak the interest and imaginations of your students and audiences alike. A very enjoyable musical experience to enhance the musicianship of your students!

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. His iPod ranges from jazz to classic and alternative rock, symphonies, and classic songs from Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. His interests include comic books, traditional amusement parks, the Muppets, football and hockey (especially the Steelers and Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.

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