News & Views Friday, May 24, 2019

Cross Cultural Options for String Orchestra Wednesday, March 27, 2019

grandm-gmmor204-frecommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Ireland, Scotland and Mexico all have wonderful musical traditions that can be experienced by your string players with these three offerings at the Grade 2-3 level. Stanton’s always looks for good teaching opportunities, satisfying parts for all sections and positive programmability in the literature they recommend, and these all meet the qualifications. You can’t go wrong with any or all of these top notch titles.

Siesta Dream by David Bobrowitz, Grade 2+
It is obviously Latin, but Bobrowitz steers clear of many of the rhythmic stereotypes, so your students are really going to have to read the rhythms to feel how they fall into the pulse of the piece. They will find the groove naturally, but counting is crucial. The optional maracas will help solidify the beat and with the memorable melody laid over the top, you’ll have a wonderful Lain change-of-pace. Dulces sueños!

grandm-gmmor198-fAnnie Laurie arr. David Bobrowitz, Grade 2+
Are you working on expression and finesse with your middle school/young high school players? “Annie Laurie” is the perfect vehicle to help teach those concepts. The well-known tune is heard in the first violins and cellos, but it is the accompaniment parts that will provide practice in making the piece come alive in its exquisite beauty. It’s the tremolo, pizzicato, rolling eighth note passages, stretched phrases and lush harmonies all happening unobtrusively under the tune that will bring a collective sigh from the audience as the pieces winds to a close at the final morendo.

fjh-st6449-fSheehan’s Pub Band by Chris Thomas, Grade 3
Sounding as if it is a standard Irish jig, this spritely 6/8 romp is actually an original composition inspired by the composer’s visit to Sheehan’s Pub in Killarney, Ireland. The melodic material is shared amongst all of the sections, so everyone gets a crack at manipulating the 6/8 rhythms and coordinating the left and right hands. If you are looking for a piece to work on 6/8 at the Grade 3 level, this one is ideal. It is wonderfully melodic and contains all the rhythmic possibilities in that time signature – including a few surprising rests! Fiddle music is one genre that string players can claim as their own – no one else can fiddle like fiddlers! So take full advantage of the uniqueness of string instruments and give this one a try. You won’t regret it!

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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