Concert Literature for small band
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I am already beginning to think about our March concert in regards to selecting literature for both of my ensembles. Here is my instrumentation. For the high school I have: 1 flute, 1 oboe, 2 clarinets, 2 alto saxes, 1 bari sax, 2 trumpets, 1 french horn, 1 trombone, 1 baritone, and 5 percussionists. They generally play music that is 2.5-3 in grade level. The junior high band has the following instrumentation: 2 flutes, 3 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 1 alto sax, 3 trumpets, 1 french horn, 1 trombone, 1 tuba, and 3 percussionists. They can generally handle music that is 1-2 in grade level. I want them to have a march so we are able to explore the layout of a march, but I also am looking for something that will expose them to a minor key signature. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
James Swearingen arranged several Karl King marches that are appropriate for a small high school band- the United Nations March is probably my favorite of these, although it’s not in a minor key. I think The Peacemaker is in a minor key, though. Not sure about your junior high band. It’s harder to find the combination that you need. Luckily, your balance seems to be okay in both groups.
Have you tried pieces from the Flex-Band series by Hal Leonard Publ? They are mostly grade 2-3, but some of the grade 2 stuff is very easy. I have the same dilemma with my high school band and have to re-write almost all of their performance pieces. The Flex-Band arrangements save me a lot of time.
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