Music for Small Pep Band?

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  • #13072
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    I am in my second year at a small school district in a rural area. Of course, as a small rural district, there is a lot of focus on athletics, and I constantly am asked how we can improve our pep band at the school. There are a couple issues that I need to address: 1) Naturally, we have a small band. We only have one tuba, one baritone, one trombone, one tenor sax. 2) A lot of our musicians are also athletes, so often we are missing strong players because they are on the team we are playing for. Our top two trumpets is on the football team and most of our strong woodwinds play volleyball. Basketball season is a nightmare, because it’s a popular sport around here, and the schedule makes it very difficult to ensure that everyone shows up. A lot of the students who are able to play with the pep band are younger players, since they are on B or C squads instead of Varsity and thus are able to be in the band when their games are done.

    Based on these issues, I think my efforts are best put towards buying some new music for the pep band. I would like to get some music in which a lot of parts are doubled to make up for the small size of the band, and so that I know the parts will be covered even when I’m missing players who are on the field/court. I would also like it if it was fairly easy and not too high, so that my younger players can actually manage playing it. Are there any charts out there that fit this description? You get extra credit if you can find a publisher or series that specialize in this type of music!

    (A good example is our arrangement of “Louie Louie”. It was from Hal Leonard in their “Power Charts” series. It seems like this series was meant to be versatile, and it grouped melodies/harmonies by groups of instruments, so that everything was covered by multiple instruments. However, this is a pretty old arrangement, and I haven’t been able to find any other songs from the series that is still in print.)

    #13170
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    You may be able to get away with the FLEX Band series from Hal Leonard. Even though they are geared towards concert bands, they have several titles that would work well with pep band (i.e. “Hey” Song, Smoke on the Water, etc.). There are also collection books like the COMBO BLASTERS series by Alfred that can be played by as few as 4 parts. At the very least, you can arrange your own stuff.

    #13291
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    One piece that we play a lot is Paint it Black arranged by Mike Story. Easy to play, not high for brass, and everything is doubled.

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