Recommended New Adjudication Options for Junior High Band

imagesSelecting pieces for adjudication is always a challenge.  Whether you’re a band director in Ohio looking for the perfect “optional” selection to pair with your piece off of the OMEA Required Lists, or one of our friends in a state like Kentucky where “anything goes” – there is no specified list for junior high/middle school, these six new titles are all great adjudication options.  All of them made our young band promotion for 2013-14, and they provide a variety of programming styles and teaching opportunities.  Hopefully one of these will be the “perfect fit” for your contest program.  Don’t forget to order your judges’ scores and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.  Best of luck at adjudication!

Beyond the Darkness
James Swearingen
Grade 2.5
A dramatic opening gives way to pulsating percussion, driving subdivision, and syncopation throughout the ensemble as this work alternates between thematic sections.  Layered parts address playing independence while powerful unison ensemble punctuations develop confidence in this exciting concert work.                                             

Beyond the Riverbend
Robert Sheldon
Grade 2
If you’re looking for a really good, new A-B-A overture, this one has it all – an energetic A-section; a light, flowing, B-section with lush harmonic shifts; and a solid transition to the recap.  Throw in multiple off-beat syncopations, a strong melody, and layered counter-melodies on the recap., and you have a fantastic program opener.                                                   

Chant, Chorale and Dance
Bill Calhoun
Grade 2
As the title implies, Chant, Chorale and Dance consists of three contrasting styles: the opening Chant features an incessant 8th note pulse and short scale patterns in thirds; the short Chorale section alternates between legato phrases and stately, rhythmic responses; the closing Dance has an underlying 8th note subdivision and light, staccato melody.  This is an ideal work to address style and tempo changes, and watching the conductor.                                                  

Counterbalance
Todd Stalter
Grade 2.5
Alluding to the musical variety contained within, Counterbalance is built around contrasts.  Full of syncopation, subdivision, 8th note lines that pass from section to section, contemporary, angular sounds, a lovely B-section with nice swells and harmonic shifts, accents, and triplets against 8th notes, this is definitely a work for the maturing ensemble.  It is a perfect optional piece for advanced middle school or high school bands going Class C.                                                   

Cradle Hymn
arr. Earl J. Fox, Jr.
Grade 2.5
Based on a lovely Kentucky folk tune, this is a great programming alternative.  The lyrical first setting contains nice counterlines and layers, and plenty of room for rubato phrasing and shaping.  The rollicking second setting features some 16th note work, jam blocks, and mallets before a last statement of the first setting leading to a peaceful conclusion.                                                    

Credo    
William Owens
Grade 2.5
Latin for “I believe,” the optimistic, inspiring sound of Credo makes for a perfect program opener.  Alternating between sections of 4/4 and 3/4, this work contains bold fanfares, engaging harmonies, and hemiolic rhythms along with a variety of tonal textures before leading to a strong finish.                                            

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Categories: Concert Band, Music Education, New Publications, Staff Picks

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