Best New Marches for High School Band

Marches are a staple of concert band repertoire, and as such remain a standard part of school band curricula and community band performance.  The Stanton’s band staff is pleased to recommend the following new marches for your next concert or adjudicated performance program.

The choices for advanced level groups are dominated this year by Karl King, however, be sure not to overlook the arrangement of John Philip Sousa’s The Lambs’ March, and Larry Clark’s Refining the March Style will be an invaluable tool for developing and improving your band’s understanding and performance of any march.  We highly recommend this item regardless of whether you teach middle or high school, or direct a community band.

All of these arrangements are available from, or give us a call (1-800-426-8742).  We hope that you find these suggestions helpful.  If you intend to use any of these titles for adjudication, don’t forget to order your judges’ scores – ordering now can save you stress come contest time (avoid them being out-of-stock, or worse, temporarily out-of-print). Thanks for reading, and keep following the Stanton’s blog for more concert band recommendations.

Refining the March Style – Larry Clark – Grade 2
Improve your band’s march performance and concept with these 10 exercises/lessons designed to develop and reinforce characteristic march-style elements including specific patterns, phrases, rhythms, and articulations within familiar, stylistically harmonized scale patterns.

Fidelity March – Karl L. King/arr. Andrew Glover – Grade 2.5
One of Karl King’s easier marches, this excellent arrangement is a great way to introduce your advancing band to his music. All of the standard style and formal elements are here plus dotted rhythms and a slight ragtime type syncopation in the A section melody. Great as a contest selection, and solid prep. for the transition to high school music.

Aces of the Air – Karl L. King/arr. James Swearingen – Grade 3
Karl King had a true gift for crafting flawless marches for bands of all levels. This splendid, straight-ahead march is solid, clean & uncluttered, with just the right amount of technical decoration, and marvelous low brass countermelodies that just make it sing.

Georgia Girl – Karl L. King/arr. Gene Milford – Grade 3
You say you’re looking for something different? How about Karl King with a touch of ragtime? Exemplifying his ability to write whatever his circus band needed, King captured the ragtime craze with relish in this vivacious “rag-march.” A truly distinctive gem from the vault of a musical king.

The Lambs’ March – John Philip Sousa/arr. Loras John Schissel – Grade 3
Lead the way to discovering the “unknown Sousa” with this sprightly, effervescent march that absolutely sparkles with creative nuances. It’s pure Sousa, with a few charming surprises around every phrase: catchy syncopations, delicate glissandi, witty echoes, and infectious melodies they’ll be whistling all the way home!

The Victor March – Karl L. King/arr. Gene Milford – Grade 3
As clean, crisp, and perfect as a march can be! Every instrumental line in this highly playable, flawless Karl King specimen is masterfully crafted to exemplify the classic American march. Lovely, singable melodies, ear-catching countermelodies, and an overall sparkle combine in a genuine joy for players and listeners alike.

The Viking – Karl L. King/arr. Andrew Glover – Grade 4
Count on Karl King to define the timelessness of a great march–this magnificent specimen is 100 years old! Composed in 1911 when King was playing in his first circus band at the tender age of 20, it rose to prominence almost immediately whenIndiana Universityborrowed its heroic, singable trio for their school fight song. Incomparable King at his best.


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

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