Sneak peeks of various publishers’ new string orchestra music for next fall are starting to show up in everyone’s mailbox – including Stanton’s!
We have been listening and looking at the new material, and as always, there are standouts, which Stanton’s will be stocking, advertising and including on New String Orchestra Music Reading Sessions. Here are three levels of “Top Choice Original Pieces” from FJH:
HEART OF FIRE by Lauren Bernofsky (Grade 3)
A tribute to those fiery hearts who have left a legacy of a better life for us today – Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony – this energetic tour-de-force kicks in right from the start with a sixteenth note pulse that doesn’t let up until a lyric section in the middle featuring gorgeous woven solos in principal first violin, second violin, viola and cello. The frenzied recapitulation and rhythmic coda then tie it all together.
FAN DANCE by Soon Hee Newbold (Grade 2)
Conjuring up the colorful kimonos, cherry blossoms and the iconic folding fans of Japanese tradition, this delightful, pentatonic pas-de-deux is the perfect vehicle for reinforcing sixteenth notes (four of them on the same pitch alternating with two eighth notes), part independence with cascading entrances and the aural color differences between arco and pizzicato passages as well as staccato and spiccato bowing.
A BEETHOVEN LULLABY (Air on Ode to Joy) by Brian Balmages (Grade 1)
Who says that a piece that is technically a Grade 1 can’t open students’ ears to more mature harmonic layers that ebb and flow from dissonance to consonance? Leave it to the consummate arranging skills of Brian Balmages to come up with a gorgeous string orchestra offering that weaves “modern” harmony around an ethereal melodic core of Ode to Joy. Train your students’ ears as well as their fingers and hands!
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