Marches are a staple of band performance and education, and there are a variety of great new choices available this year. From the traditional (Hiland; Mystery Bay March) to the fun and popular (Captain America March), as well as a few original galops/circus marches and patriotic selections, there is something for everyone and every programming opportunity!
Hiland, arr. Larry Clark – Grade 2
Fantastic for learning traditional march style and form, Larry Clark’s arrangements of these ‘lost’ gems by Harold Bennett (a.k.a. Henry Fillmore) are regular Stanton’s Staff Selections, and have become staples of middle school bands across the country. Hiland features a circus-style quality that you can almost hear played by a Wurlitzer band organ on a carousel!
Mystery Bay March, Steve Hodges – Grade 1.5
Appropriately titled, this programmatic march evokes the chase when smugglers would mysteriously disappear in the remote waters off the coast of northwest Washington during Prohibition. This strong, rhythmic march has a mysterious, nautical sound with the flavor of “Drunken Sailor” thrown in. Mystery Bay March is a great choice for developing a strong sense of rhythm, and differentiating between tonguing and slurring.
From the Silver Screen
Captain America March, arr. Paul Murtha – Grade 2
Get your students to ‘eat their broccoli’ and enjoy it! Perfect for teaching many of the elements of march style with a cool film score sound, Alan Silvestri’s bold, patriotic and memorable theme from Captain America: The First Avenger works as a pops piece and a concert march. Paul Murtha’s fantastic arrangement features full, mature scoring, majestic rhythmic drive, and plenty of material for every section of the band! Sure to be a hit with both your students and audience!!
Under the Big Top!
Grand Galop, Johnnie Vinson – Grade 2
This Johnnie Vinson original is brisk right out of the gate! Full of dynamic phrasing, style and tonguing, this one will challenge your band’s tempo and lightness. Can your percussionists keep it going? With limited rhythmic and technical demands, this is a great introduction to the style, and features a melody with a slight fight-song quality.
Thrills and Trills, Scott Watson – Grade 2
An original march, Thrills and Trills features, you guessed it, trills and a whole lot more – whip cracks, trombone smears, and rhythmic, tone-cluster interjections! Although very traditional in form, everyone is in on the fun as call and response figures pass throughout the entire band. A great choice for developing march style and instilling confidence throughout your entire group! For added fun, try pushing the tempo into ‘screamer’ territory – even if it’s just in rehearsal, your students will enjoy the challenge!
Vivo! Galop, arr. Andrew Glover – Grade 2
Arranged by march master Andrew Glover, limited technical demands make Vivo very accessible, but without sacrificing any of the style and fun of the original. Features the woodwinds at the beginning of the break strain, and a raucous shout section where the whole band can let it rip!
Brighton Camp, Randall D. Standridge – Grade 2+
Using the familiar folk songs Brighton Camp, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and The Cruel War as a basis, Randall Standridge has created a unique concert march with a built in American history lesson. Perfect to pay tribute to the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, this arrangement works as a patriotic concert selection, march, and as an interesting choice for contest. Its light style, legato vs. staccato rhythms, and section independence will advance your band’s musicianship, and the layering of the various melodies puts this arrangement over the top!
Hail America, arr. Andrew Glover – Grade 2
Featuring America the Beautiful and America (My Country, ’tis of Thee) along with snippets of other patriotic favorites, Hail America is well-suited for teaching march style to developing bands, and is perfect as a patriotic programming selection!
To the Colors, Ronald C. Knoener – Grade 2.5
Written in the style of a U.S. Civil War marching song, this enjoyable patriotic march features the historic flag-raising bugle call To the Colors. The lightness of style and battery percussion enhances the character and reverence of this march. Open a concert or patriotic program by processing the colors in to this fantastic, respectful work followed by the Star-Spangled Banner!
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