Develop Lyricism & Ensemble Playing in Your High School Band

Lyrical works for concert band fill important programming and educational needs.  First, they provide that breath of fresh air between standard overtures, marches and concert works, but they also allow for the development of ensemble blend and balance, intonation, group phrasing and dynamics, expression, control, and endurance resulting in more mature musicianship.  Lyrical selections are as much a staple of band programming as wind band standards and marches, and there are a number of excellent new selections perfect to fill that slot on your concert and contest programs.

Ave Maria
Kevin A. Memley, arr. Preston Hazzard
Originally a composition for chorus by Kevin A. Memley, this adaptation by Preston Hazzard makes expert use of the various tone colors available for band. Cascading waterfall effects are represented in the mallet percussion and woodwinds, while an underlying rhythmic texture provides a flowing background for the lyric melody. The piece builds nicely to a full band climax before returning to a quiet and delicate mood for the close.

James Syler
Long lyrical lines are highlighted by ever-changing harmonies and textures in this beautiful work. Intentionally designed to be playable by bands with moderate range and technique, this work focuses on musicality and is sure to provide your students with an enriching experience.

Down in the Valley
arr. Pierre La Plante
The most well-known and beloved American mountain ballad, set for concert band by master folksong tunesmith-arranger, Pierre LaPlante. Beautiful and sensitive writing.

Scott Boerma
Written in memory of a prominent band director who touched the lives of so many, Shadows is an emotional and passionate piece by composer Scott Boerma demonstrating heartfelt thoughts of admiration.

Shadows of the Equinox
Robert Sheldon
As summer ends, the chill of the autumn air awakens feelings within us. The shadows are longer in late afternoon and darkness comes early. The trees are losing their leaves and their gnarled trunks and branches take on sinister profiles against the looming twilight. We shudder at the cold wind. Our pulse quickens and we suddenly want to return to the safety and warmth of home. Night falls and we are once again at peace. We say a final farewell to the carefree days of summer and accept the relentless march of the seasons. Winter will soon be here.

arr. Julian Bond
Julian Bond’s rich arrangement of this popular traditional American melody is aimed at developing a warm ensemble sound and expressive phrasing. The palette of colors changes throughout to allow each section to shine as the melodic responsibilities are passed around the ensemble. The piece ebbs and flows from subtle splashes of light to dramatic presentations of melody creating an overall effect that is contemporary and picturesque.

Silent Noon
Ralph Vaughan Williams, arr. Ed Huckeby
Originally written by Vaughan Williams as a vocal setting of a sonnet by Dante Gabriel Rossini, this beautiful art song makes a dramatic musical statement through its flowing melodic lines and creative harmonies. Ed Huckeby has transformed this classic for concert band with colorful scoring featuring the woodwind choir and vulnerable melodic lines in the horns and trumpets.

With Every Winter’s Breath
Randall D. Standridge
With Every Winter’s Breath is a breathtakingly gorgeous work inspired by the idea that even after death, a person’s memory can inspire, comfort, and influence our daily lives. A poignant original melody and Go Tell It on the Mountain are woven together in a stunning, emotional tapestry.

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Categories: Concert Band, Music Education, New Publications

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