Great New Works for High School Concert Band

Choosing new music for your high school band is always a challenge.  The sheer amount of new music makes it a daunting task.  The first of our features of Stanton’s Staff Selections for high school band for the 2013-14 school year showcases a handful of fantastic concert works at grades 3-3.5.  There is a nice mix of styles and themes, and these selections are perfect for optional adjudication programming (Ascending is on the Ohio high school Class C list for 2014).  As always, they will be fun to play, interesting to listen to, and are worth adding to your concert band library.  To see the rest of this year’s Stanton’s Staff Selections for concert band click here.

Larry Clark
Grade 3
Uplifting and inspiring, a touching tribute to young lives lost, this piece takes the listener on an emotional journey through the stages of grief.  More importantly, though, it presents a celebration of life itself and of the joys of living, and the good that can often come from tragedy.

El Camino Real
Alfred Reed, arr. Robert Longfield
Grade 3.5
Composed by Alfred Reed in 1986, El Camino Real continues to be a repertoire staple for advanced ensembles. By shortening the duration and reducing the instrumentation and extreme technical demands, Robert Longfield has masterfully adapted this gem into an authentic sounding edition that maintains the rewards and distinctiveness of the original.

In the Valley of the Sun
James Curnow
Grade 3.5
Commissioned by the Sun City, Arizona Concert Band, this three-part overture kicks off with a rollicking and rhythmic Western-style theme. The lyrical middle theme musically depicts the stark beauty of the Arizona desert with a flowing, yet angular melody before the western flavor rides back toward an exciting and driving conclusion.

Earl J. Fox
Grade 3
A brassy, syncopated opening and fast-driving A-theme moves to a lovely Adagio Cantabile, with beautiful solos for flute, oboe, trumpet, horn and trombone, and eventually, an over-the-top Finale.

Tudor Sketches
William Owens
Grade 3
This magnificent three-movement work pays homage to the House of Tudor, the royal house that ruled England in the 16th century. A blithe woodwind anthem and a rollicking dance heralds in Hampton Court, a principal residence of King Henry VIII. Good Queen Bess, the regal second movement, depicts the court of Queen Elizabeth I.   The intrepid Hunting at Chobham portrays an aggressive game of chase in the vast 500 acre hunting park held by the Tudors for nearly 70 years.

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

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