Beginning band is such a great time for students as they try new things and learn new skills. The music that you program can really make a difference in helping them learn and grow, setting them up for success, and, hopefully, capture their imagination. For these reasons, Stanton’s band staff takes pride and thoughtful consideration in the pieces that we recommend for beginning and developing band each year, and creates our own descriptions for those titles. Besides, students are encouraged and feel like they’re making progress by “graduating” to real sheet music instead of performing from their band book, so why not program for your first-year players the way you would for your best junior high or high school band.
Our Staff Selections for beginning band this year include 2 concert openers, a number of different styles, 2 programmatic pieces, and a setting of a familiar sea shanty. Educationally the ranges are fairly contained, of course, and there are opportunities to teach and reinforce basic diatonic scale patterns, basic 8th note rhythms, articulation, dynamics, and theme and variations. These pieces also feature colorful percussion, and, most importantly, are interesting music that is fun to play!
Anthem of an Era
Tyler S. Grant
Celebratory concert openers at this level are few and far between. Tyler S. Grant gives us a work that is majestic with driving rhythms and contrasting lyrical passages. Conservative ranges and basic 8th note rhythms inspire confidence and set your ensemble up for success, while its bold sound is sure to impress!
House of Lords
Perfect as an opener with its fanfare style, the majestic, regal quality of this piece accurately depicts the English style of its namesake. Basic diatonic scale patterns will begin developing articulation and fingering technique, and although most of its musical components are basic, the quality of stylistic writing is impressive.
The Ruins of Tulum
Intense and dissonant, both your winds and percussionists will have plenty of fun with this ancient sounding work about a Mayan city at the height of its power! In addition to claves, triangle, and marimba, driving drums set a primitive tone, while your winds address changes in articulation, and strong dynamic contrasts.
Sea Shanty Variations
Pirate themed works are always popular, and Sea Shanty Variations is based on the familiar sea shanty Drunken Sailor. Perfect for addressing 8th notes, independence in the low brass, and theme with variations in style and tempo, your students will love this arrangement!
Colorful percussion and powerful wind writing bring this depiction of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia to life. Your audience will be surprised by a programmatic work of this quality from a beginner group that features basic 8th notes and only the first six pitches, and your students will have fun with the clapping and foot stomping!