Combo Concerts: Band-O-Rama

band o ramarecommended by Ken Tilger and Rachel Steele

The concert schedule for lots of schools is the same year-in and year-out.  Consider shaking things up this year with a “combo” concert!  Combine your groups across levels (imagine how big your band will be with students grades 5-12!) or across genres (your 6th grade choir would love to sing a piece or a medley with your high school jazz band!).

Ending the school year with a “mass” concert of bands in all grade levels is a common enough practice.  It’s great for your beginner students to hear the more advanced groups, and good for your high school bands to remember how exciting that first year of band was.  Of course, once you have all of those kids in the same room, everyone wants to hear them play together.  It’s the same challenge every year:  Pieces that are easy enough for your beginners make your older students roll their eyes; but who wants to spend the time re-writing and editing a grade 4 piece so that your 5th graders can play too?

THERE IS A SOLUTION that doesn’t involve you earning more grey hairs!  Several pieces are available that are specifically designed for this purpose, with all of the work done for you.  Each of the pieces below comes in two or three different versions that are intended to be played together.

bandoramaBand-O-Rama by Sandy Feldstein and Larry Clark

High School Set (PT-YCB06A-00)………………………………………………….$40.00

Elem./Intermediate Set (PT-YCB06B-00)…………………………………….$40.00

Band-O-Rama is a wonderful march designed for combined performance of beginning, intermediate and high school bands. The composition is available in two versions, one for high school band and one with parts for both elementary and intermediate bands.   Your high school students will play their parts (an easy grade 3) without much effort, while elementary students will need to be able to play in the keys of Bb and Eb Concert (limited range) and have mastered the dotted quarter/eighth note rhythm.  This piece is in the standard form of an American march, so it’s a great piece to being teaching about that form and tradition.

shorewood overtureShorewood Overture by Michael Sweeney

All-In-One Set, serves all three levels (04003858)………………………………..$95.00

Rather than the typical massed band number where everyone plays at once, this ingenious overture is written for 3 separate levels of player and allows the players of each level to be featured briefly by themselves, along with sections where everyone plays together. The easiest level includes nothing more difficult than 8th notes (no dotted rhythms) and all clarinet notes under the break, while the intermediate part is perfect for your older middle school students, involving more complex rhythms and an expanded range.  In addition, the “Level 3” parts include cues (also in the Level 3 score) allowing the older students to “jump in” for security if needed.  Includes scores and parts for all levels!

winged victoryWinged Victory by Brian Balmages

Grade 4 Version (B1340)………………………………………………………………..$75.00

Grade 2.5 Version (B1342)……………………………………………………………..$50.00

Grade 1 Version (B1341)…………………………………………………………………$40.00

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful and inspiring work with such variety of styles and musical material. The eternal fight for freedom and the spirit of community form the groundwork for this impressive mix of proud fanfares, undaunting rhythms, and heartfelt lyrical passages.  The most difficult version is a true grade four, providing a challenge for your older musicians, while even the earliest beginners can handle the easiest version.  The intermediate version has simplified variants of the more difficult material in the fanfare sections, allowing them to be a big part of the action.  Beginner band directors should be aware the the elementary students do rest for a large portion of the piece, so working on musicianship and listening skills is a must!

About the authors:

Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoys comic books, playing with his young son, and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band. You should check out their album “Walk On Out the Door” available on iTunes and Amazon.

Rachel has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!

 

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

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