Orchestra “Alternatives”

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

A touch of rock, country, folk and ragtime, just perfect for your young players’ Spring Concert!

Fiddling Farmers arr. Carrie Lane Gruselle, Grade 1
The farmer is celebrated fiddle-style in this trio of folk songs: “Old McDonald, “The Farmer in the Dell,” and “Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow.” Various eighth note patterns will provide wonderful training for the right hand. While expanding their bow length with the legato long-short-short pattern, young string players are also performing a great number of bow lifts or retakes to develop their control of bow placement.

Pizzicato Fizz by Steven Rosenhaus, Grade 1
Based on a 12-bar blues pattern, this playful string work for first or second year players will thoroughly engage young players and give them a fine piece for a successful early performance; all notes for strings are played either with open strings or with first finger. As the title indicates, the string parts are played pizzicato, and a non-optional piano part lays down a solid rock groove. Enjoy this super-fun, easy string work with your students!

Rosintown Rock by Benjamin P. Snoek, Grade 1.5
This fun alternative-style original works great with beginning strings and sounds much harder than it is. Students will love the energetic rock beat! The suggested drum part really drives the piece.

Simple Gifts arr. Carrie Lane Gruselle, Grade 2
Lighthearted and energetic, this arrangement ofSimple Gifts suggests a dance-like character. With its familiar and captivating tune supported by a gentle but persistent underlying rhythmic motif, students will study balance of sound, staccato and legato bowing styles. Very playable and creatively arranged, it has interesting, active parts for everyone.

Cakewalk Strut by Carl Strommen, Grade 2
The “Cakewalk”, also known as the “Walkaround” or “Prize Walks,” was a late nineteenth-century Southern dance form set to the infectious, even eighth-note pulse of Ragtime. A partner dance, judges would evaluate the elegant bearing of the men, the gracefulness of the women and the inventiveness of the pair of dancers. The last remaining pair (“winners”) would often be presented with an elaborately decorated cake. This strut is perfect for string orchestras that have an abundance of upper strings. The top three voices carry most of the action while the cellos and basses anchor the “ooh-pahs” under the syncopated Ragtime rhythms. A great lesson in subdivision, with the emphasis on the “and” of the beat, there are handy accents to capture the rhythmic feel as well as bow lifts and ties. Second violins get a crucial D# on the D string too.

Find more novelties for strings on our website, or contact us – we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect new piece for your ensemble! And remember to shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Dan C. has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions. A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Categories: New Publications, Orchestra, Staff Picks

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