Expressive Programmatic Pieces for Strings – Grade 3

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

The perfect, mellow contrast to more vigorous repertoire!

Smooth Sailing by Thom Sharp
Written in a comfortable “movie music” format with ever-shifting styles covering beauty, grace, wit and romanticism, Thom Sharp has created an excellent Spring Concert piece that will help teach or reinforce expressive shifting, vibrato, harmonics, and subdivision to your students. Everyone has active parts that all synchronize lushly for a relaxing treat perhaps between more vigorous pieces. Aaah!

Fleetwing by Doug Spata
Doug Spata is one of those composers whose works always sparkle. This soaring overture shimmers with accents, syncopation, and grace notes while teaching your students independence as the melodies pass fluidly between sections and the accompaniments parts are just plain fun! It is impressively challenging with satisfying results.

Daybreak by Bud Woodruff
While experiencing this beautiful work, your group’s maturity will evolve like the dawn. Everyone has active, essential parts to keep them musically busy with lots of call and response, syncopation and essential accidentals used to help denote the sunrise as it slowly builds to a fully lighted extravaganza. The piece is sprinkled with solos, so it’s an excellent lesson in keeping the soloists to the fore while playing background parts too. De-light-ful!

She Will Hang the Night with Stars by William Hofeldt
Reminiscent of his Lullaby, The Gift, and Nocturne, here is William Hofeldt at his best with a gorgeous interpretation of a poignant Oscar Wilde poem. Some of Hofeldt’s more recent compositions have been a tad long or too difficult for many school groups, but this one is right in the pocket and positively radiant. With some shifting in upper divisi parts and some accidentals, it will mine the depth of your pupils’ abilities with independent parts that are beautifully active. Nice to have a new Hofeldt piece that most people will savor.

Find more music for orchestra on our website, or contact us for personalized sheet music recommendations!

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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