Uplifting Programmatic Pieces for Strings – Grade 3-3.5

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

Capture some excitement with these original, spirited, modern compositions!

Blue Mountain by Alexander Safford
Here is a sure way to add excitement to any concert. With the half note=90 in cut time and lots of syncopation and offbeat accents, it is full of vitality. One of the challenges will be keeping the drive going even at softer dynamics. It has a split cello part that adds one more inner layer of involvement and also occasionally offers an optional doubling of the viola part if you need it. The whole piece is a refreshing melodic & rhythmic jolt of upbeat, spirited energy!

Danse Carnivale by Randall Standridge
Useable as a great concert opener, finale or even an encore, Danse Carnivale is a “throwback” inspired by can-cans, galops and quick-steps. Every part has an essential, connected role, tumbling through dramatic changes in tempi, style & dynamics with the quarter note=160. Viva la Carnivale!

On the Pilgrim’s Road by Jeffrey S. Bishop
Capture the excitement of going to Jerusalem in centuries past. You can imagine the pilgrims as they struggle in those ancient times on their way to the Holy Land. The music is full of exciting rhythms contrasted with solemnity, 6/8 vs 3/4, percussive string effects, strums and solemnico style markings. All parts are enjoyably active and essential, so everyone will be kept busy. Different & interesting.

You can find more programmatic options for orchestra on our website, or contact us for personalized recommendations for your ensemble. 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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