Uplifting Programmatic Pieces for Strings – Grade 0.5-1.5

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

Inspire your beginners and their audience with these winners!

cfn-pas15-fOath of Honor by Larry Clark
Perfect as a concert opener for first timers, Oath of Honor is a super easy yet majestic piece that should bring about the feeling of pride with its ceremonial and celebratory nature. It is written for the youngest of students in mind with minimal notes, block scoring and simple repeated eighth-note rhythms. The modern harmonies put it a cut above other pieces at this level and will “stretch the ears” of your students in a very good way. There is also a great teaching opportunity with an empty beat “1” so don’t miss this one!

Presto by Robert Sheldon
Grab your beginners when they are freshly excited and get them to show their spirit and enthusiasm with this joyful and fast-paced gem. With a simple 5-note theme ,it has repeated eighth notes in constant rhythm patterns with the focus generously shared among everyone. The students will have a blast and so will their audience.

fjh-st6393-fJubilee Fanfare by Soon Hee Newbold
Experience the sounds and celebrations of an ancient festival in this fantastic concert opener. Inspired by Celtic dances and the drones of an ancient stringed instrument called the hurdy-gurdy, this energetic work, with generously shared melody, will be a huge hit with your students and audience. Plus you can use it to teach marcato bowing, the mixolydian mode, snap pizzicato plus Bb and F natural.

Marble Falls Rondo by Bud Woodruff
Honoring Arkansas’ contribution to the marble for the Washington Monument, this flowing programmatic work gives every section melodic material and activity. There is a quirky middle section for violas and cellos that will bring smiles. Teaching elements include setting the bow, feeling 4/4 in a slow cut time and C natural accidentals.

alfred-44837-fA Spark of Courage by Doug Spata
What a great way to open or close a young orchestra’s concert. A modern & joyful gem using only the notes of the D major scale, it will not only exude a sense of honor and duty, it will also help teach staccato bowing, counting rhythmic rests, and keeping a steady 8th note pulse. Plus there is plenty of activity for everyone that is passed back and forth so no one will say “I’m bored!”

Our Heroes by Susan H. Day
A moving tribute to all the people in our lives we admire as role models, here is a soul-stirring selection that will make everyone proud. Excellent for smaller or younger groups since second violin doubles viola and bass doubles cello. Teaching elements include using long, full bows, the D.S. al Coda concept, and low second finger in the first violins.

You can find more options for young string players on our website, or contact us for even more repertoire ideas. 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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