recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist
Prepare for Halloween with one of these spooky choices for string orchestra!
Attack of the Walking Basses by Bob Phillips, Grade 1.5
Perfect for young orchestras, this Halloween bass-tacular features the entire bass section playing walking bass lines. The piece is in 1st position for violins, violas, and cellos, and everyone gets to play exciting tremolos.
TEACH • walking bass line, tremolo, F and C natural, dynamics
ORCHESTRATION • feature the often unheralded bass section
PERFORMANCE • Halloween novelty is sure to be a kitschy hit
Legend of the Ghost Stallion by Richard Meyer, Grade 2.5
This ode to the Wild West begins with a mysterious introduction using the folk song “All the Pretty Little Horses” in an eerie setting that will send shivers up the spines of performers and audience members alike. Brief solos for violin, viola, and cello are heard. The pace then picks up as we hear the driving and energetic theme of the Ghost Stallion riding through the moonlit countryside. The repeated galloping rhythm (eighth/two sixteenths) appears in stretches and is designed to improve your students’ abilities to perform this all-important bowing pattern. This picturesque and educationally sound selection by Richard Meyer is sure to capture the imagination and improve the technique of everyone in both intermediate and more advanced orchestras.
TEACH • D minor/E minor, 8th/2-16th rhythm, glissandi, tremolo
ORCHESTRATION • short solos for principal violin, viloa, cello
PERFORMANCE • “All the Pretty Little Horses” plus the wild west
Apparitions by Doug Spata, Grade 2.5
“Apparitions” is a diabolical selection that starts off with some fun fingering challenges and string crossings and then ups the ante by getting faster…and faster…and faster! Not only is it a great piece to help young musicians master technical challenges, such as chromatic fingerings, it also helps them listen to each other and practice watching their conductor! Students and audiences will enjoy the spooky-fun style and orchestra teachers will appreciate the technical and ensemble playing skills that the piece requires.
TEACH • chromatic fingering, string crossing, watch the conductor
ORCHESTRATION • everyone gets the twisty-turny melody
PERFORMANCE • the direction of the melody is full of surprises
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, and is recently retired – congrats, Dan!