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Topic: Star of the County Down

  1. #1

    Star of the County Down

    "Star of the County Down" is an old Irish ballad set near Banbridge in County Down, in Northern Ireland. The song shares its melody with many other works, including the almost identical English tune "Kingsfold", well known from several popular hymns, such as "Led By the Spirit."

    The song is sung from the point of view of a young man who chances to meet a charming lady by the name of Rose (or Rosie) McCann, referred to as the "star of the County Down". From a brief encounter the writer's infatuation grows until, by the end of the ballad, he imagines wedding the girl.
    Basically, I really like this tune, so I decided to arrange it. The beginning is the 4/4 ballad version. Then I put it in fast 3/4. Yeah, that's about all I have to say about it, really. Just tell me what you think.

    This tune can be heard in famous pieces such as the first movement of Secon Suite in F and in the first movement of English Folk Song Suite(Or maybe the third movement, but I think first).


    Also, sorry for the odd cutoff. I was trying to do something, but it just made the cutoff sound weird.

    I forgot to mention, it is written for a concert band without saxophones. I kinda forgot to put them in, so I just kinda wrote it without.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: Star of the County Down

    "that's the gem of Irelands' Crown,
    young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann,
    She's the Star of the County Down"

    I love these old folk tunes and your setting of this one is very well done.
    Whether it's Percy Grainger or Copeland, I have always enjoyed hearing these tunes arranged and orchestrated. You have made a nicely balanced ensemble and created some interesting turns on the melody and accompaniment. I like the bit of chromaticism near the end as well.
    Thanks for sharing this one! Regards, John (bigears)

  3. #3
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Bellingham, WA

    Thumbs up Re: Star of the County Down

    Excellent arrangement and scoring.
    I like new and interesting arrangements of old songs. I would venture that a lot of HS and College bands would like to have this chart.
    Do I denote another trombonist/arranger?


  4. #4

    Re: Star of the County Down

    Thanks guys! This folk song in particular has been one of my favorites. I had been listening to a lot of Grainger and Holst recently. I love English and Irish folk song arrangements, but this was the first time I composed one. Glad you guys liked it!

    And sosmus, yes, I had just finished cleaning my trombone before I wrote this. But actually, I'm normally not great at arranging. I'm more of a trombonist/composer.

  5. #5

    Re: Star of the County Down


    Very lovely adaptation of this Irish gem.

    Very good listening because of the way
    you rendered your instruments. It's always
    a pleasure to hear some native songs regardless
    of country, etc.......

    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 25.5, DORICO 1.2.10, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.51, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  6. #6

    Re: Star of the County Down

    Maybe I should do some more Irish/English folk songs. I have been listening to a lot of Grainger/Host/Vaughan Williams/Malcolm Arnold lately. Maybe I can do Green Bushes next....I dunno. I'll have to think about it.

  7. #7

    Re: Star of the County Down

    Cransworth - that's a beautiful arrangement! If you fix that ending I'm putting that one on my iPod!

  8. #8

    Re: Star of the County Down

    raweber, I'll fix it later. I have to go to a camp for a week. However, I did start another composion for Green Bushes. I'll have that posted in a week.

  9. #9

    Re: Star of the County Down

    Well done, Cransworth!

    Grainger and Holst are the ones to listen to for "classic" band scoring, and I can hear the influence. Don't forget the saxes, though! They really do add to the character of the sound, and -- when well-written -- make for a rich harmonic and melodic element.

    Very nice rendering and use of creative devices in this. Congratulations!


  10. #10

    Re: Star of the County Down

    Very nice arrangement.


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