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Topic: Some Concert Band Info

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  1. #1

    Some Concert Band Info

    Hi, everyone...

    As life approaches normalcy (albeit at a glacial pace) here in the Land of Snorlax, I'd like to open up some discussion of composing/arranging for the concert band/wind ensemble.

    The US Marine band has an opening for euphonium...here's the audition excerpt list:

    “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms” (Mantia)
    “The Stars and Stripes Forever” (Sousa)
    March from Suite in F for Military Band, Opus 28, No. 2 (Holst)
    Overture to Benvenuto Cellini (Berlioz/Patterson)
    The Roman Carnival Overture, Opus 9 (Berlioz/Godfrey II)
    Chaconne from Suite in E-flat for Military Band, Opus 28, No. 1 (Holst)
    “Fiesta del Pacifico” (Nixon)
    Theme and Variations, Opus 43a (Schoenberg)
    Aegean Festival Overture (Makris/Bader)
    The Pines Near a Catacomb from The Pines of Rome (Respighi/Duker)
    “Molly on the Shore” (Grainger/Rogers)
    Toccata Marziale (Vaughan Williams)
    Jupiter from The Planets, Opus 32 (Holst/Smith)
    Marche Hongroise from La Damnation de Faust, Opus 24 (Berlioz/Bowlin)
    “Rocky Point Holiday” (Nelson)
    Colonial Song (Grainger)


    Ironically, I happened to come across the list I had to prepare in 1980 when I was a finalist for a euphonium seat in the West Point band*, and it is virtually identical.
    Note that there is quite a mix here...marches, orchestral transcriptions, theme & variation warhorses, British folksong suites, and 60s-ish band pieces.


    *How many of these pieces do you know in their band form?

    *How many of you have heard of Ron Nelson?
    *How come no piece is more recent the 60s (I could be a few years off in a case or two)?
    *Why is this list virtually identical to the one I prepared 31 years ago?
    *Has band writing not progressed since then?
    *What post-1960s pieces should be on the list that aren't? (generally speaking...not just because they have cool euphonium parts)



    One thing I've had on the back burner is to alert composers/arrangers to the possibilities of the wind ensemble and brass band, so I'll get the ball rolling...


    My "brother" Danny Williams...weigh in, please.
    Reber Clark, weigh in, please.
    (sounds like "America's biggest Loser")


    Snor "that list is giving me flashbacks of 10-hour practice days in 1980" lax



    *I went up to West Point to play for the finals but had to take a physical. When the doctor saw the scar on my spine where it is wired together, I was sent home instantly.
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  2. #2

    Re: Some Concert Band Info

    Hey Snor,

    Saw the post. Will respond in detail soon.

    Still glad Snor, Jr. is okay.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  3. #3

    Re: Some Concert Band Info

    If I were not so old and crunched, I would certainly spend some time writing original material and also arrangements for band.

    I have written much music for band through the years. It was all on manuscript paper...and now I can't find it! It's packed away in boxes somewhere but I forgot where. If I can dredge up some strength I will make another search for it.

    Regards,
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  4. #4

    Re: Some Concert Band Info

    I have also written somehwat for band (concert and symphonic bands) and other primarily brass ensembles. Like Larry, it's all packed away in boxes somewhere...

    My most recent stab was my "Fanfare for Everybody: There's No Such Thing as Common" completed in Nov. 2010. It is for brass choir, drumline and some other percussion.

    http://www.box.net/shared/finzngz1o0

    As soon as I finish my current orchestral piece, I will be focusing mainly on more band music at the (recent) request of several of my friends who are band directors. More to follow...
    Arvid Hand
    Theory-Comp./Piano
    ASCAP

  5. #5

    Re: Some Concert Band Info

    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax View Post
    *How many of these pieces do you know in their band form?

    *How many of you have heard of Ron Nelson?
    *How come no piece is more recent the 60s (I could be a few years off in a case or two)?
    *Why is this list virtually identical to the one I prepared 31 years ago?
    *Has band writing not progressed since then?
    *What post-1960s pieces should be on the list that aren't? (generally speaking...not just because they have cool euphonium parts).
    1. I know ten of those tunes in concert band form. I probably played the others and forgot 'em. Gettin' old, ya know.

    2. +1 for Ron Nelson. A fantastic composer.

    3. Many bandsmen think of the 50s-60s as the "heyday" of American Band music. In many ways this is very true. There was also no "glut" of band music way back when. Alot of it was "do it yourself" so when we got an actual published piece - and it was good - word spread quickly and the piece made it into the standard repertoire.

    4. It's a good list with a wide range of challenges. We also have a glut of tunes nowadays which there wasn't in the 50s-60s. Finding (and keeping) a classic among all that info is tough now. I suppose the good ones will last and we'll know 30 years from now which ones were worth it. Many will drop through the cracks, however, and will wait for somebody doing some digging to discover that "lost classic."

    5. The very fact that there is still band writing is a progression IMHO. It is one of the most significant musical developments of the 20th century. I hope it will carry over into this century. Am I avoiding this question? Yes, a bit. Instrumentation is changing - Alto Clarinet? what's that? Bb Cornet? Huh? Eb Contra-Alto Clarinet (some called it Eb Bass Clarinet)? and of course..."it has how many percussion parts??!"

    6. A can of worms. For me - impossible to list all of the great pieces. The list would be pages long. Of course all of my stuff would be on it...
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6
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    Re: Some Concert Band Info

    In reference to Navy auditions, I think it's all about tradition.
    Do you think that taste have changed in selecting music for Band?
    It seems like most of the music sounds the same.
    What is the best length for a work?
    Is 3/4 time not acceptable in a piece?
    Just some of the things I think about as I write.
    I think that worry about some may consider limits the scope of your work.

    Gary

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