This creative work is one more addition to a series of band pieces that musically describe the fictional saga of an alien invasion. In this installment, the mysterious and persistent visitors from outer space are continuing their quest for world domination with a new and formidable weapon, a giant robotic android. Massive and ominous, it clanks along seemingly unstoppable as the alien troops march forward, bent on total conquest. Effective as a standalone piece, you can also combine it with the other works Aliens Landing (In Your Backyard!), Alien Invasion, and Aliens Among Us for a complete musical sci-fi mini series.
The contrasting styles and intriguing percussion effects of this work will immediately appeal to your ensembles. The soft, lyrical chant-like melody at the beginning creates the atmosphere of ancient warriors preparing for imminent battle. An abrupt increase in tempo changes the mood as the conflict begins with the percussion leading the way. This thrilling work has very comfortable ranges, and the safe and powerful scoring will have your band sounding extremely confident and mature.
Throughout history, the awe-inspiring sight of a fleet of powerful warships never fails to impress. This full-sounding and dramatic work for first-year band projects the menacing thrill of naval power on display. You can increase the impact by adding as many players as you like to the percussion parts, creating a sonic broadside that will rouse your audience.
Assemble the Minions was originally composed for and dedicated to the members of the Shawnee Mission Northwest High School Class of 2013 orchestra program. This group had a special bond with their teacher, composer Jeffrey S. Bishop, and the term "minions" became attached to this talented group of hard-working and often mischievous musicians. From the hard-driving rhythms to the almost comical middle section, the piece has a buoyancy and playful character reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons.
This is a dynamic and energetic piece written for young bands, perfect for an exciting concert opener or as a spirited concert closer or encore selection. The rhythms used are specifically selected to be syncopated and active in order to be totally engaging for both musicians and audiences. This special attention-grabbing element gives it a special appeal as a concert or festival program selection.
Burnin' is a fast-paced, white-knuckled musical thrill ride for accomplished bands. The music is continuously propelled forward by driving rhythms and challenging ensemble passages that dart and soar like a high-speed roller coaster of sound. As the melodic lines fly by they're constantly fueled by a steady influx of jazz-styled figures that dash through a variety of musical influences including Latin, flamenco, and tango. Caution! Contents contain a volatile mix of musically flammable materials!
The composer's father, Jack Prescott, was born in 1922, and at the age of 17 became the youngest pilot in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was somewhat of a daredevil, flying under drawbridges and doing snap rolls down deserted beaches at an altitude of 50 feet. During World War II he joined the Army Air Corps and flew C-47 transport planes from India to China over the Himalayan mountains. He flew 83 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by President Harry Truman. The heroism of these flights in the face of severe adversity is depicted by the dignified thematic material of the opening. Somewhat dissonant fanfares appear at times, reminding us of the constant dangers that were ever present, before the work concludes in ultimate triumph.
This work also honors the career of friend and teacher James Barnes, who has always been a barnstormer in his own fashion.
Centrifuge was written for the 2015 Southeastern Louisiana Middle School Band Camp and its director, Paul Frechou. This piece portrays a centrifuge vigorously spinning with no sign of slowing down or stopping. An allegro tempo is used to fuel the drive and impetus throughout this energetic musical depiction of a whirling perpetual motion dynamo. The opening theme is first presented by clarinets playing in their lowest register as the machine starts up and begins to build up speed. Underlying the entire work is a pulsating percussion section which provides the thrust and forward motion along with various syncopated rhythms contributed by the winds.
Echoes of the Morning Trumpet is based on a hymn tune entitled Morning Trumpet by B.F. White that was first published in The Sacred Harp Hymn Book of 1844, a book that was originally printed in shaped notes. The Sacred Harp style of singing is characterized by stark chords with plenty of open fifths and equal participation by all performers who sit and stand in blocks, by section, facing the leader in the middle. This piece features a trumpet solo in the opening, accompanied by the singing of the members of the ensemble. Various treatments of the hymn that highlight the ensemble colors follow before the magnificent close.
This work was written to honor the distinguished career of Robert E. Foster, trumpeter and music educator.
This programmatic work for young band introduces students to the inherent power of music for telling stories and inspiring imagination. The suspenseful and evocative introduction sets the stage as the tension slowly builds. The mood then shifts and the action ramps up, marked by an exciting allegro that reflects an exciting race to freedom with danger close behind. This musical adventure brings a whole new dimension to young band programming, either alone or with other adventure works in the series: Dragon Fire and Dragon Flight.
The warm, lyric nature of Evening Song creates a quiet and peaceful moment on concert programs. The flowing melodic lines create a calm and serene setting reminiscent of the peace and tranquility that comes at the end of a long and eventful day. While quiet in nature, the work makes a strong statement about the ability of music to directly influence one's emotion and feelings.
Mysterious and intriguing ghost lights, also known as "will-o'-the-wisps" and "spook lights," have been seen around the world. Such ghost-light sightings were reported around the town of Joplin, Missouri starting in 1881. Witnesses say the balls of fire vary in size from a baseball to a basketball and spin down the road before rising above the tree tops and disappearing into the night. The creative writing and special effects of this evocative work re-create the eerie atmosphere of this mysterious phenomenon. This effect can be further enhanced by performing the piece in a darkened auditorium with flashlights creating your very own ghost-light effects.
The Heart's Reflection was originally written for eight-part mixed chorus as a sort of tone poem to Proverbs 27:19: "Just as the water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another." Broad and symphonic in nature, it reflects these words freely, exploring the emotions behind each. From the original program notes: "It serves as a poignant reminder of the spiritual kinship that exists within humanity and the necessity that we must see ourselves in the hearts of others." The variety of textures and instrumental colors enhance the tonal spectrum of the original and bring out the expressive nature of the work.
This piece was written to create a fun yet educational way for first-year players to develop their counting skills in a playful setting. Everyone recognizes the cute title; its meaning is brought to the fore as the conductor helps young players maneuver through various counting traps while they avoid being the one that plays on one of the rests.
Bring back memories of a bygone era with this light and breezy musical journey through a scenic country landscape. Brisk and lighthearted, you can almost feel the gentle breeze and sun on your face as the pleasantly rhythmic sound of horses' hooves whisks you along in a horse-dawn carriage. Appropriate for year-round performances, you can add the optional sleigh bell part for delightful winter treks over snow-covered trails on your winter or holiday programs.
The Christmas season is an exciting time filled with wonder and marvel and is certainly the most musical time of the year - everywhere we turn we are treated to the festive "sounds of the season." Two of the most regal carols, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and Good King Wenceslas are gracefully combined into this energetic presentation for young players. It gives young bands the opportunity to explore new challenges while giving them some wonderful material for their winter concert.
The jet stream is a fast-moving current of air found high in the atmosphere that directly affects the weather all around the globe. This composition portrays the various speeds and motions of these powerful air currents that have a major influence throughout the world. An opening series of festive fanfares introduces the arrival of this majestic force of nature, followed by the flowing melody that soars throughout - much like the fast-moving rivers of air that make up this irrepressible force of nature.
Keystone Regatta was commissioned by the bands of Cleveland, Glenpool, and Skiatook, Oklahoma in recognition of Steve and Mary Snider and their outstanding commitment and contribution to the music students of eastern Oklahoma. The regal opening and spirited themes treat the listener to an impressive musical presentation that also serves as a fitting tribute to these two dedicated and respected music supporters. Suitable for both concert and festival presentations, it gives developing bands the opportunity to explore new challenges and experience well-crafted musical material at their next performance.
Letters from the Battlefield was commissioned by the Land of Grant Honor Band to commemorate the end of the American Civil War. The collected letters of U.S. Grant reveal much information about the thoughts and emotions he was experiencing around the events of the Civil War. Some of the letters are tenderhearted, written in moments of sentimental passion; others are very clear and emphatic statements that he will do whatever it takes to bring the war to a close. The many moods and emotions expressed in his correspondence are reflected in the various sections of this powerful and moving work. An outstanding concert work, it is also appropriate for Civil War or patriotic commemorative ceremonies.
Composer Semeon Alexanderovich Chernetsky was born in 1881 and died in 1950. A trombonist and a composition student of Alexander Glazunov, he was also a prominent military bandmaster. He was named Director of the Band of the Soviet Army in 1932, and in 1935 he founded the Band of the Ministry of Defense. He composed over 70 marches including March of the Tankmen, which he wrote in 1946, as well as other works for band. The stately manner of this stirring march displays a profound sense of loyalty and national pride that is unmistakable.
This selection for first-year bands was carefully written to sound full and mature, giving young players confidence and impressing audiences that a young band can sound so mature and accomplished. Not only will it have your group sounding miles ahead of their age and experience, it will give them a glimpse of the future and the many great musical moments they have waiting for them in the miles ahead.
Chivalry dates back to the medieval institution of knighthood; while its meaning has changed over time, Of Chivalry and Valor celebrates some of the central tenets deeply rooted in the original chivalric code. The militaristic opening depicts a courageous battle where knights demonstrated their loyalty, bravery, and valor, followed by softer and gentler values such as generosity and selflessness. For the finale we return to the battlefield to witness the chivalrous warriors' heroic triumph. Of Chivalry and Valor was commissioned and premiered by Anthony Rivera, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore County Public Schools and won the National Band Association Merrill Jones Composition Contest in 2014.
On a Catalonian Carol is a setting of the traditional Catalan carol El Noi de la Mare (The Child of the Mother). This lyric carol originates from the Catalan region of Spain, and the stylish influences of that country are evident in the flowing lines of the touching melody. This setting is not a direct transcription of the song but rather a carefully scored rendition that supports and enhances the elements of the original, allowing the simple beauty of the melody to be placed on full display.
Power Play was commissioned by band director Robert Ball and the Mill Creek Middle School Band, Shawnee, Kansas. This exciting addition to young band repertoire was written to deliver an energetic element to concert programs. Pushing the tempo will help players develop their technique and, along with exaggerating the accents, will contribute to the driving force of the piece. While the overall effect sounds difficult, it is very playable by middle or high school bands and will be a reliable power source for your next performance.