Concert Band Releases
Give Me Five is written with the early band student in mind. Utilizing only the first five notes on their instruments, students can engage in this rollicking selection meant to inspire and energize the earliest days in the band setting. At the closing of the piece, students can turn to a neighbor and high five their fellow band member as the title suggests.
Connectivity was written for the 5th and 6th Grade Honors Band of the Hanover Township Public Schools (Whippany, NJ). One of the conductors of this group is a high school band director at Whippany Park High School (Whippany, NJ) which is the regional high school associated with the district. The piece is a symbol of the vital connection needed for elementary students to become successful middle school musicians and ultimately successful high school band members. The opening melodic line is shared by different sections and weaves throughout the ensemble as a representation of this “connection.” The percussion section plays a vital role in providing a contemporary groove, often emulating a drum set, during key moments of this lively concert selection.
To dream of an open field represents a feeling of no obstacles. Doing whatever it is that you want without problems or conflict. This approach can turn most any situation into an "open field" with options. This combination of freedom and happiness together can even lead to a period of personal growth, self-improvement. Talk about a dream! Dream Field is a lyrical selection that explores this concept while stressing air as the fundamental component in a great sound! With a built in focus of phrasing, this selection also affords directors an opportunity to stress the importance of air support and proper breathing techniques while offering a lovely melody and texture to balance most any concert program.
Elephant is, of course, inspired by the incredible mammals of the same name. Their column-like legs, long trunks, and massive presence will never cease to amaze; however, it’s their trumpeting that makes them stand out as the instrumentalists of the animal kingdom! In this selection, an elephant’s slow gate and general demeanor are represented by a methodical tempo and lumbering texture. Woodwinds will enjoy the opportunity to perform grace notes while Elephant also offers exposure to flams for young percussionists. Trumpets and horns even recreate an elephant call using homemade “lunch bag mutes!"
In many societies around the world, a rain dance has served, or serves, civilizations as a plea for increased rainfall in times of drought. Some Native American tribes used rain dances extensively while European examples include the Romanian ceremonies known as paparuda and caloian. These cultures may differ in their heritage however they share a common history of bringing rain via ritual. Rainmaker suggests such a ritual with a strong, driving rhythmic pulse throughout and folk inspired melodic phrases. Rainmaker is a thrilling selection from start to finish utilizing melodic and rhythmic interplay to create drama and intensity. The spirited melodic material throughout will admirably challenge wind players while percussionists will delight in their extensive opportunities! A truly dynamic performance might even make it rain!
Start Your Engines plays homage to the iconic phrase "Gentlemen, start your engines," traditionally used at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This exciting concert selection for young band features the percussion section with opportunities for doubling parts if needed. The band “revs up” right at the beginning as the opposing eighth notes in the drums evoke a race car engine at the starting line. As the piece continues, the winds have opportunities to shine in comfortable ranges with reasonable technical demands. Start Your Engines is great for helping young bands sound their best at concert and beyond.
Excelcia Music Publishing 2021
Virtual Warrior is a powerful soundtrack to a “real life” gaming experience inspired by advancements in VR and gaming technology. Melodic segments are played by every section to create a dramatic soundscape full of intensity and power. Percussion parts can be doubled as needed but should ultimately find a good balance with the winds throughout. Encourage students to play musically and consider the “softer” sections to have a different “personality.” Opportunities for reinforcing articulation and tone fundamentals are present from beginning to end.
Alfred Music 2021
Celebrated on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month, the Lantern Festival traditionally marks the end of the Chinese New Year. As the sun goes down, families will often go outside and pay homage to the moon by launching paper sky lanterns (also called Congaing lanterns) which function like tiny hot air balloons. In Asia and elsewhere around the world, sky lanterns have been made for centuries often made with oiled rice paper and bamboo. The source of hot air may be a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. Paper Lanterns conjures images of these delightful objects floating in the sky and dazzling onlookers.
Excelcia Music Publishing 2021
Albatrosses are the most efficient travelers of all vertebrates on the planet. During the COVID pandemic, while so many of us were "grounded," I found myself greatly amazed by these regal birds. Albatrosses are masters of soaring flight, able to glide over vast tracts of ocean without flapping their wings. So fully have they adapted to their oceanic existence that they spend the first six or more years of their long lives (which last upwards of 50 years) without ever touching land! This wistful selection explores a world of renewed freedom...a different "Neverland" of sorts.