ReBand…A New School Year, A New Gig

February 25, 2009

Holy Major Chord Batman, Was That a Musical Moment?!?

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 11:57 pm
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Well the new year is here and has been for a good while now. Recently I passed out some new music in preparation for festival for my 7th and 8th grade groups. For each of the groups I have tried different pieces, trying to find a march, lyrical, and an other piece that would play to my groups strengths. A couple of tunes seemed to work some right away did not and finally I came to some decisions. I’m not sure I got it right, in fact, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t, but I’m not sure that with most bands you will find the magical mix of pieces that will guarantee a Superior at festival. My bands’ instrumentation just isn’t ideal enough. I was kind of disappointed that Travis Weller’s MS band room fire idea didn’t catch on as well as his HS one did. I know that I did learn a good deal about middle school level literature from trying so many pieces in a short period of time.I can’t pretend to speak with much authority on this level of music, but I am impressed when kids at moderate levels are able to connect with a piece. The other day I had a glimps of that when I passed out Samuel Hazo’s As Winds Dance. Now my group certainly didn’t sound like this recording, but the kids were able to find a little something to hold onto. It stuck with them when we went on to another piece and some were still singing it when they came in the next day. Needless to say, this is one that we are planning on doing for contest.

It’s been a while working on it now and we have progressed with the piece. Certianly we are better than we were, but of course I remain unsatisfied with our current level. I’m not saying the piece is wonderful or just another piece to play and forget, but I respect that it’s still one the kids look forward to and enjoy trying to get better on. For me, this piece makes teaching a little easier in my situation. I salute Mr. Hazo and thank him for that!

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3 Comments »

  1. As Winds Dance is a great piece. I am starting it with my Middle School Group next week. A couple of other pieces I would suggest for future use with 7th & 8th grade groups: Suspended Animation by Patrick Burns, Wagon Trail by Julie Giroux, A Childhood Hymn by David Holsinger, Friends of Freedom by Timothy Loest, Canto by Francis McBeth, Cruisin by Willie Owens, All The Pretty Little Horses by Anne McGinty, Irish Festival by Quincy Hilliard, Carpathian Sketches by Robert Jager, Portrait of a Clown by Frank Ticheli, Air for Band by Frank Erickson, The Battle Pavane arr. by Bob Margolis, and Salute to the Duke arr. by Michael Sweeney. Not that I would have saved any of these pieces if my Middle School Band Room was on fire or anything…Thanks for the pingback and keep posting!

    Comment by Travis J. Weller — March 8, 2009 @ 9:36 pm | Reply

  2. Hey Travis,

    Thanks for stopping in. You have some great suggestions here. I only know because I tried a few of them, but they just weren’t right for my groups, but I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge. McBeth is one of my favorite composers. Hopefully some of your pieces get put on the state lists soon!

    Comment by reband — March 9, 2009 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

  3. Hi there, I have been waiting for your next posts. It seems that you’re busy with other things. Just like you to know that your articles can be great resources for music teachers like me. Thanks!

    Comment by Music Teacher — June 9, 2009 @ 10:36 am | Reply


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