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Original Compositions for
Concert Band or Wind Ensemble


Band/Wind Ensemble | String Orchestra
 
Orchestra | Other Ensembles | Jazz Band

  • What you need to view the scores and listen to the recordings.
  • Click here if your elementary band is lacking low instruments.


Scroll down to browse, or choose your band's level here to jump directly:
grade 1 - 1.5 | grade 2 - 3 | grade 3 - 4



Hymn to the Sea (grade 1) **
DURATION: 1:17
PRICE: $40
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Currently my simplest piece. In ABABA form, and a minor mode of C (Bb major key signature), it's mostly homophonic and chorale-like. Ranges are from Do to La, and there are no eighth notes except in the percussion. The clarinets stay below the break, and the trumpet's highest note is A, second space. Easy to play, but intense effect.
VIEW THE SCORE:
page 1 | page 2

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (320 k)
.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)
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Dark Majesty (grade 1) **
Pepper Editors' Choice Award Winner!! Over 400 copies sold in its first year!
DURATION: 2:14
PRICE: $42
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Dark Majesty's grandiose cinematic sound and spectacular climax will thrill parents and students alike. It's in D Phrygian mode (the notes of Bb major) with no additional accidentals, so it's easy to play, though filled with lush, rich harmonies. Only the percussion section has eighth notes. The song is in 4/4, and prominently features the quarter, half, quarter rhythm. Clarinets stay below the break and the 1st trumpets' highest note is C, approached by step.

 

VIEW THE SCORE:
pg 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 | pg 4

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (360 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Cold But Happy (grade 1 - 1.5)
DURATION: 1:53
PRICE: $40
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Despite its being in concert Bb, using only Do to La without eighth notes, this unusual first-year piece has dense cluster harmonies that will challenge and train your students' ears and fingers simultaneously. A simple melody is passed from section to section, while the harmonies change with each repetition. Except for the rousing stop-time percussion feature, this piece has a light, reserved elegance.

Challenges include staccato, slurring, balance, intonation, and counting especially at letters D and F.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Cold But Happy

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (456 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Expanding Space (grade 1 - 1.5)
DURATION: 1:59
PRICE: $40
(specify 1/8th or 1/4 note)
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I think of this piece as a very simple ricercar. The simple melody is repeated in different instrumental combinations, gathering strength and advancing towards the final climax. The harmony is straightforward; the melody, contagious. (So much so, that everyone catches it at one point or another!) A neat feature of this piece is that everyone gets to play percussion (on their thighs) until his or her instrument's entrance. Besides keeping everyone occupied, it's valuable rhythm practice.

This piece is available in two versions that sound almost identical. The easier version uses just Do to La for each instrument, and is predominantly in quarters, except for the percussion. The harder version's tempo and note values are cut in half, and the range extended to Do to Do, except for the clarinets who extend downward to avoid the break.

Choose the version that suits your band's needs.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Expanding Space (1/4 notes, Do-La)
Expanding Space (1/8th notes, Do-Do)

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (484 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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From Ashes Rising (grade 1.5)
DURATION: 2:37
PRICE: $40
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Subtitled An Anthem for New York City and the U.S.A. after September 11, 2001, this piece also stands well on its own. It moves gradually from its very dark and somber beginning to a triumphant climax.

Clarinets don't cross the break, but an optional "Cl 1+" part is included for those able to play above the break. Tpt 1's highest note is D, always led up to by step. Low brass's highest note is C, with optional Ds. Mostly quarter-notes or longer, with some easy eighth-notes.

VIEW THE SCORE:
From Ashes Rising

LISTEN TO IT:
Quicktime (MIDI) (28 k)

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Ashore! (grade 1.5) **
DURATION: 2:37
PRICE: $42
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These easy variations on "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" will expose your band to a variety of styles within a traditional American song. The 1st trumpets' highest note is D. Clarinet 1 and 2 do not cross the break, but there is a specially written optional Clarinet 1+, that gives the more experienced player a chance to play over the break.

VIEW THE SCORE:
(coming soon)

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (484 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Entrance of the Mystics (grade 1.5) **
DURATION: 2:30 - 2:50
PRICE: $42
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Ethereal and other-worldly, and with a quirky, wizardly midde section, Entrance of the Mystics will expand your students' ears by introducing them to polychords and clusters. The trumpet's highest note is D. The clarinets do not cross the break, but there is an optional clarinet part that allows the better students to play above the break.

 

VIEW THE SCORE:
pg 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 | pg 4

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (460 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Are You Ready to Rock? (grade 1.5) **
DURATION: 2:41
PRICE: $42
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This song will make your students think they're in a rock band! Percussion breaks, rock energy, and chords in C Dorian mode (the notes of Bb major) with only a few accidentals make this a compelling winner. No percussion in your band? Easy edits are built in, as are familiar scale practice in eighth notes and easy syncopation. Clarinets do not cross the break and the 1st trumpet's highest note is D.

VIEW THE SCORE:
pg 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 | pg 4

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (400 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Four Sides of a Dredyl (grade 1.5) **
DURATION: 2:23
PRICE: $42
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Everyone gets a chance to play the melody in this beautiful arrangement of the well-known Dreydl Song. The harmonies are humorous and quirky, while the treatment of the chorus offers valuable quarter note syncopation practice. The contrasting middle section is a reverent treatment of the blessing of the Hanukkah candles, richly harmonized in chorale style, followed by a sparse, mysterious transition to the final half-time Dreydl chorus. Parents won't know whether to march or dance (all without eighth notes)! Clarinets don't cross the break and the 1st trumpets' highest note is Bb.

VIEW THE SCORE:
pg 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 | pg 4

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (376 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Cave of Gold (grade 2)
DURATION: 3:00
PRICE: $40
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A beautifully haunting traditional Scottish bag-pipe melody in a setting that ranges from traditional to lushly reharmonized. Check out the rhythms--good counting practice! Mostly in Bb Mixolydian mode (key signature of Eb).

VIEW THE SCORE:
Cave of Gold

LISTEN TO IT:
Quicktime (MIDI) (28 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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All One Tribe (grade 2)
DURATION: 4:00 - 4:30 depending on length of drum breaks
PRICE: $45
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All One Tribe is influenced by Ghanaian drumming and song, and features original Ghanaian-flavored melodies. It prominently features the percussion section, (tom toms, cowbell, and claves). Typical of traditional African music, there is a lot of call and response among the instruments, both melodically and rhythmically.

This piece affords young players exposure to African music in an easily played, fun, and different piece. Your drummers will be especially challenged, while being introduced to dead-sticking (where the stick rests on the drum head rather than rebounding). The homophonic writing provides security for the rest of the band during the harder rhythms.

VIEW THE SCORE:
All One Tribe

LISTEN TO IT:
Quicktime (MIDI-- sorry!) (44 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Oh, You Little Candles (grade 2) **
DURATION: 3:36
PRICE: $48
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The original material composed around this sweet traditional Hanukkah song brings it new life while providing a gentle introduction and interlude, and a broadly climactic ending. Great for any concert--not just holiday time! Set in the key of Eb, this lovely arrangement teaches chromatics, breath support for long phrases, and counting rests for correct entrances. Only the flute, oboes, trumpets, and percussion have eighth notes. Clarinets don't cross the break and first trumpets' highest note is E.

VIEW THE SCORE:
pg 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 | pg 4

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (608 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Fanfare and Dances (grade 2) **
DURATION: 2:35
PRICE: $42
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A personal favorite, this composition opens with a regal fanfare and contains lyrical melodies and robust dances throughout. The contrapuntal sections provide students with valuable practice in becoming independent and experienced players. Clarinets 1 and 2 only play below the break, but an optional clarinet part is provide that ventures higher in the staff. The first trumpets' highest note is D.

VIEW THE SCORE:
pg 1 | pg 2 | pg 3 | pg 4

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (420 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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A Little Neat Music
(grade 2.5)
DURATION: 5:00
PRICE: $50
AVAILABLE IN EARLY 2008

A simplified version of the piece commissioned by the Chelmsford Community Band in 2006-2007. Rockin' power chords are answered by Baroque counterpoint, Medieval cadences, and Renaissance brass chorales, only to be interrupted by jazz harmonies in this powerful musical melange. The audience will go home singing the melodies of this crowd- and band-pleaser!

Highest notes: Trumpet 1: F, Trombone 1: Eb, with optional F#, Clarinet 1: C. Optional parts for up to 11 percussionists, as well as electric guitar and bass, are included.

VIEW THE SCORE:
A Little Neat Music

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (MIDI) (2.4 Mb)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Bowen's Big Night Out (grade 2.5 - 3)
DURATION: 3:48
PRICE: $60
BUY IT NOW!

What if Aaron Copland had been commissioned to write a piece for the Partridge Family, and Chicago's horn section crashed the session?

Two endings are provided. The pitches are the same, but the rhythms in the alternate ending are simplified.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Bowen's Big Night Out

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (1 MB)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Nyaah Nyaah Digressions (grade 3 - 4)
DURATION: 3:38
PRICE: $60
BUY IT NOW!

Spike Jones meets Kurt Weill in this downright mischievous piece. It ranges from zany and giddy to heavy and serious, with powerful percussion, dramatic climaxes, a little fugue, aeleatoric techniques and dense, dissonant harmonies, all culminating in an optional tutti "raspberry." As much fun as can be had in school without breaking any rules.

There are solos to challenge your better players and enough optional parts to keep up to fifteen percussionists concentrating, and busy--and that's one per part.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Nyaah Nyaah Digressions

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (936 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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Gamelan Dream (grade 3.5 - 4)
DURATION: 3:17
PRICE: $60
BUY IT NOW!

This piece evokes the mood and music of Javanese Gamelan, as filtered through my memories and compositional style, and distilled for concert band. The individual rhythmic figures are simple enough, but are put together in ways that will challenge your band. The percussion parts are really juicy, especially the mallets! This piece will also show your students how very different and exotic sounds can be made simply by leaving out a couple of notes from the major scale.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Gamelan Dream

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Humans (848 k)
Real Audio
Fake Humans (MIDI) (792 k) Real Audio
Real Humans .m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)

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A Little Neat Music (grade 4.5 - 5)
DURATION: 6:15
PRICE: $85

Commissioned by the Chelmsford Community Band, directed by maestro Paul Berler, in 2006-2007. Rockin' power chords are answered by Baroque counterpoint, Medieval cadences, and Renaissance brass chorales, only to be interrupted by jazz harmonies in this powerful musical melange. The audience will go home singing the melodies of this crowd- and band-pleaser! (The CCB, under Paul Berler's baton, wailed on this in concert in Boston's Faneuil Hall, but the acoustics were so boomy that I decided to post this rehearsal recording—warts 'n' all—rather than the concert performance. Now you know.)

VIEW THE SCORE:
A Little Neat Music (8.5"x14")

LISTEN TO IT:
.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)


 

For elementary bands lacking in tubas: For a few compositions, I supply a "Tuba 8va" part in three transpositions (C, for trombone, baritone horn piano/keyboard, or bass, Bb for bass clarinet and treble clef baritone horn, & Eb, for baritone sax).

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