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The Music

The band works below are included in full band with most also available as flex.

About Aquilegia Chorale

Composed By: Elena Specht

Difficulty Level: Grade .5

Duration: 1:00

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Glockenspiel, and Xylophone.

Aquilegia Chorale is written for a beginning band's first concert (after approximately 3-4 months of playing). The title is drawn from the flower aquilegia caerulea, also called the blue columbine, the state flower of Colorado. Besides the blue columbine, the flower comes in many colors and is distinguished by its bell shape and spurs, which provide nectar for birds. Additionally, the columbine has at least two layers of petals, each with a distinct shape, and often with a distinct color. Aquilegia Chorale was premiered by the North Valley Middle School Beginning Band in Gilcrest, CO on December 14, 2017.

The musical concepts used in this piece are almost exclusively drawn from the first thirteen student pages in Essential Elements. Parts are optional for less common instruments.

About Blue Mist

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade .5

Duration: 1:04

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Snare drum/tom-tom, bass drum, opt. timpani, opt. bells.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Exercises Included: Unison phrasing/breath control exercise.

Blue Mist is a “six note” piece playable with just flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet and trombone. The trombone part is slightly different from the low winds and euphonium to avoid sixth position C. The work is in C minor, but the concert Ab is never utilized. If it helps, you can therefore have your students think in the key of Bb! If you are short on percussionists and you have timpani available, omit the bell part first. For the Adaptable Band parts, please be aware the ranges will be far beyond a Grade .5 for each instrument. I did keep all three parts below the break for the clarinet and bass clarinet.

About Desert Visions

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade .5

Duration: 1:42

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Glockenspiel, Congas, Bass Drum, Ride Cymbal/Triangle, and Cabasa.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Exercises Included: Unison melodic and harmonic exercises.

Desert Visions is an eastern inspired work that introduces repetitive eighth notes and the concert pitch F#. It has the range of a “six note” piece playable with just flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion. The melodic motives are evenly dispersed amongst the instruments, and will be a good educational piece to introduce rhythmic independence. Exercises are included to help with the rhythms!

About Knight Ride

Composed By: Elena Specht

Difficulty Level: Grade .5

Duration: 1:00

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Chimes, and Xylophone.

Knight Ride is written for a beginning band's first concert (after approximately 3-4 months of playing). The piece suggests a medieval knight's daring and adventurous ride across the countryside or any adventure undertaken at night. The title is also a tribute to one of my husband's favorite childhood television shows, Knight Rider. Knight Ride was premiered by the South Valey Middle School Beginning Band in Gilerest, CO on December 14, 2017.

The musical concepts used in this piece are almost exclusively drawn from the first thirteen student pages in Essential Elements. Parts are optional for less common instruments.

About Beat

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade .75

Duration: 1:39

Full Band and Flex versions available .

Percussion: Glockenspiel, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Cowbell (opt. Cymbal Bell)/Cabasa (opt. Shaker), Suspended cymbal, and Opt. Flexatone/Ratchet.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, studio recording with electrict track, and electric track only.

Beat is a rock driven work, reminiscent of bands like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin! Beginning bands will enjoy learning new articulations and dynamic levels. The low brass are featured on the introduction of the melody, and all instruments will have fun with the groove and 60’s style harmony. Trombones will get much practice from 6th position C to D. Percussionists are featured throughout, with both the underlying pulse and the special auxiliary instruments utilized!

About Skywalking

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade .75

Duration: 1:34

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Opt. Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Wind Chimes/Wood Blocks, China Cymbal/Triangle, Cajon (opt. Hand Drum), Bass Drum, Opt. Timpani.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, percussion/vocals with click, and vocal only with click.

Films have undoubtedly deepened our appreciation for concert music and affected the way we hear music! Skywalking pays homage to the sounds of the silver screen, and students will enjoy playing the cinematic themes in this work and (possibly) being introduced to the eighth note triplet for the first time. The vocalizing and foot taps will provide directors the opportunity to teach about the extramusical elements that contribute to many film-scores.

About Above the Ground

Composed By: Jose Blesa-Lull

Difficulty Level: Grade 1

Duration: 2:15

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Timpani, Bells, Snare Drum, Cymbal/Triangle, Tom-tom, Crash Cymbals/Bass Drum/Wood Block/Tambourine

Above the Ground: Within this Grade 1 work is developed a simple three-note-motive (C-D-G) in a ternary from ABA with an Introduction and a Coda. The title was suggested by my friend James Minnix, since part of the composition process was made during a flight Boston-Chicago.

About Dark Mountain

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade 1

Duration: 1:37

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Mallets, Snare Drum (opt. Advanced Snare Drum), Bass Drum, Opt. Timpani, Tambourine, and Suspended Cymbal.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Exercises Included: Unison melodic exercises.

Dark Mountain is a Grade 1 work designed to introduce 3/4 meter and d minor.

About Happy Llama - A Space Odyssey

Composed By: Dean Surface

Difficulty Level: Grade 1

Duration: 1:38

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Bells, Vibraphone, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal/China Cymbal/Gong, and Triangle/Ratchet/Tom-tom.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Exercises Included: Unison melodic and style exercises.

Happy Llama - A Space Odyssey is about the the intergalactic space traveling Llama, Happy, who has a run in with an angry space creature! Through their struggles they find they have a love for travel and become friends!

About Prevailing Light

Composed By: Chris Evan Hass

Difficulty Level: Grade 1

Duration: 2:00

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Xylophone, Marimba/Opt. Vibraphone, Triangle/Suspended Cymbal/Tambourine, and Bass Drum.

Prevailing Light is a song of hope and resilience, dedicated to the students of all ages who adapted to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work illustrates the perseverance that students exhibited throughout the affected school years through its optimistic and empowering tone. A bouncy ostinato appears throughout the piece, switching roles between melody and accompaniment, which represents the constant passage of time as society begins to move forward in the face of adversity.

About Pterodactyls from Outer Space

Composed By: Dean Surface

Difficulty Level: Grade 1

Duration: 1:47

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Bells, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Wind Chimes/Suspended Cymbal, Splash Cymbal/Triangle, Low Tom, China Cymbal, Gong/Hi-Hat.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Pterodactyls from Outer Space (PTFO) is a fun adventure piece about Peaches a rainbow pterodactyl. Peaches sounds nice and innocent but is in fact the most feared pterodactyl in the universe! PTFO represents Peaches taking on a full army of Martians and conquering all as she often does!

About Robot-Mode

Composed By: Dean Surface

Difficulty Level: Grade 1

Duration: 1:32

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Glockenspiel, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Ratchet, Flexatone, Brake Drum, Trash Can, China Cymbal, Gong, and Splash Cymbal.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Exercises Included: Unison melodic exercises.

Robot-Mode is a tone poem about the day cycle of a Robot. The percussion represent both the start and end of a busy work day for our robot. The reference to Mode in the title is in regards to the mode of concert C Dorian in which the piece is written. Toward the robot shut down the clarinets get to reassemble their clarinet into “mini” clarinet and make robot sounds to the eventual complete shut down of the robot.

About Bloom

Composed By: Cait Nishimura

Difficulty Level: Grade 1.5

Duration: 2:00

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Timpani, Glockenspiel, Drum Set (Snare and Bass), Cymbals

Bloom is a musical exploration of the concept that the most courageous of flowers is the one which blooms in the snow -- against all odds, and despite adversity. At the work's core is one of the most common chord progressions found in pop music (I - V - vi - IV), with melodic fragments that represent themes such as unity, growth, and perseverance. This work was commissioned by the Toronto Montessori School Modern Music Ensemble, directed by Rachel MacDonald.

About Electric Breakdance

Composed By: Benjamin Dean Taylor

Difficulty Level: Grade 1.5

Duration: 1:33

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Performance Track included.

Percussion: Timpani (optional), Hi-hat/Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Tambourine (optional), and Mallets (Xylophone optional).

Electric Breakdance - What would the music sound like in a dance club on an alien planet? This piece is inspired by that question after I saw an awesome image my friend created of an alien sitting in a giant robotic mech with long legs. The alien looks smug and relaxed - ready to cut some serious dance moves with the flick of his finger on the mech controls! This work is intended to provide a successful performance for young bands of all sizes and all instrumentations. So even if your band has a very funky and untraditional instrumentation the electronics will fill in the sound and provide the students and audience a satisfying, well balanced sound in rehearsal and performance.

About Knight Stars

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade 1.5

Duration: 2:50

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Bells, Snare Drum/Triangle, (Opt. Advanced Snare Drum), Bass Drum, Crash Cymbal/Suspended Cymbal, and Timpani.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Exercises Included: Unison melodic exercises.

Knight Stars began as a lullaby, a sweet song that brought to mind a bedtime story – very possibly due to my habit of writing my music very early in the morning! I decided to create a melody that could be played along with the lullaby at the end of the piece, to simulate the idea of dreaming of the day. From this melody I derived the fanfare, and the beginning of the piece was born. The brass and percussion are highlighted during the fanfare, and the woodwinds are featured during the song. A sincere thank-you to the directors and programs listed on the cover for the financial and community support during the creation of this work!

About Scorch

Composed By: Chris Evan Hass

Difficulty Level: Grade 1.5

Duration: 2:10

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Marimba (B.C.)/Suspended Cymbal, Djembe or Conga, Bongos (Optional), Tambourine/Claves, Cabasa/Triangle, and Bass Drum.

Scorch is a fiery and exciting work for young band, inspired by the scorching heats of African deserts. The piece depicts this terrain by utilizing the Phrygian and Phrygian Dominant scales that are commonly found in Egyptian music and featuring African and Afro-Cuban percussion instruments, including the cabasa, claves and djembe. The piece contains two rhythmically similar melodic themes that alternate throughout the piece. These melodies are typically found in the higher voices of the ensemble and continuously heat up and build towards an exciting, boisterous ending.

About A New Day

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade 2

Duration: 3:18

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Vibraphone, Snare Drum (Opt. Advanced Snare Drum), Bass Drum, Gong (Opt. Sus. Cymbal)/Tambourine/Triangle, Timpani.

Tracks Included: Studio recording, recording with click, and percussion with click.

Exercises Included: Unison melodic exercises.

A New Day...as of yet, unseen. A resting place. A celebration. The earliest accounts of the timpani records their use in ancient Jewish religious ceremonies. Similarly, due to its circular shape, the gong has been utilized throughout many traditions and cultures to symbolize a beginning that has no end. Both these instruments are used purposefully and joyfully throughout the piece and highlighted in the percussion feature.

It is our responsibility to strive to enter a new day, a better day, and find rest – both immediate and eternal. A sincere thank-you to the directors and programs listed on the cover for the financial and community support during the creation of this work!

About Into the Blue

Composed By: Cait Nishimura

Difficulty Level: Grade 2

Duration: 1:29

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Timpani, Glockenspiel, and Snare Drum.

Awards: Winner of the 2019 Shannon Shaker’s Women’s Band Composition Competition, Grade 1-2 category.

Into the Blue is an uplifting, exciting, short piece for concert band that was inspired by the experience of flying above the clouds and into the clear, cloudless, blue sky. Repeated ostinatos represent a constant energy and forward motion, while memorable melodic fragments depict the feeling of soaring through the sky toward a new destination. This work was commissioned by the Ingersoll District C.I. Grade 9 Band, under the direction of Margot Northcott, in the spring of 2018. The key signature and melodic content of the first theme (letter A) were based on the musical spelling of the school's mascot, "Ace".

About Springtime Ride

Composed By: Erika Svanoe

Difficulty Level: Grade 2

Duration: 2:50

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Bells, Xylophone, Snare Drum, Ride Cymbal/Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Triangle, Timpani.

The idea behind Springtime Ride is a group of young people riding bikes through their neighborhood when the weather finally warms up enough to do so. I wanted to capture the freedom and optimism that has always given me, especially as a kid when bike riding was my independent mode of transportation. I was recently reminded of these feelings while watching the series “Stranger Things,” which made me think of two of my favorite childhood movies “E.T.” and “The Goonies.” All of these have fantastic scenes of kids on bikes, and there may be a bit of a movie score sound in Springtime Ride due to these influences. At the end of the piece, I picture the kids pedaling off into the sunset.

About Zigzag

Composed By: Elena Specht

Difficulty Level: Grade 2

Duration: 2:44

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Timpani, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Triangle, Whip, Vibraphone, Crash Cymbals.

Zigzag uses playful rhythmic and melodic patterns to create a lively and unpredictable texture. A core motive of two eighth notes is introduced, developed, and passed between low- and high-voiced instruments, while a contrasting lyrical melody twists and turns up and down the scale. Surprising rhythmic accents and syncopation combine with registral displacement and abrupt changes in direction to result in music that zigs and zags in unexpected ways.

About A Flicker in Time

Composed By: Benjamin Dean Taylor

Difficulty Level: Grade 2.5

Duration: 3:56

Full Band version included.

Percussion: 6 Players Minimum - Timpani, Snare Drum, China Cymbal, Metal Wind Chimes, Bass Drum, Tom-toms, Medium Suspended Cymbal, Bongos, Crash Cymbal, Tambourine, Slapstick, Triangle, Tam-tam, Small Suspended Cymbal, Chimes, Glockenspiel, Xylophone.

A Flicker in Time represents the path that we are on and our own moment in time. It is a joyful acknowledgement of the past, future, and present. Like the lives of these students, we stand on the shoulders of the past, with an anticipation of the adventures ahead. This is our time. This work pays tribute to our own youthful adventures and journeys along this path as it ascends between the clouds.

About A Journey in Time

Composed By: Erika Svanoe

Difficulty Level: Grade 2.5

Duration: 6:32

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Bells, Xylophone, Snare Drum, Tenor/Bass, Hi-hat, Cymbals, Brake Drum/Triangle, Gong/Woodblock, and Timpani.

A Journey in Time is a an "interactive musical adventure" for band. The piece includes a powerpoint presentation that takes the audience through a narrative adventure where they must vote to decide which path the story and the music will go next during the performance. Inspired by choose your own adventure novels, text-based computer games, and time-traveling tropes, the piece gives audiences and students a unique interactive performance experience.

About Alpine Meadow

Composed By: Cait Nishimura

Difficulty Level: Grade 2.5

Duration: 3:11

Full Band and Flex version available.

Percussion: Timpani, Marimba, Chimes, Side Drum (or Snare Drum), Tambourine, Suspended Cymbal.

Alpine Meadow was written during a self-directed, technology-free composing retreat in a cabin near Ashland, Oregon. I had recently visited Yosemite National Park for the first time, and was particularly inspired by the scenic drive on Tioga Road; this mountain pass is the highest in elevation in California (reaching almost 10,000 feet), and winds through the Sierra Nevada mountains overlooking the valleys and meadows below. Standing at the highest point of the road, I felt the cool breeze pass by me and then make its way through the grasses and trees below. The music in Alpine Meadow is intended to represent the quiet intensity of this remote and beautiful place.

About Basswood Canopy

Available: December 2022

Composed By: Katherine Bergman

Difficulty Level: Grade 2.5

Duration: 3:22

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Timpani, Suspended Cymbal, Glockenspiel, Marimba (or Xylophone).

Basswood Canopy was composed for “The Young Band Composition Consortium.”

About March of the Shadows

Composed By: Haley Woodrow

Difficulty Level: Grade 2.5

Duration: 2:50

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Timpani, Bells, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Crash Cymbal, and Triangle/Ratchet.

Tracks Included: Live recording as well as flex band tracks.

Exercises Included: Unison melodic exercises.

Although the concert band owes its origins to the performance of marches, today, after over one hundred years of repertoire to study from, I found myself asking what exactly makes a march, a march? Composers these days freely cross boundaries without apology, as they should – after all, art and music must move forward. So, after reviewing typical characteristics of traditional marches, with their trios, break strains, lively snare and bass drum parts and many melodies, I decided to let myself write uninhibited by past formula, but with a clear homage to the genre of march.

March of the Shadows is my resulting creation for young band, whose title refers to the idea of following (as in my case, following the many composers of march who have come before me). Specifically, the work “borrows” the melody from Hale Vandercook’s Centaurus, used by permission of Hal Leonard. Finally, the title is also fitting as it refers to the overall dark, minor mood of the work.

About Beneath the Canopy

Composed By: Cait Nishimura

Difficulty Level: Grade 3

Duration: 3:18

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Timpani, Marimba, Glockenspiel, Suspended Cymbal, and Snare Drum.

I’ve always cherished any time spent in the forest. While the mighty and majestic treetops are what I’m drawn to first, I’ve come to enjoy observing and investigating the environment that exists beneath the canopy. It is here where many birds, animals, and insects make their homes; where mushrooms and mosses magically appear; and where visitors to the forest leave footprints on trails. Beneath the Canopy is a hopeful, uplifting, and energetic piece for concert band that is meant to evoke a walk through the woods. The layers of melodies and harmonies throughout the piece represent the various levels of the forest, from the ground to the understory and up to the canopy. The colours and textures within the ensemble depict the flora, fauna, and funga of the forest.

About Category 4

Composed By: Erika Svanoe

Difficulty Level: Grade 3

Duration: 5:15

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Timpani, Xylophone/Bells, Vibraphone, Marimba, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, and Auxiliary (Shaker, Hi-hat, Suspended Cymbal/Gong, Claves, Triangle, Crash Cymbal).

Category 4 was commissioned in 2019 by Kingwood Park High School Symphonic Band located near Houston, Texas. The ensemble requested a piece that utilized technology, specifically requesting an amplified tablet or iPad part that could be performed by a member of the ensemble. Additionally, Hurricane Harvey caused devastating floods in the community two years prior to the commission, affecting many people in the Kingwood community. The ensemble requested that the memory of this event be tied into the theme of the piece. The title “Category 4” is a way to refer to Hurricane Harvey, classified as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. This title also sounded like it might come from a science fiction story about computers and technology, which tied in the synthesized sounds of the tablet. With this title and concept in mind, the composition incorporates several instances of the number 4, including use of 4/4 time, utilizing groups of four notes rhythmically, four notes traveling up melodically, as well as extensive use of the melodic interval of a perfect 4th. Additionally, several of the sounds utilized in the tablet part have water adjacent names such as “fluid motions” and “warming waves” that refer to the flooding that caused so much devastation. The piece was completed in April of 2020, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It felt strange to me writing a piece about one disaster as we were living through another, and this affected me as I wrote the final measures. The ending of the piece attempts to end on a note of hope and optimism, reflecting that we can survive and persevere through difficult challenges and come out stronger on the other side.

About Clocktower Fanfare

Composed By: Erika Svanoe

Difficulty Level: Grade 3

Duration: 3:21

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Timpani, Bells, Vibraphone, Chimes, Snare Drum, and Bass Drum.

Clocktower Fanfare (originally titled With Tower High) was commissioned by the University of Wisconsin–Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the campus. The name comes from the familiar chimes of the Westminster Quarters, the melody run by the clock tower of UW–Stout's Bowman Hall, and features melodies from the UW–Stout fight song and alma mater. The piece was premiered by Aaron Durst and the UW–Stout Symphonic Band on April 16, 2016.

About Fanfare for World Peace

Composed By: Onsby Rose

Difficulty Level: Grade 3

Duration: 2:16

Full Band and Flex versions available.

Percussion: Timpani, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Crash Cymbal, Tam-tam, and Chimes.

Fanfare for World Peace - The idea of our world being at peace is as old as the world itself. Since the beginning of time there has been some sense of difficulty between human beings. In the beginning we know that Cain and Able fought. (the sons of Adam and Eve) This eventually ended with Cain killing his own brother, Able. In more recent history we see the world wars, the war in Vietnam, and most recently the struggle in the Persian Gulf area. As humans we long for peace and harmony. As I began to think about this idea, the search for peace, it became very evident to me that according to the Bible there will be no true peace until what we know as "the end of times." At this time Jesus Christ will return to the earth and we can look forward to the end of all war and hardship. This is the true peace that we seek and we can look forward to spending it in eternity with Him.

About Motorcycle Time

Composed By: Benjamin Dean Taylor

Difficulty Level: Grade 3

Duration: 2:53

Full Band version included.

Percussion: 9 Players Minimum - Timpani, High Bongo, Snare Drum, Triangle, Bass Drum, Crash Cymbals, Tambourine, Ride Cymbal, Slapstick, Tam-tam, Suspended Cymbal, Low Tom, Hi-hat, Shaker, Splash Cymbal, Xylophone, Marimba, and Vibraphone.

Motorcycle Time was inspired by my experience taking motorcycle lessons as an adult in my 30s. My buddy from church and I worked out a deal where I would give him piano lessons and he would give me motorcycle lessons. We kept this up for a number of months meeting weekly at the church. After teaching him a piano lesson, I would put on his helmet, gloves and jacket and practice turns on the bike, shifting, starting and stopping - around the church parking lot all while receiving tips and instructions from my friend. Eventually I graduated to driving on roads! It was exhilarating! But I never could quite shake the nervousness. It was a BIG bike, with a powerful engine and an intimidatingly loud exhaust - I was so scared on the first ride that I would lose control and crash. These contrasting emotions of exhilaration and anxiety are represented throughout the piece with periods of grooviness punctuated with periods of questioning. Be sure to listen for the engine revving at the beginning of the piece! Sit back and enjoy the ride!

About Turbinia

Composed By: Katherine Bergman

Difficulty Level: Grade 3

Duration: 2:59

Full Band version included.

Percussion: Xylophone, Vibraphone, Triangle, Temple Blocks.