I always enjoy seeing what music other band directors put into their ensemble’s folders. Here’s what I’ve got in the hopper this fall (in no particular order):
– Bells, Bells, Bells/arr. John Edmonson. A nice Grade 1 Christmas medley which features The Ukrainian Bell Carol (Carol Of The Bells) and Jingle Bells. This one has required a little more effort in my bands as the piece has less repetition than the others.
– The Might of Hercules/Mark Williams. Similar in character to his Centurion and March of the Cyborgs. Requires students to count through rests, and is a good next step in the process of teaching students rhythmic independence.
– The Little Drummer Boy/arr. John O’Reilly. Nicely scored. Rehearses pretty easily. The low brass part is easy, but is also for the most part boring for talented players. I like arrangements like this which give all the winds (including low brass) a chance to play a melody line.
– Refried Beans/Bruce Pearson & Barrie Gott. This title is from the collection “Standard of Excellence First Performance Plus.” Similar in character to Bruce Pearson’s other titles, Jamaican Holiday, Starfire March, and Rio Bravo. The students like that it’s a fun piece to play and easy to learn. It’s been a good piece for the beginning of the year to get the band’s momentum rolling again.
– Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)/arr. Michael Sweeney. From the Essential Elements Performer Level series. Although the Essential Elements method book includes Banana Boat Song, this arrangement is a more thorough version of Harry Belafonte’s recording.
– The Night Before Christmas/arr. James Swearingen. This medley uses a narrator reading the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Includes familiar Christmas carols Ding Dong! Merrily On High; Jingle Bells; Up On the Housetop; Jolly Old St. Nicholas and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. I’ve asked one of the local NBC News anchors (whose son is one of my trumpet players) to read the narration in our Winter Concert.
How about you? What music do you have in your folders? What titles are the kids excited about this year?