ACROSS THE WIND
Composed: 2008; Published: 2013; Key: F Major; Level 2.5
Triumphant melodies swoop and soar over bristling ostinatos in this piece, evoking the sensation of flight. The graceful middle section of the piece provides a calm respite before the exhilarating themes return.
Composed: 2005; Published: 2007; A Minor; Level 3
Inspired by the climactic battle scene in Shakespeare's Henry V, Agincourt tells a dramatic story of victory over impossible odds. The driving ostinatos and expressive melodies in this piece are set in an unusual asymmetrical meter, adding a new level of tension and excitement.
Composed: 2016; Published: 2019; Key: D Minor; Level 2.5
This diabolical selection starts with some fun fingering challenges and then gets faster… and faster… and faster! Enjoy the spooky-fun style and appreciate the skills required to play this challenging piece!
Composed: 2015; Published: 2017; Key: D Minor; Level 2
This piece was written for Johanna Kitchell and the Riverside Jr. High Orchestras, who were looking for an approachable piece that incorporates 3rd finger pattern. The result is a piece with bold rhythms and confident melodies - a dramatic addition to any concert program.
Composed: 2014; Published: 2016; Key: E Minor; Level 2.5
Bold, dramatic melodies transform into romantic strains in the fiery overture in 6/8 time. Listen as the themes are broken up and re-assembled in the middle section before before building to a triumphant finish.
Composed: 2016; Published: 2019 Key: B Minor; Level: 3.5
This dark and intense concert overture for advancing string players features driving themes that course through each section of the orchestra. The piece features common rhythms in 6/8 time and plays with its close relationship to 3/4.
Composed: 2015; Published: 2018; Key: D Major; Level 2
Atishbaji (Hindi for "Fireworks") is a Bollywood-style piece perfect for representing Diwali, India's "festival of lights," a celebration traditionally marked by candles, lanterns, fireworks and music.
Composed: 2012; Published: 2020; Key: D Minor; Level 2.5
Out of the mists of Arthurian legend, Avalon Rising paints a picture of mystery, adventure and destiny. Sweeping melodies pass between all sections of the orchestra in this exciting selection, building to a rousing and dramatic conclusion.
BEALE STREET STRUT
Composed: 2010; Published: 2012; Key: G Major; Level 2.5
Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee is famous for its blues clubs and is considered the epicenter of Southern jazz. True to its title, this piece has a jazzy style and broad swagger, full of challenging "blue" notes and syncopated rhythms.
THE BLUE CAVES OF ZYKANTHOS
Composed: 2018; Published: 2020; Key: Bb Major; Level 3
The lush, exotic sound of this piece was inspired by the island caves of Greece, which shine with iridescent blue light. The orchestra creates an undulating sense of motion with interlocking parts that rise and fall like the waves of the Aegean Sea.
Composed: 2014; Published: 2016; Key: D Major; Level 2
This stylish dance tune gets its name from the all-pizzicato texture and light syncopated feel. Bowless Beguine is a charming piece that provides students practice with important musical techniques.
Composed: 2018; Published: 2020; Key: D Major; Level 1.5
Brio is a sunny, playful piece for beginners featuring fun, catchy themes over bouncy accompaniments. This all-pizzicato piece gives everyone a chance to play the melodies, which feature easy syncopation and approachable counting challenges.
Composed: 2014; Published: 2016; Key: D Major; Level 1
This original song for beginning orchestras is written in the style of an American fiddle tune. The piece uses simple melodies and rhythms but does include open-string double stops - a favorite technique among beginning players!
Composed: 2014; Published: 2015; Key: C Major; Level 2
Inspired by a journey through central Italy, this piece is like a sunny bike ride through Sienna. Bouncy rhythms and broad, elegant themes bring Medeteranian cheer to your next concert.
Composed: 2004; Published: 2006; Key: E Minor; Level 2
This piece reflects the composer's interest in world cultures, its title referring to the Hindu idea of a single deity appearing in different incarnations. Different sections of the orchestra mote ad different rhythmic paces while creating harmony and continuity as a whole. The tension and interplay between the parts builds right up to the end of this exciting selection!
A BREEZE IN THE KEYS
Composed: 2004; Published: 2008; Key: C Major; Level 2.5
Written for the Sizzling Strings, a youth orchestra in Charlotte, North Carolina, this piece received its world premiere at Sea World in Tampa, Florida. Pizzicato strings imitate Caribbean steel drums as jubilant melodies dance a sunny calypso. The fun rhythms will have you dancing too!
CITY OF STEEL
Composed: 2014; Published: 2015; Key: B Minor; Level 3
Brooding melodies rise like mist over dark, churning chords, giving way to a warm, yearning section and returning for a rousing finish. The lush, romantic sounds and dramatic expression of this piece may remind you of a cinematic mystery or thriller.
Composed: 2012; Published: 2019; Key: D Minor; Level 2.5
The tropical beauty of Belize comes to life in this exciting dance. This is a bachata - a popular dance style that incorporates elements of salsa, meringue and tango. These breezy melodies and rhythmic accompaniments are full of Latin color and character.
Composed: 2000; Published; 2002; Key: A Minor; Level 2
Conjuring images of a muddy, battle-weary soldier, Crusader is a minor-key march for string orchestra. This piece is loosely structured as a theme and variations and each section of the orchestra gets to play the brooding themes.
Composed: 2006 - 2010; Published: 2013; Key: G Minor; Level 2.5
16th note runs dart across shifting meters, passing between parts before landing firmly in 3/4 time in this exciting selection. As the accompaniment buzzes with intensity, dark themes emerge from the low voices, reaching down to the 'cello and violas' C strings, settling into a languid glide, and back again into a furious conclusion.
Composed: 2003; Published: 2005; Key: F-sharp Minor; Level 3
Bold accents, broad contrasts, driving crescendos and agressive rhythms give Elementals its firey sound. Melodies ebb and flow through the piece, building in intensity throughout this dramatic, challenging concert overture.
ENTER THE LAUREATES
Composed: 2016; Published: 2018; Key: G Major, Level 1.5
This regal march in the style of William Walton was written with graduations, ceremonies and other special events in mind. The form is a traditional concert march, complete with a key change and a contrasting Trio section in the second half.
Composed: 2002; Published: 2004; Key: C Major; Level 2.5
This concert march was inspired by a visit to the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C., an impressive performance of music and precision drills. The piece takes the form of a march, but expands upon the traditional harmonies to create a more poignant musical atmosphere.
Composed: 2017; Published: 2019; Key: B Minor; Level: 2
Falconer is an exciting and dramatic piece for intermediate orchestras where thrilling melodies ring out over lively ostinatos. Listen for the string interplay between the parts and how the melodies move between the sections.
Composed: 2001; Published: 2003; Key: D Minor; Level 2.5
Inspired by a trip to the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Flambeaux depicts the traditional torch bearers who illuminate the nighttime parades. Special effects like col legno battuto (tapping the strings with the wood of the bow) and tremolo (rapid bowing) create a mysterious and evocative scene.
Composed: 2013; Published: 2016; Key: C Major; Level 3
With chromatic harmonies, bold accents and bracing grace note runs, Fleetwing is an exciting piece, perfect for students who are looking for a new challenge. Melodies pass fluidly between sections before regrouping for an exciting, satisfying finish.
Composed: 2018; Published: 2020; Key: E Minor; Level 1.5
This all-pizzicato piece was inspired by the techniques of Orff Schulwerk, a music teaching process where students learn short patterns and layer them to create full musical compositions. But instead of the usual mallet and percussion instruments, young players get to apply the techniques to string instruments! The result is a fun and funky selection that students will be proud to show off!
Composed: 1997; Published: 1999; Key: D Minor; Level 2
Thanks to its driving rhythms and dark harmonies, Gauntlet has become a favorite of the school orchestra repertoire. Though the title suggests a medieval battle or a test of skill, the piece was written without a specific story or imagery in mind. Audiences and musicians have interpreted the dramatic themes and transformations in many different ways.
Composed: 1999; Published: 2001; Key: B Minor; Level 2
spooky spiccato in the violins sets the mood for an exciting musical adventure. Imagine ancient stone protectors soaring through the dark night sky. This piece is a favorite of students and audiences.
Composed: 1997; Published: 1999; Key: A Minor; Level 2
Violas usually fill the un-glamorous middle ground in an orchestral texture, but in Goblin Dance, they take center stage. This dark but jazzy piece lets the viola section shine with syncopated rhythms and sly melodies.
Composed: 2007; Published: 2012; Key: B Minor; Level 1.5
Harrowland received its world premiere at the 2007 String Day in Bucks County, PA. Like a journey through a mysterious landscape, this fast-paced concert piece features a dark style, leaping melodies and driving rhythms.
A HERO'S WELCOME
Composed: 2007; Published: 2009; Key: F Major; Level 3
Subtitled "Pavane for String Orchestra," A Hero's Welcome is a poignant and bittersweet selection. The yearning melodies express a mixture of emotions that a 21st Century soldier might feel upon returning home from war: joy, comfort, despair, regret, relief and, ultimately, hope.
Composed: 2005; Published: 2007; Key: D Major; Level 1
Melodies pass seamlessly from section to section in this fun musical game! Everyone gets a turn with the themes and the pizzicato accompaniment in this "perpetual motion" piece, showing off how well the orchestra works together.
Composed: 2017; Published: 2018; Key: B Minor; Level 2
The cinematic sound of this piece comes from the rich romantic melodies set against ominous accompaniments. This dramatic piece is one students will be excited to show off!
Composed: 2013; Published: 2015; Key: A Minor; Level 2
A steady 3/4 rhythm beats under driving melodies in this exciting selection. Each section of the orchestra is featured through the piece's winding path, from its spirited opening theme to its wistful middle section and back again. Iroquois Journey is a vivid adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat! This piece was written for the 2014 Finger Lakes Music Educators Association All-County Elementary Orchestra ow Western New York.
Composed: 2002; Published: 2004; Key: C Major; Level 2.5
Lemon Twist was commissioned by the Hightower Trail Middle School Orchestra in Marietta, Georgia as a gift for director Susan Brown. This piece is an homage to 1950's blues-based rock and roll music from such artists as Chubby Checker and Buddy Holly. It features "blue" notes, hand claps, a "rhumba" bass line and a sunny syncopated style indicative of mid-century pop music.
Composed: 2009; Published: 2011; Key: G Minor; Level 3.5
Maharaja is a Bollywood-style dance with the characteristic flourishes and harmonies of traditional Indian music. Finger snaps and slurred pizzicatos immitate tabla drums to add to the exotic textures.
Composed; 2005; Published: 2007; Key: D Minor; Level 2.5
This charming number may start with discreet pizzicato, but it's not long before sly melodies emerge. A passionate Latin style repeatedly threatens to burst forthe with jazzy flourishes, but cooler heads prevail and keep things quiet.
MARCH OF THE WOOD ELVES
Composed: 2012; Published: 2014; Key: E Minor; Level 2
A mysterious pizzicato pulse sets the tone as shadowy, mischievous melodies evoke the March of the Wood Elves. Dynamics ebb and flow throughout this sly scherzo before the piece builds to its conclusion.
LAS MARIPOSAS EXOTICAS
Composed: 1998; Published: 2000; Key: A Minor; Level 2
The title of this peice translates as "Exotic Butterflies" - an apt name for a beautiful and delicate tango. The lilting main melody floats over a pizzicato accompaniment, meant to imitate the strum of an Argentitian guitar.
Composed: 2014; Published: 2016; Key: E Minor; Level 2
Masquerade is a spooky, whirling waltz, full of colorful chromatic notes, dramatic dynamics and wide tonal range. Listen for the tremolo bowing - always a favorite ghostly special effect!
Composed: 2004; Published: 2015; Key: D Major; Level1.5
An energetic introduction builds into triumphant and soaring melodies in this exciting concert piece. Melodies course through each section as they ebb and flow from placid moments to exciting heights.
Composed: 2013; Published: 2016; Key: G Major; Level 2
Big beats and catchy melodies dominate this rock-themed concert piece. It's a fun selection with a modern sound that reinforces important techniques like dotted rhythms and 2nd finger pattern notes.
NORTH OF THE MOUNTAIN
Composed: 2016; Published: 2018; Key: E Minor; Level: 2.5
The dramatic, cinematic style and assertive melodies moving between each section depict thrilling adventures. The contrasts between bristling ostinatos and longing legato melodies, will keep you on the edge of your seat!
NORTH POLE WORKSHOP
Composed: 2009; Published: 2011; Key: D Major; Level 1.5
This cheery polka is just the kind of tune Santa's elves might sing while making toys! This original song may start calm, but it builds to a rowdy finish as the elves hammer away.
Composed: 2009; Published: 2014; Key: C Major; Level 2.5
This jubilant overture was composed for the Dodgen Middle School 8th Grade Orchestra of Marietta, Georgia. Bristling with energy and featuring broad, heroic melodies, Pioneer Sky evokes the spirit of exploration.
Composed: 2007; Published: 2009; Key: D Major; Level 1
Players alternate quickly between pizzicato and arco, raising and lowering their "quills" throughout this piece, making it as much fun to watch as it is to hear. The breezy mambo style and light syncopation make this piece hard to forget!
A POSTCARD FROM TUSCANY
Composed: 2003; Published; 2005; Key: G Major; Level 1.5
This piece was inspired by a trip to central Italy and evokes the beauty of the region's rolling hills, stucco farmhouses and expansive rolling hills. Set in a leisurely 3/4 time, the lyrical melodies and simple accompaniments flow like the landscape out a train window.
Composed: 2007; Published; 2009; Key: G Major Level 2.5
Acrobatic arpeggios leap and bound through the air in this exciting selection. Featuring an advanced meter and challenging technical demands, Quicksilver is an exhilarating workout for the orchestra.
Composed: 2015; Published: 2017; Key: E Minor; Level 2.5
Galloping melodies in 3/4 time surge beneath sweeping syncopated melodies in Rogue Rider. Students are introduced to some higher-level musicianship skills, but will thrill to the daring style of this piece.
Composed: 2017; Published: 2019; Key: G Minor; Level: 2.5
One of the big hurdles of string playing is the concept of left hand positions. With that in mind, the violin, viola and cello parts of Rubicon were composed to be played entirely in 3rd position! Students will play familiar notes in a new way, learning one of the key concepts of advanced playing along the way in this exciting piece!
A RUSSIAN WINTER
Composed: 2003; Published: 2019; Key: B Minor; Level 1.5
A Russian Winter is an original all-pizzicato selection for beginning orchestras written in the style of an Eastern European folk song. Melodies dance between parts and students will love the sparkling, evocative sound.
SAMBA DEL SOL
Composed: 2010; Published: 2012; Key: D Major; Level 1
This sunny Latin number, played entirely in pizzicato has fun interlocking melodies and light syncopation. It becomes a dance for the whole orchestra as the melody shifts back and forth between the parts.
Composed: 2001; Published: 2003; Key: D Major; Level 2.5
In the style of a robust sailor song, Sea Chantey uses traditional call-and-response form, wide melodic leaps and lilting iambic rhythms to evoke the adventure of the high seas. Listed for double stops (playing two notes at the same time) in the 'cello part, mimicking traditional English and Irish fiddle style.
SHADOWS OF VENICE
Composed: 2009; Published: 2011; Key: E Minor; Level 2
Composed as an homage to Antonio Vivaldi, Shadows of Venice borrows some of the Baroque composer's stylistic flourishes. Most notable is the ritornello form, where soloists spar with each other between repetitions of the main theme. The piece is not only a "shadow" of Vivaldi's style but features a dark and evocative sound.
Composed: 2014; Published: 2017; Key: D Major; Level 1
This fun, jazzy, all-pizzicato selection is designed to be played at a beginning orchestra's first concert. Each section gets to play a melody, showing off the skills they've learned!
SLEIGH RIDE TO NEW HAVEN
Composed: 2005; Published: 2008; Key: D Major: Level 3
Melodies jump and glide throughout this exciting wintertime selection! Musicians show of their shifting skills with the spirited melodies and bouncy accompaniments. The cheery style is as brisk as a new England winter.
Composed: 2008; Published: 2010; Key: B Minor; Level 1
Using only pizzicato and back-and-forth melodies, this selection is reminiscent of "cartoon tiptoe" music. Listen for dynamic changes as the music passes between the parts of this fun story-song!
A SPARK OF COURAGE
Composed: 2014; Published: 2016; Key: D Major; Level 1.5
This joyful concert piece is designed to let beginners show off their skills with bowing and ensemble playing skills. The limited part independence lets young players achieve with confidence!
SPRING AT LAST
Composed: 2009; Published: 2018; Key: G Major; Level 1.5
This approachable string orchestra original work showcases newly learned skills like cut time rhythms, repeats with multiple endings and easy slurs between notes.
STAR OF VALOR
Composed: 2005; Published: 2010; Key: G Major; Level 3
Commissioned by the Mabry Middle School Orchestra of Marietta, Georgia, Star of Valor is full of heroic melodies and stirring ostinatos. Melodies collide, transform and overlap, struggling for dominance in this inspiring selection.
Composed; 2008; Published: 2010; Key: G Minor; Level 3
This dramatic concert overture may start quiet, but it builds and surges into powerful melodies and ostinatos. Rhythmic tension shifts throughout the piece, creating an exciting level of intensity.
Composed: 2004: Published: 2006; Key: D Major; Level 3
Unbridled is an exciting concert overture that gallops forth in a challenging 12/8 meter. Its heroic themes and driving ostinatos build and ebb, conveying a sense of joy and optimism.
Composed: 2003; Published: 2005; Key: A minor; Level 2.5
Alternately titled "Violet's Favorite Dance," the Violet in question is one of the main characters in a series of unfortunate children's novels. Violet could certainly dance a tango if she were forced to do so by an evil Count, and this stylish character piece captures the macabre and sly style of the books.
WAIT YOUR TURN!
Composed: 2000; Published: 2002; Key: D Major; Level 1
Wait Your Turn! was written for the Sizzling Strings, a youth orchestra in Charlotte, north Carolina, and was designed to help young musicians practice the essential skill of listening to each other while playing. Interlocking parts create a bouncy ostinato and the cheery melodies pass between parts, keeping musicians on their toes!
Composed: 2002; Published: 2004; Key: C Major; Level 3
Westward Motion was commissioned by the Mabry Middle School Orchestra of Marietta, Georgia and the opening ostinato of the piece is based on the rhythm of the school's name. This boisterous piece evokes the optimism of America's pioneering spirit, exemplified by westward expansion in the 19th century.
Composed: 2010; Published: 2014; Key: D Major; Level 2
Winstride is a sunny, playful piece, ideal for beginning orchestras. Festive themes give way to a contrasting middle section in a minor key, but soon return to the joyful melodies and sparkling accompaniments, bringing the piece to a rousing conclusion.
Composed: 2011; Published: 2014; Key: D Major; Level 1.5
This sunny Latin dance lets young players imitate woodpeckers by knocking the sides of their instruments with the wood of their bows! You'll enjoy the carefree style and the call-and-response style.
Composed: 2012; Published: 2014; Key: A Minor; Level 1.5
Paying tribute to great artists like Dick Dale, The Ventures and Jan and Dean, Zuma Breakers is an exciting, fast-paced piece in the style of classic 1960's surf rock. The piece is named for the waves ("breakers") at Zuma Beach, a famous California surf spot.
Composed: 2004: Published: 2006; Key: G Major; Level 2.5
Zydeco is a style of music native to New Orleans and the Mississippi delta - a unique mix of jazz, French folk songs and country music. Zydeco Two-Step stays true to the style with country-style fiddling, blues bass lines and call-and-response form. This fun dance has all the flavor of the bayou!