A LITTLE SOUSA FOR YOUSA
COMPOSER: Brad Schoener
PUBLISHER: Schoener Custom Music
GRADE LEVEL: Medium-Easy
A solidly scored march for middle school bands, with comfortable playing ranges, and a good way to teach marcato style of playing.
This sprightly-spirited march is an excellent way to introduce syncopated rhythms to your students. The melody is memorable and the bass line and the active percussion parts will delight your students. You will need four percussionists to cover the parts.
The tempo is quarter note=120 throughout the piece, as heavy tutti passages predominate except at letter C, where an effective contrasting section appears.
The B section brings in an engaging counter line in the high woodwinds that utilizes a combination of two sixteenths and an eight note.
The legato section at letter C offers an impressive contrast and relief to the forte section that preceded it. The dynamics are carefully indicated and create effective dynamic shadings. The flutes and clarinets state the melody along with the added “sparkle” of the orchestra bells. A simple counter line stated by the baritone and tenor saxophones is very effective. The moving bass line is stated by the tuba, baritone sax, and bass clarinet.
At letter D, the bass section begins the theme, immediately answered by the saxophones, second clarinets, horns, and second trumpet. This rhythmic figure is quickly imitated by the upper woodwinds. This massing of tension continues as the band builds in intensity to the fortissimo section at letter E.
At letter E, the piccolo (or section flutes) is featured on a challenging obligato. An easy flute part is included that does not contain this obligato figure.
The march is scored for two clarinet and two trumpet parts, and one horn, along with all of the standard band instruments. The piece finishes with forceful rhythms and the lively percussion parts will hold the interest of your percussion players.
The author suggests that the band stand at letter E the second time through…Sousa style!
This march could be used as a “massed band” piece if you are putting together junior high bands.
I recommend this spirited march as an opening number for a concert.
Vince Corozine Music , Author of “Arranging Music for the Real World” by Mel Bay Publications
10 Veschi Lane North
Mahopac, NY 10541