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Topic: An Overture for Concert Band

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  1. #1

    An Overture for Concert Band

    The last Concert Band score I worked on before taking a break from scoring work was an adaptation of "St. Petersburg," the opening number from my children's musical based on "Tom Sawyer."

    Just as with the last Concert Band piece I posted, this is mostly an all-Garritan production, using the Garritan counterparts of all the standard Concert Band instruments, with contributions from GPO, JABB, COMB and IO.

    Something different from my other Concert Band pieces is that the primary percussion is for one musician playing a full trap set. EZDrummer plays that part in the MP3, and is the only non-Garritan instrument.

    "Tom Sawyer's Overture"

    And as a sample of the score, here's its first four pages:

    "Overture" PDF

    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    This more than wonderful ouverture is considered as a warm welcome greeting back into the forum. Thanks, Randy, for such lovely and rich music in a sublime performance.

    Max

  3. #3

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    Randy! Nice overture. Very "Randy," to my ears--bright, varied, and splendid chord changes.

    Is this out for publication? The only problem with overtures is that they usually hinge together the songs from the show, so as a standalone piece, there might be a disconnect there with players and audiences.


    One suggestion for the score. I think you need an "a2" and a "tutti" only for the first time. Then when the part divides, it's assumed it'll be a2 and tutti. Just a thought that jumped out at me.

    I like the rendering--crisp and clean--no mud! How refreshing it is to hear this!

    Way ta' go, Randy!

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  4. #4

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    Very creative and original. I can see, in my mind's eye, the picket fence being painted and also the boys floatin' down the Mississippi. Will those scenes be in your production?

    Nice job, Mister B. Thanks for sharing.

    Best,

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  5. #5

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    Loved it the first time (I went back for a memory-refreshener), love it as a concert band score.
    Great adaptation... and sounds really gorgeous, too, perfectly balanced, clean... what more to say?

    Fab

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    Hi Randy, nice Rand-ition!

    fresh and expressive. By the way it doesn't pay justice to the score: the human accent and swing feel will inflate in it more life and tenderness as it deserve of course, and I really hope to listen soon to a real performance of it.

    The overal balance seems to be good in the score (always hard to manage the weight of the brass vs. the rest): were you arranging for concert band during your carreer or is it a recent achievement?

    thanks for sharing, all the best
    F.

  7. #7

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    Oh my - I already have a pile up of replies - Thank you all for listening! In due course, I'll be replying. You know me - One at a time. So first off, this morning I'm very glad to welcome Max back to the Forum:

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    This more than wonderful ouverture is considered as a warm welcome greeting back into the forum. Thanks, Randy, for such lovely and rich music in a sublime performance.

    Max
    Thank you so much, Max, for your high praise- And I like the idea that this little piece of mine made for a musical greeting, a kind of fanfare to accompany your re-entrance on the Forum. I just got through replying to your thread with the incredible Baroque rendering. Excellent to see you here and to hear your marvelous work! I really appreciate it that you visited my thread too.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    A really nice sound Randy! Just in the beginning, the first few bars, the instruments did not sound very authentic to me, but once it took off, it sounded just great. I love how you change the tempo and the mood of piece at various positions in the song. Just a downright pleasant listen. I am curious as to why you took a break from scoring work unless it was just to clear your head. Thanks for posting this. Jay

  9. #9

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Randy! Nice overture. Very "Randy," to my ears--bright, varied, and splendid chord changes.

    Is this out for publication? The only problem with overtures is that they usually hinge together the songs from the show, so as a standalone piece, there might be a disconnect there with players and audiences.

    One suggestion for the score. I think you need an "a2" and a "tutti" only for the first time. Then when the part divides, it's assumed it'll be a2 and tutti. Just a thought that jumped out at me.

    I like the rendering--crisp and clean--no mud! How refreshing it is to hear this!

    Way ta' go, Randy!

    Art
    Hello, Art! I'm always hoping you'll notice when I've posted one of my Concert Band scores, and you haven't let me down yet. For some time now, I've relied on your input - via the Forum, email, PMs, and by studying your scores - Because, as you know, it's all still rather new to me. This year is the first time I've attempted to arrange for Concert Band, and the first time I've tried to work up presentable scores in my notation program, Sibelius. After however many months it's been, I still need all the help I can get!

    I'm glad you like the sound of this demo. It's something I worked on for a long time, and finally had to say it's Fine For Now, even though I'm still not completely satisfied. But then - I really am never satisfied.

    This particular project was really just for my own practice. I understand what you're saying about the difficulty of overtures. If they aren't pastiches of music already familiar to the audience, it doesn't really work. Feeling that this one probably wouldn't have any chance of being picked up by a publisher, I went ahead with it anyway as a challenge to myself. The original version was a chorus number from the show, the opening number that sets up the whole story of Tom Sawyer. It was arranged for an impossibly large orchestra/band, with strings, banjo, harp - the kitchen sink! I cut out one of the musical themes, changed the structure, and then adapted what I'd originally written for the specific CB list of instruments. The result is very different from the first version - All done, as I'm saying, as an exercise.

    And I'm glad you brought up the a2 issue.
    Even though I'd asked questions about this in General Discussion, and gotten helpful replies, I've still been unclear on what's best to do. The confusion is due to seeing multiple instrument staves being handled differently in different scores. I was noticing that some particularly fastidious scores do what I've done here, constantly making it clear that a line is still meant to be a2 when a unison note follows a division.

    Measure six of Clarinet 2-3 in this score is the first example of what you're talking about. I have a2 on the first note - it's unison,both clarinets 2 and 3 are to play it. Then in measure 3, the two parts divide. At measure six, they're to be unison again, playing the same note. Initially I didn't have the a2 notation again, but, as per what I said above, I was seeing scores where a2 is slavishly noted every time there's a return to unison after a division - So, I went back through the score and inserted all these a2s that you now see. It looks unnecessary and redundant to me, but I thought, well at least everyone knows I want all musicians to play the note, not just group 2 or 3.

    In measure 20 of Clarinet 2-3, I've indicated with "1" and "2" what the two separate lines are, since group 1 is alone for the first note, starting the rhythm pattern that goes through measure 22. I have a "2" indicating the melody for the other half of the clarinets on that staff. I think that's done correctly?

    Then measure 25 is the first group only, but when everyone plays on measure 26, I didn't insert any explanation because there's only one way to interpret the measure. Is that done correctly, or should I have added a "2" for the lower line when it comes in?

    I guess that I could remove all the a2s after the first ones, and then only use "1" and "2" as those instances come up. You're saying that's what you would do?

    Well, as I said, after seeing a variety of notation solutions in different scores, I can still be a bit fuzzy sometimes on what to do - And so am probably marking scores up more than they need to be, in an attempt to at least not be vague!

    Thanks again, Art - If you have input on what I've brought up here in my reply, I'd love to hear from you again.

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: An Overture for Concert Band

    Randy: For this score, I think the Clarinets 2-3 problem is best solved by creating separate clarinet 2 and clarinet 3 staves. I think the single staff you now have divides enough to justify two staves. I'm thinking of this from a publishing and practical perspective. If the music is grade 1 or 2, then minimizing staves is probably appropriate. You'd have single-line parts anyway and lots of doubling. As an example, some publishers put bassoon, bass clarinet (even though it's bass clef), trombone, baritone, and baritone saxophone on one staff for their unison line! In a strange way, I think publishers think combining this way also minimizes expense.

    At about the grade 2 level, things get more subjective. As I mentioned, though, the "rule" I follow for my scores is that if the part divides "enough," and, of course, this is a judgment call, then the score merits separate staves.

    From a practical standpoint, separate clarinet 2 and clarinet 3 staves in your score also solves a lot of the technical questions about who plays what.

    Same deal with flutes, alto saxes, trumpets, horns and trombones.

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

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