Grade 2 - 3

Works for Band: GRADE 4 - 6GRADE 2 - 3GRADE 1 - 1.5

Works for StringsConcert Works

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BAND GRADE 3

Balkan Seven

Alfred Publications (Grade 3): Click to see & hear

Balkan Seven gets its inspiration from the lively, often rhythmically asymmetric, dances of the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe - encompassing countries such as Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia. ⅞ is the most popular uneven dance rhythm in all of Balkan music, especially in Macedonia, where a line dance with a 3+2+2 subdivision is prevalent. Not surprisingly, the percussion section plays a special role in creating and sustaining the feel of a rustic folk dance, and the wind players join in clapping as well! Balkan Seven was commissioned by the Orefield Middle School 7th/8th Grade Band (Orefield, PA), Mr. Peter Zimmer, Director and premiered May 2018. This Young Symphonic Series piece is a 2018 J.W. Pepper Editor's Choice and was described as "an attractive work" in an Aug. 2018 review in The Instrumentalist.

Lion of Ireland, Based on "Brian Boru's March"

Alfred Publications (Grade 3): Click to hear

An exciting concert piece based on "Brian Boru's March," a traditional Irish tune named for the legendary 11th-century ruler. Framed by dramatic opening and closing statements, the rustic Celtic tune gives way to original material, all in a showcase for band that reflects the valor and glory of the storied "last high king" of Ireland. Published in Alfred's Young Symphonic series, and selected for the 2011 Bandworld Top 100 list.

Magic Valley

Alfred Publications (Grade 3): Click to hear

Magic Valley musically depicts the rugged beauty of the Snake River Canyon in southern Idaho. The piece, based on an original hymn tune which represents the spirituality of the region, begins simply but gradually builds into a stirring, expansive tone poem. This piece was commissioned by the American Composers Forum and the Magic Valley Arts Council as part of the ACF's "Continental Harmony Project," and was premiered by the Twin Falls Municipal Band, Ted Hadley, Director, and the College of Southern Idaho Wind Ensemble, George Halsell, Director. J.W. Pepper "Editor's Choice."

Siege of Badon Hill

Hal Leonard (Concert Works Unlimited, Grade 3): Click to hear

Both legend and written history tell of an astounding and valiant 6th century leader who led the Britons in a series of battles against the invading Saxons. The Welsh historian, Nennius, calls this great medieval leader by his legendary name: Arthur. Wearing a cross on his shield, Arthur single-handedly defeated 900 barbarians in the most famous of these battles, at Badon Hill, forestalling the Saxon take over. The Siege of Badon Hill, with innovative use of voice and sounds, begins as Arthur's army rises to meet the dawn and prepare for battle in prayer. In no time, the battle is joined in an Allegro con brio. Horses charge; swords, shields and armor clash. Commissioned by the Southern Lehigh Middle School Band, Nancy Beitler, Director.

GRADE 2 - 2.5

Appalachian Hoedown

C. L. Barnhouse (Grade 2): Click to hear

Performers and audience alike will have fun with this upbeat, rollicking medley of two well-known fiddle tunes, "Old Joe Clark" and "Bile Them Cabbage Down". Folksy percussion, bluegrass rhythms, and even foot-stomping create a hootenanny atmosphere in this compelling, yet playable, arrangement for young bands. YEE-HAW!

Coney Island Rag

Alfred Publications (Grade 2): Click to hear

This lively, nostalgic piece will musically transport players and audience alike to the iconic amusement parks of turn-of -the-century Coney Island (near Brooklyn, New York). The sweet, cheerful sounds that flowed from the carousels and bandwagons of a time gone by infuse this characteristic, but level-appropriate, work. Ragtime feel is achieved via accessible syncopations, chromatics that lie well on the instruments, and sectional form. Novel percussion, including a slide whistle, adds to the fun! Alfred Challenger Series.

Der Erlkonig

Alfred Publications (Grade 2): Click to hear

Der Erlkonig, or "The Elf King," is based on Johann Goethe's late 18th-century poem of the same name in which a father and his young son ride home on horseback one dark and eerie night. During the swift ride, the concerned boy sees and hears supernatural beings (the Elf King and his daughters) his father does not. The Elf King entices the boy to join him willingly or by force! The father tries to calm the fearful son, explaining everything the boy reports as simply leaves rustling in the wind or willows moving in the fog. Nonetheless, the father rides faster and faster home only to find the boy is dead in his arms when they arrive. Goethe's dark and gothic tale is brought to spine-tingling life in this harrowing, fast-paced tone poem for band. Commissioned by MusicAlliance (Cleveland, OH) summer honor band program, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Alfred Challenger Series, a JW Pepper 2015 Editors Choice, named to the 2015 Bandworld Top 100 listing.

Dreidl Adventure

Wingert-Jones (Grade 2): Click to hear

Playing the dreidl game at Hanukkah can be more than a game - it can be an adventure! That is the premise of this epic, rhythmically charged setting for young band of the beloved Hanukkah tune, "S'vivon" (The Dreidl). Named a 2014 J.W. Pepper Editor's Choice.

Dorian Haiku

Alfred Publications (Grade 2): Click to hear

Two centuries-old cultural artifacts - one Western (the Dorian mode) and one Eastern (Haiku poetry) - are fused together in this uniquely work, resulting in an engaging and beautiful composition for intermediate band. The piece begins with the ensemble in unison, chant-like, on a Dorian mode melody with three phrases: 5 notes, 7 notes, and 5 notes (the haiku). After some development, a contrasting section - another 5-7-5 Dorian haiku - follows; exotic percussion suggestive of Eastern music accompanies. After a brief percussion soli, the opening haiku returns fully-scored in a broad, gorgeous climax. Dorian Haiku offers many wonderful opportunities for teaching both musical and cross-curricular concepts. A Summer 2014 review in The Instrumentalist magazine called Dorian Haiku a "unique and interesting" and "thoughtful and fresh" new piece (Aug. 2014)! Alfred Challenger Series and performed by the Illiana Christian School Wind Ensemble (Lansing, Illinois), Robert Sheldon guest conducting, at the 2015 Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic.

Hercules vs. The Hydra

Alfred Publications (Grade 2): Click to hear

The Greek hero, Hercules, was sentenced by the Gods to endure 12 seemingly impossible "labors" in order to redeem himself. Hercules vs. the Hydra portrays the second of these tests, his battle with a nine-headed water serpent with deadly venom and the ability to grow back two heads for every one cut off! The piece begins with the Hydra's half-step motive, which quickly builds and multiplies into the music of the epic fight. The blows of Hercules' club and sword, rhythmic accents in the music, land hard on the beast but to no avail. Hercules regroups to a slow, hopeful theme, encouraged as his nephew Iolaus shares the secret to defeating the Hydra. Hercules rejoins the contest with new resolve, reflected in the exciting merging of two of the piece's themes, which lead to a victorious climax! This Alfred Challenger Series piece was a 2013 J.W. Pepper "Editor's Choice," included on the 2016-17 Ohio Bandmasters Required Music List, and is available in SmartMusic.

Morning Star

TRN Music Publisher (Grade 2): Click to hear

Music figures prominently in the rich Christmas traditions of the Moravian church, dating back to the Protestant Reformation in Eastern Europe and established in America during the early 18th century. In most congregations, the hymn "Morning Star" is sung antiphonally with a child soloist as the highlight of the service. The classical simplicity of Morning Star, as well as the antiphonal performance practice associated with it, are captured in this arrangement for young band. A 2016 J.W. Pepper "Editor's Choice" (TRN Music Publisher).

O Happy Day

Alfred Publications (Grade 2): Click to hear

This well-crafted arrangement for young band conveys the joy and inspiration of the well-known gospel re-working of the 18th-century hymn, "O Happy Day." A "breakdown" section with clapping, and a gospel-style ending, all add to the fun. Send your audience home with a happy song in their heart with this perfect closer for your program! Alfred Challenger Series.

On Holiday

C. L. Barnhouse (Grade 2): Click to hear

This is bright, happy and evokes the air of excitement all kids feel when they're getting away from school for a break to go "on holiday". It is appropriate for a holiday concert (obviously), but also for a spring concert (since spring break and summer vacation are at hand).

Race Car

Alfred Publications (Grade 2.5): Click to see & hear

The skill and thrill of auto racing is captured musically in this piece via it's infectious groove and exciting syncopations. Written in one continuous movement, its sections (Start Your Engines!, They're Off!, Pit Stop, Back On Track, and Finish Line) will help you imagine sitting behind the wheel of a powerful and agile racing machine over the course of a breathtaking speed contest. The palindromic nature of the title, Race Car (which reads the same forwards and backwards), is exploited musically throughout. Use of palindrome includes a pervasive syncopated ostinato rhythm, it's overall A-B-A form, and a fugatto section at the center of the work (Pit Stop) in which virtually each instrumental part is a palindrome! The pit crew is suggested in this section, a "race car ricercar," by use of mechanical-sounding percussion (ratchet, brake drum). Learn all about the use of PALINDROME on both a small and large scale in the piece by CLICKING HERE! Race Car was commissioned for and premiered by the Shepherd Middle School Band (Ottawa, Illinois) to mark its final concert with long-time director, Ms. Donna Martin. Alfred Young Symphonic Series.

See Amid the Winter's Snow

Alfred Publications (Grade 1.5-2): Click to See & Hear

"See Amid the Winter's Snow" is perhaps the best-know carol by English organist, composer and teacher, Sir John Goss (1800-1880). The emotional scope of this lovely nativity hymn - from the cold, winter's "dead of night" to the appearing of angels singing in "wondrous light" - is mirrored in the dynamics of the musical setting. See Amid the Winter's Snow - with its quintessentially English melody, flowing inner voices, and sturdy bass lines - has it all and is the perfect "change of pace" piece for a winter program. Alfred Challenger Series.

Terracotta Warriors

Alfred Publications (Grade 2.5): Click to See & Hear

Terracotta Warriors was inspired by the extraordinary "spirit army" of clay statues - numbering more than 6,000 - created in the third century B.C. for the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China. This astounding array of armed sculptures was placed in the emperor's tomb, along with hundreds of terracotta horses and chariots, to protect the emperor in the afterlife. The music begins with a brief, plaintive folk chant summoning the army from their centuries-old sleep. The faithful warriors respond, coming to life to protect their emperor with musical representations of uniform marching and weapons display. Terracotta Warriors captures the legend and grandeur of the Qin dynasty in this striking and unique piece for band. Terracotta Warriors was commissioned by the Albemarle County (Virginia) Middle School Honors Band and was premiered at their November, 2016 festival. This Alfred Young Symphonic series piece is a 2017 J.W. Pepper Editor's Choice and was chosen for the 2017 Bandworld Top 100 listing..

Thrills and Trills!

Alfred Publications (Grade 2): Click to hear

When it comes to trills, why should the woodwinds have all the fun? Not so with Thrills and Trills! This circus-style march is a rambunctious, thrill-a-minute crowd-pleaser where trills are the main event and every player in band gets into the act. This Alfred Challenger series makes Grade 2-2.5 sound like 3 or 4!.

"Troika", from Lt. Kije Suite

Alfred Publications (Grade 2): Click to hear

This delightful arrangement of Prokofiev's light classic captures the essence of the original in an interesting, yet very playable adaptation for intermediate players. Alfred Young Symphonic series.