top of page

Level 1

Piece: Unseen King

Composer: David Herring

Percussion: Snare/BD/Cymbals/Triangle/Tambourine/Bells

Key: Eb throughout

Tempo: Moderato 4/4 throughout

Notes: Fermata/caesura in middle of piece.  Horn/sax melody in middleLots of different timed entrances, dotted quarter/eighth rhythms, few dynamic changes, low brass should watch out for Ab cause there are very many.

More notes:  n the Level 1 SR, 4-bar intro, then easy 8-bar tpt & fl melody. Low brass are playing 1 rest 3 rest. Horns & altos have easy dotted-quarter note melody starting at m. 13. Fermata/caesura in m. 21. 22 is exposed horn/alto ostinato: 1 2 rest 4 1 2 rest 4, then awkward 10-bar WW melody. mm. 22-33 is what's throwing most people off; it's thinly scored and messes with kids' confidence. m. 34 is return of same easy 8-bar melody from beginning. mm. 42-43 easy 2-bar conclusion.


-From a 2C NV director:  My CC NV had a very tough time with the middle section after the fermata. The beginning is very playable and the end is as well. There is about 12 measures in the middle that are pretty easy to get derailed. Straight eighth notes on the rim in the snare drum part (mine rushed). On top of that is an Easy melody in the bassoon, BC, french horn that feels like its in 3/4. my kids crunched the quarter rests and ended up rushing a little not being able to find the pulse with my rushing snare drummer. Then after 4 (unclear) measures of rest the clarinets and flutes come in with a tough melody with a low F in clarinet and low Eb in Flute. The rests were hard to count because the lack of pulse and the feeling of 3/4 time. That hesitation plus the hesitation of those really low notes that our kids don't read often led to an almost breakdown during that section. Enough of my kids recovered to play that last easy section that is pretty playable, although we had stray sounds everywhere because some kids were lost from that awkward middle section and did not recover. My experience is not everyone else's and it may not be yours. I found it quite difficult, awkward, and tough to hold together. Only one NV at my contest got a 1 in SR and I gather that they had their struggles as well. Hope this helps.


More info:  Yes, the horns and altos have the melody at m. 13 and many miss few the Ab concert notes there. The bigger "trap" is m. 26 (4 measures after the fermata). The horns and altos (with the low WW's I believe) do start after the fermata, with a count 3 rest which is in the tambourine. It's the flute/clarinet entrance at m. 26 that is the issue. The melody is in the low octaves and they need to ignore the "p" marking. In this section, there are a couple of low Bb's in the clarinets. Even bands who's clarinets got the pinched Bb, missed the low octave Bb. If m. 26 falls apart, the rest of the piece tends to snowball and several brass sections miss their entrances and end up playing a measure late (or more) and then play extra notes at the end which ends with 1 rest 3 rest 1 2 3 rest. Cue and tell the horns, altos, flutes and clarinets to play with confidence.


Level 2

Piece:  Echo Point Canyon

Composer:  David Herring

Percussion:  Snare/BD/crash and sus cym/triangle/bells/woodblock

Key:  Eb to F

Tempo: Allegro 4/4

Notes:  Sostenuto section. 4 bar phrases Back and forth between sections. Dotted quarter/eighth, several accidentals, two measure rest with a percussion break.  Melody is the same is restated in key of F section.


More info:  In Level 2, the "back and forth between sections" are one-measure call-and-responses between high and low voicesAlso, in Level 2, there is no fermata or caesura before the key change - it just goes right into it


Level 3

Piece:  Variations on Schubert Theme

Composer:  Michael Worthington

Percussion:  Snare/BD/Triangle/Crash Cym/Mallets/Tympani

Key:  Eb throughout

Tempo:  Moderato 4/4 with ritard towards end

Notes:  4 to 5 concert A naturals in flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone and flutes have B naturals.  Pay close attention to slurs vs tongued notes(slur 2, tongue 2).  Some style changes.  Some 1 2&3 4& backgrounds with staccato on 8th notes.


More info (3/16/16) - The composer's name is Michael worthington. The rit at the end has a dotted half/quarter in all the winds, but a 16th based snare line. Percussion are the only non-unison rhythms. The Slur 2/Tongue 2 PATTERNS Involve Lots Of 4th Jumps, especially in flutes/clarinets. There is a thinly scored legato section in the middle with melody between flutes and clarinets. It is unclear who exactly has the melody. At one point, flutes sustain a b natural concert while clarinets are on Eb concert, creating sounds some major dissonance students might hear as wrong notes. Hope this helps.



Level 4

Piece:  Cray Crook Creek

Composer:  Clifton Jones

Percussion:  Snare/BD/Crash and sus cymbals/bells/timpani (F, Bb, Eb)

Key:  Bb/Eb

Tempo:  Stately

Notes:  8th-16th-16th rhythms.  WWs have dotted quarter-eighth for 8 bars, then brass has same rhythm for 8 measures while low brass has melody.  Concert Ab's leading to Fermata with caesura before key change to Eb.  3/4 in Eb section.  Very straight forward and playable.


More info:  The eighth-sixteenth-sixteenth happens in the following rhythm, only at the beginning, and only in the Flute/CL/AltoSax Parts: 1-2-&-3-&-a-4 rhythm. Also, Trombone 1/Baritone has a minor (as in mode, not importance) response to the melody that is centered around g minor, going up to high Ds when they have the melody in the B-flat section.There are concert F-sharps written in saxophone and trumpet parts as you approach the fermata before the Eb-3/4 transition. E-flat section is very easy, however melody has a dotted quarter tied to an 8th, quarter, quarter rest, then another quarter pickup to the melody. Tripped up a few of my trumpet players. Low Brass has quarter rest-quarter-quarter rhythm after key/time change. Percussion has many rolls and flams throughout the piece.


Level 5

Piece:  Unknown

Composer:  Unknown

Percussion:  Unknown

Key:  F/Bb

Tempo:  Quick/slow

Notes:  Starts in F, quite a few accidentals.  Tempo was marked as "quick".  Fermata key change to Bb slow tempo and more accidentals.  Then fermata back to quick tempo but stay in Bb.  No real "tricks" except for some isolated lines between 2nd sax and 2nd trumpet.


More info:  Starts in concert F. Allegro Full band at the beginning Something similar to quarter note 2 8th notes. Second 8th note tied to half more and tied to another dotted half note quarter note on beat 4 Very melodic melody in Flute/ 1st Clarinet and 1st Alto Sax while band holds long notes. Same sequence repeats one or two more times. Those three sections come in on the and of 2 or and of 3 with 8th notes After intro. I think the melody begins with trumpets. First measure of melody have dotted quarter note 8th note Next measure immediately has dotted 8th 16th note on beat two I think. Be ready for that It is a challenging melody with a scalular line and leaps. Goes up to a high concert G. While that melody is playing low brass have an 8th note ostinato pattern. One and rest and three and rest and one and Over and over again The low brass then have the melodic line that has a dotted quarter note A section ends with a ritard and Fermata on one and three. Beat three has accidental getting ready for Key change To B flat concert B section in B flat Concert and in 3/4 Andante or slower if I am correct Now be ready for this. 2nd clarinet and 2nd Alto Saxophone have an 8th note moving line while half notes are being played on a THINLY written section. All 8th notes. Something very similar to (in concert pitch) "A Bflat A Bflat A Bflat A Bflat A Bflat C Bflat and then it repeats it self I don't know remember who has the melody but it was not as exposed and should be playable I had week players in those parts so I put my emphasis there. Will come to a Fermata again at the end of the B section. And then the same restatement of the 8 section BUT in BFLAT CONCERT!!!! Last measure the wind rhythm is "one rest three and four.


Level 6

Piece:  Unknown

Composer:  Brian Beck

Percussion:  Unknown

Key:  Eb/Bb

Tempo:  Andante/Allegro/Jubilioso

Notes:  Andante - first half - key of Eb - clarinets have the melody most of the time. Clarinets pass the melody to flutes and saxophones at some point. LOTS of dynamic possibilities throughout this entire section. No rit. at the end of the andante section.  Allegro/Jubilioso - Second Section - Bb Major - Starts off with a snare drum solo - sixthteeth notes/accents/little tricky. This passes to to odd entrances to the trumpets/french horns/full band. Big call and response (two measures) section between low brass and high brass. Lots and lots of sixteenth note runs in the flutes and clarinet sections. I would instantly allow these students to figure these sections out. No accidentals and playable. The ending of this allegro section has lots of accidentals from the low brass. Gb & Db. Be careful to point out the syncopated rhythm that's passed through the entire allegro section. It's eighth, quarter, eighth. This appears a lot. Lots of opportunity to make music in this section too - lots of written dynamics. Very playable overall

bottom of page