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Level 1 - Flatrock Creek by Alsup

Key: Bb throughout

Time Signature: 4/4 throughout

Tempo: Moderate (?)

Notes:  Very playable. All instruments in easy ranges.

-Sounded like 2 fermatas - one after a short intro, one about 2/3 of the way through. 

-Little to no dotted rhythms in the melody.

-Recurring theme -Onnnne 3 4& 1 2 Threeeee / 1 2 3 4& 1 2 Threee (Spelled out words more than 1 beat)

-Accompanying parts usually playing simple half-quarter-quarter rhythms.

-Melody mostly in trumpets and woodwinds, being passed to just woodwinds for a few measures about halfway through and just low brass after that.

-4 measure percussion break after what sounded like the 2nd fermata - simple rhythms, 1 2& 3 4& 1 2& 3 4

Ending - last 4 measures. 2 measures of Quarter in winds followed by 3 beats of percussion.  Whole note crescendo. Quarter note to end.

-No big traps that I could hear. Actually a decent melody and a nice sounding piece

-When low brass have their turn on melody, there is an accompanimental syncopated quarter-half-quarter rhythm in clarinet.

-Watch for dotted half- note quarter rhythms in the alto line (Ooooone 4) while the melody has half-note, two quarter rhythm, moving on three while the other group holds until four.

-Ritardando over two half notes before the second fermata. There are also a few places where one group has Half, quarter quarter, while the other group has the opposite -quarter quarter half.

Level 2 - ...To the Rescue by Beck

Key: Bb throughout

Time Signature:  3/4 changes to 4/4

Tempo:  Andante Tranquillo changes to Allegro

Notes:  Very playable. Opens in concert Bb and stays the whole way. 

-Starts in 3/4 and changes to 4/4 about halfway.

-3/4 section has a 4 bar introduction with dotted half notes.  Half notes and quarter are common and frequent in the accompaniment (low brass)

-Lots of quarter notes (1 2 3) in melody

-1st Clarinet, 1st Tpt and Flute have melody

-Opening is Andante Tranquillo.

-Measure 5:  1st theme - very playable 3/4 melody (flutes and tpts have lots A naturals)

-FH and alto sax have counter melody that 1&2 3. Very playable and not high.  In D, E, F, G region on horn

-Very long rest for FL and other high winds then a very awkward entrance at m 12

-Low Brass have some 1&2 3 rhythms

-Lots of accidentals, mainly concert Ab, as get closer to fermata and caesura

-There is a fermata and caesura with a release to end the 3/4 section.

-In the middle is a time signature change to 4/4 and a tempo change to allegro.

-The 4/4 begins with a 4 measure drum break. Very active snare, bass, and triangle. Snare plays: 1& 2e&a 3& 4e&a over and over again.   That’s the main riff for the 2nd half of the song.

-Full band minus low brass enters with 1 2&3 4&1 2&3 4&1 2&3 4

-8th notes marked with staccatos

-Accidental on beat for all of the melody (concert Ab) in flute, 1st tpt, 1st clarinet - gives tune modal sound

-After 8 measures low brass enters with same riff, but THERE'S A TRAP! There is a rest on beat one after 2 measures of the riff.

-Measure 39 - very playable section.  Low brass has half note 2 quarter pattern repeated ad nauseum, with occasional 2 8ths on beat 4.

-High voices have 1 2&3 4 over and over again in a somewhat modal riff.  Lots of concert Ab's

-Ending - Unison whole note with a breath mark

-Measure of 2 half notes then unison whole note

-Last measure has a trap - REST ON ONE!!  Then 2&3

Every so often is an accidental usually to concert Ab. Watch the last measure. Everyone is in unison on concert Bb and rhythm is quarter rest on beat 1, eighth note pair on beat 2 and quarter note on beat 3 with a quarter rest on beat 4.


-Clar. 1 goes over the break  and Trumpet 1 to 4th line D

Level 3 - Silverado by Wilds

Key:  Eb/Bb/Eb

Time Signature:  4/4 throughout

Tempo:  Moderate/Andante/Moderato

Notes:  Piece is in ABA format.  

-Whole band has 1st theme together

-No accidentals

-Lots of 8th Quarter  8th Quarter Quarter (syncopation).  Some Dotted quarter eighth rhythms

-Lots of unison

-End of 1st section ends with fermata caesura

-2nd section is Bb, Andante

- Flute and sax melody, then low brass melody then they switch back and forth

-2nd section ends on fermata caesura

-3rd section has a trick:  Bands plays 3 4 1, then flutes enter on 2&3&4&1.  This repeats many times

-In general not much dynamic range, although ending is fortissimo

-measures ARE numbered (I think this is requirement)

-less than 80 measures long

-2 trumpets, 2 clarinets, low brass is mostly unison

Level 4 - Breaking the Chains by Beck

Key:  Eb throughout, but switches to "keys of the moment" with accidentals

Time Signature:  3/4 throughout

Tempo:  Moderato through, with Molto ritardando in last two measures.  Quarter 8th 8th 8th 8th Quarter 8th 8th 8th 8th, with accents.

Notes:  Some Db accidentals, dotted quarter-eighth rhythms.  1unnnnn & Three

-goes back and forth between Marcato and legato styles

-Alto sax and flute take the lead in the legato section

-Trumpets have a really tricky entrances and it looks funny but when played makes sense. There are several cases where the trumpets enter on beat 3

-Lots of back and forth between exposed WW and Exposed Trumpet / Brass

-Starts marcato transitions into legato in the WW then back to Marcato with Accents

BUT….. It’s not accents like they need to be stressed they are accents that are needed to be separated…. Example Quarter note Half note rhythm needs separation…

-If you play it too fast you will not be able to get all the accidentals that are littered throughout  this piece. They are everywhere… B natural in low brass, Gb in trombone, etc.

-There are many ms in a row that have accidental after accidental then they place a (curtesy accidental) that could be confusing

-Percussion is well written but has the potential to be rushed if not careful.  Nothing hard in the percussion section of note.  They just have to count their rests and entry at the right time.

-I played it at a stately tempo … Slow is waaaaaaaay better than even a little fast

The hardest rhythm is dotted quarter 8th quarter…. 1unnn &

Over all this piece is super easy and will not be a problem if your kids can read.

Level 5 - Tower Bridge by Jones

Key - F/Bb/F

Time Signature - 2/4 (A section), 3/4 (B Section), back to 2/4 

Tempo - Fast/slow/fast 

ABA form, F Bb F (damn Eb's). Tonality is tricky in the A' section - lots of accidentals, so don't ignore it because it looks the same like I did. 1st Tpt, 1st clar, 1st trombone do most of the melodic heavy lifting. There is a spot where alto & horn have the melody with 16th notes that I wished I had spent more time with in exp. lots of upbeat and count 2 entrances throughout.  Melody is thin in spots with lots of kids on other parts (1st clarinet, 1st trumpet, 1st trombone need to play very convincingly, confidently and know that their parts are unusually independent of the other parts in their sections in both A sections).

Level 6 - ?

Key:  F/Bb/Eb

Time Signature: 4/4, 3/4, 2/4

Tempo:  Maestoso and Tempo di Marcia/Andante/Allegro

Fanfare for the first couple of phrases, then it switches to "Tempo di Marcia" without a fermata or caesura. When this tempo change happens the low winds have a dotted-quarter-eighth rhythm and the snare drum is playing as well. This section is all march style with some accidentals. At the last measure of the march section everyone plays the first three beats then there is a rest on count four with a fermata over it. Next section is in Bb Major, 3/4 and Andante. First phrase is just woodwinds, second phrase is just brass, then I think one more woodwind phrase. Overall this section has a lot of small ensemble exposure. End of this section there is a fermata over a dotted half note. Next section is Eb, 2/4 and allegro. Here there is a 16 measure percussion break that starts with just snare who plays the whole time. Timpani plays for four measure starting in the fifth measure, then bells play the melody for four measures starting in the ninth measure, then timpani again the last four measures of the break. The end of the piece has some weird key/accidental things (Db's and Cb's) and modulates to something else at the end (sorry, I didn't have a chance to analyze it). Isolated wind notes with a timpani solo near the end. Overall there are quite a few accidentals and eighth-two sixteenth and two sixteenth-eighth rhythms. Beyond that it's pretty playable.

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