Primer String Orchestra (Grade 1/2 — Orange Cover)
A fanfare-like piece that makes even the youngest of players sound far more advanced than they are. The technical demands are very limited, but the music is bold and exciting for the players and audience alike. Another winner from Larry Clark!
Omicron is an exciting composition for the developing string orchestra that starts with a three-note idea and steadily builds as the piece progresses. Carefully placed accents make the simple theme float across the bar lines throughout the piece. Sean O'Loughlin has a knack for writing great music for the very youngest of students.
String pedagogue Doris Gazda has arranged a classic Henry Purcell piece for the youngest of students. Your orchestra will be able to achieve a full sound with the work’s limited technical demands. Rigadoon is a wonderful introduction to Baroque music for beginning students.
Battle Quest has a feeling of a video game or movie soundtrack, with dynamic, forceful themes. However, it is still very playable for beginning string groups. Mike Forbes has penned a piece that will make your groups sound much more musically mature than their experience.
Simple, effective, and beautiful are three words that perfectly describe this lovely new work for beginning string groups by Bill Calhoun. It’s a great vehicle for working on musicianship with your students. Expressions also teaches the concepts of tension and release in music with well-placed dissonance and resolution sprinkled throughout.
This piece conjures up images of strong warriors readying for battle. Strong open intervals and aggressive pentatonic melodies with a variety of orchestral colors make this a piece worthy of contest/festival performance. Keiko Yamada’s powerful, energetic piece will be thrilling for young orchestra students.
First Plus String Orchestra (Grade 1.5 to 2 — Yellow Cover)
Arena of the Gladiators
Arena of the Gladiators is fiercely reminiscent of its title, evoking gladiators fighting for their lives in huge, crowd-filled coliseums. Popular composer Joseph Compello draws on his classroom experience to write a piece that will not only be loved by students, but that is also within their technical limitations.
Here’s another classic Larry Clark work for string orchestra, containing all of the musical traits that have made his music so popular, such as strong melodic content and a fresh harmonic perspective. This would be a strong choice for festival performance to make a developing string group sound its best.
Dominion is a composition for the developing string orchestra that captures emotions during the time of war. The term dominion is often used in history to describe British rule and in science fiction, it is used to describe certain ruling factions in space. Either way, a call to action is necessary to preserve the dominion's rule. Sean O’Loughlin taps into the student's love for forceful, cinematic-type music with this exceptional piece.
Students will enjoy this energetic, intriguing piece in which each instrument has an active part and gets a turn at melodic themes. Composer David Hinds is new to the Carl Fischer catalog, but he has already proven himself as a composer that can write music fitting the needs of developing students while retaining sophistication and musical worth. We are proud to have David on the Carl Fischer team.
This piece takes off right from the start. It contains some very pleasant contemporary sounds not usually found in pieces of this difficulty level, and students will be eager to play it again and again, thanks to composer George Sweet’s string education expertise. George is fast becoming one of the most popular composers of music for school string orchestras around the country.
With legato melodic lines, driving marcato phrases, and quiet pizzicato figures, Silhouettes employs a wide range of musical techniques for young players to grasp. Composer Alan Silva makes it all come together in an effortless-sounding piece for developing string groups.
Young String Orchestra (Grade 2 to 2.5 — Red Cover)
While its melodies are distinctly Eastern, Ancient Flower’s harmonies are, for the most part, in a Western style. A long, sensitive, and mysterious melody line will take you to another world. Its inner melodies are fun to play, and you can hear them dance around the main melody as the piece develops.
Cast in a familiar pop ballad format, this feel-good piece will have your students and audiences wanting more. Matt Turner likes to emphasize popular style and improvisation in his pieces and his educational philosophy dictates that his pieces always give opportunities for improvisational solos. A charming piece for any concert setting as a break from classical music in the program.
A capriccio is a freely composed instrumental piece. It probably will remind you of the word capricious, which means “given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.” The piece is tuneful and light, but with a nice shift to the relative minor before returning to the light-hearted theme for a dramatic conclusion.
Comet Race paints a sonic picture of a comet and its tail racing across the sky on a dark night. Master string educator and composer Doris Gazda’s Comet Race will challenge your young students and delight your audience. This piece is a real gem and a welcome addition to the repertoire.
This hymn tune has been used in movies and television, most notably in the soundtrack of the film True Grit. Carl Strommen brings us a lush and reverent treatment of the Anthony Showalter hymn that will encourage the musical growth of your ensemble. Stunningly beautiful!
Written with a Spanish folk song flavor in ľ time, Moonlight Over Madrid is a lush, romantic piece that is played in an expressive, legato style. This is a definite creative departure for composer Alan Silva, but what remains intact is his fresh, melodic and flowing writing style.
This piece’s title conjures up images of a beautiful young fawn, illuminated by early morning sunlight in a fog-filled meadow. Composer Keiko Yamada has a gift for writing heartfelt music with blossoming harmonic perspective. This piece is a different approach from her Japanese musical roots, but the piece still has all of the beauty that her pieces have become known for. A gorgeous addition to the repertoire and an excellent piece to teach musicality and phrasing.
The Red Gully is inspired by a large gully in one of the many woodland areas of Blackstock, South Carolina. Composer George Sweet explores one of his favorite places in this lovely new piece, containing whimsical melodies and a fresh harmonic perspective.
Sarabande with Variations by George Frideric Handel is from his Keyboard Suite in D minor, HWV 437. Originally for harpsichord, this arrangement was transposed to the key of E minor and adapted for string orchestra. Arranger Bill Calhoun has beautifully realized this archetypal piece for young string groups. It will serve well to teach students about this important composer and style. Simply lovely!
Concert String Orchestra (Grade 3 and up — Green Cover)
Bells! (Les Cloches)
Jean Fery Rebel, arranged by Doris Gazda
Bells! is a joyous expression of the sound of cathedral bells by Baroque composer Jean Fery Rebel. Doris Gazda has crafted this piece for string orchestra with optional chimes, and it will be an exceptional addition to any program, serving to introduce students to this time period in musical history. Perfect to showcase your ensemble in the contest/festival setting.
Hear the thrill and excitement of being on the water in this delightful new piece from composer Yukiko Nishimura, which is whimsical and fresh. The triple meter gives the piece a lilt that establishes the sensation of sailing on the big ocean. This is a substantial piece for advancing ensembles and would be ideal for contest/festival performance.
The Dies Irae is a hymn from the 13th century based on a poem describing the day of judgment, with the Latin words translating to mean “day of wrath.” Deborah Baker Monday has taken the Dies Irae and interspersed some of her favorite settings of the theme throughout her freely composed Fantasia. Students will enjoy exploring the many techniques used in composing this fantasy, and there is also the opportunity to have students engage in critical listening activities to recognize the Dies Irae in many musical masterpieces.
From the opening ensemble marcato accents and the driving sixteenth-note unisons in the low strings, Forest Incantations is a compelling musical statement from the very beginning. This active, “edge of your seat” composition provides all sections of the string orchestra with unique and satisfying musical challenges. This is one of Alan Silva's best to date.
Sean O’Loughlin’s The Ides of March is pulse-pounding and haunting; a dramatic composition for string orchestra. This work celebrates the composer's love of modern film music and is an exercise in economy of musical material while remaining wonderfully melodic and flowing.
Nautical Variants is a setting of the sea shanty “Blow, Ye Winds,” presented in five contrasting settings. One of the best-known sea ballads, it tells the story of a whaling voyage from New Bedford, Connecticut to the Pacific and back. Composer Gene Milford has created a stunning new work for advancing string ensembles that will serve well on any concert program or for contest/festival performance.