Dedicated to the child victims of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, 2012, this tone poem attempts to inspire peace through introspection. A gentle lilting melody, slowly growing in intensity, depicts the ascension of 20 Tiny Angels. The 7/4 time signature and modal harmony gives an impression of otherworldliness on which the melody floats. This piece features an improvised solo section supported by true modal harmony, creating a beautiful complexity of colors and shades.
This beautiful aria is often erroneously attributed to J.S. Bach due to its inclusion in the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, but was most likely written by the German composer Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel. Commonly heard as an organ solo or vocal with organ accompaniment at weddings and other religious occasions, it translates perfectly to a 4-part steel pan ensemble. This is a short and sweet addition to your classical repertoire.
Old meets new as the only acoustic instrument family invented in the 20th century realizes one of the great works of the Italian Renaissance. Originally composed in the late 16th century for brass choir, this piece divides the ensemble in half and pits one choir against another in a call and response style known as antiphon. With 10 distinct parts, this piece places emphasis on individual musicianship within the larger ensemble.
One of Debussy's more recognizable and crowd-pleasing pieces, this arrangement is a challenging piece to perform not for its technical requirements, but more for its expressive demands (dynamics and tempo) and the ability for the ensemble to listen to one another. A conductor is recommended, but not absolutely necessary. It is also recommended to have a middle pan section that can accommodate the sweeping arpeggios found in the quadrophonic part. Most 4-pan configurations can accommodate this role.
This explosive show stopper from Saint-Saëns' grand opera makes an excellent concert finale or competition piece for the advanced ensemble. Divided sections demand independence from the individual players while rendering a more accurate depiction of the composer's original timbral landscape than otherwise possible. A full complement of orchestral percussion makes this piece a memorable experience for performers and audience members alike.
Written in a free, romantic style, this piece allows the soloist to show off both the emotional depth and the technical potential of the cello pan. The piece starts in a slow rubato and gradually builds in intensity throughout the work, reaching an emotional height in the final bars. This piece is ideal concert material for the intermediate to advanced soloist.
From Tchaikovsky's collection of piano music for children, these simple trios are ideal for the beginner's first foray into chamber ensemble playing. Included in this collection are No. 4 "Mama", No. 5 "March of the Wooden Soldiers", No. 6 "The Sick Doll" and No.15 "Italian Song."
Although one of Gossec's most popular works, this playful melody from the Classical period may be best recognized from its use by arranger Carl Stalling in several Warner Brothers cartoons. This piece gives the intermediate soloist a chance to showcase the delicate upper register of the tenor pan. Composed in a simple ternary form, the outer sections play with a simple grace note motive built on eighth notes while the middle section embellishes the melody with sixteenth note figures. The tempo, Poco allegro ma non tropo, keeps the whole piece accessible to the intermediate soloist.
This impressive march from Verdi's popular opera is great for showcasing the expressive flexibility of an ensemble. The Triumphal March, in the opera, marks the victorious return of the Egyptian army. At 12 minutes in it's entirety, this powerful piece works well as the cornerstone of a concert or competition set.
This lively refrain and variations from the French Baroque master gives the intermediate to advanced soloist a chance to show off the agility required of runs, turns and ornamental figures at a rapid pace. Played in a Vivace tempo, this piece is sure to impress.
This third movement from Beethoven’s beloved “Pastoral Symphony” depicts a scene of dancing and revelry among the countryfolk. Written simultaneously with Beethoven’s stormier Symphony No. 5 and debuted alongside the famous work in 1808, the “Pastoral Symphony” gives us a glimpse into Beethoven’s more serenely introspective side. Known for his love of taking long walks in the country, Beethoven may well have based this imagined merry country gathering on a chance encounter with just such an event.
One of Beethoven's most memorable and beautiful melodies, the Adagio Sostenuto from Sonata No.14 is sure to delight any audience. This arrangement inverts the original structure by placing the delicate moving line in the tenor section and giving the bulk of the melodic material to the more resonant double seconds. Multi-octave arpeggios are cascaded across the entire range of the ensemble to an enchanting effect.
Meaning "God Bless Africa" in the Xhosa language, this South African hymn carries a great deal of historical significance as the anthem of the global anti-Apartheid movement. This inspiring melody has since been adopted by several African nations as a national anthem. This arrangement overlays traditional European counterpoint in the pans onto a backdrop of syncopated African rhythm.
From Chopin's collection of Nocturnes for solo piano, this arrangement is great for showcasing the expressive flexibility of your ensemble as well as the technique of your middle pans. The piece starts with a slow eerie melody, resplendent with the lush harmonies expected from a Chopin work. Midway through, the tempo begins to build into a feverish agitato, arriving ultimately at a lively dancelike section in the enharmonically respelled key of the dominant, Ab Major. Following a brief cello cadenza, the piece concludes in the same subdued manner it began.
This challenging arrangement of Bizet's beloved ouverture is fertile ground for the ambitious Double Seconds soloist. This piece demands a mastery of the triple-stop and quadruple-stop from the soloist as well as strong independence between the hands.
Probably Elgar's best remembered and most played composition from it's use in graduation ceremonies, this march highlights the ability of the ensemble to present contrasting expressive moods in a single piece. From the rousing scherzo introduction to the familiar tempered and lyrical trio section, this piece draws on the expressive depth of the steel orchestra.
A solo for Cello Pan utilizing a Rondo form composed in a neo-Baroque style. A solid command of technique is required in this swirling refrain and variations. This piece also includes a brief fugato section to display the soloists' control of multi-voice counterpoint. Moving nimbly across the full 2 octave range of the the cello pan, this piece is great program material for the advanced soloist.
This Sarabande is a slow dance movement from Bach's first Partita for solo violin. The majority of the melodic material rests in the Tenor part while the counter lines and Bach's austere harmonies are voiced across the range of the Cello and Double Seconds. While not terribly technically demanding of the players, the challenge in this movement lies in the unity of expression required of the players by this nature of work.
This series was commissioned specifically to provide quality steel band music for beginning steel bands. The six pieces in this collection represent a variety of styles, composers and difficulty and can serve as an entire semester's repertoire.
The first two pieces, Pa Bailar (cha-cha) and Hope (reggae and soca), were composed by composer, performer and educator Jeff Narell. These two tunes are Level 1 difficulty and make great first tunes for middle and early high school steel bands. The groove is really nice, and they could easily be taught by rote
2:00; 2:45; 3:15; 3:00; 2:15; 2:45
T, DT, DS, C, B, Drums
Tenor: C4 – C6
Double Tenor: A3 – C4 (DT is only on Catch Me and You Got Me Going)
Double Seconds: F3 – D5
Cello: B2 – F4
Bass: B1 – E3 (with octave)
An exciting piece with recurring themes, this serves as a great tool for an intermediate ensemble to work on stark dynamic contrasts. Though mostly folk-like in character, the occasional runs warrant a 4 rating. Tempo can be at the discretion of the director, but not to fall below conducting in "one."
This three movement sonata for cello pan highlights the resonant beauty of the instrument while exhibiting its potential as a solo instrument. Written in a neo-Baroque style influenced by the solo string works of J.S. Bach, this piece in part or whole is sure to please at your next concert or recital.
*The final movement utilizes the upper harmonic D5 commonly found in D4
The national anthem is a must to have in the repertoire of any serious performing ensemble. This arrangement takes a traditional military band approach with plenty of pomp and fanfare, sure to stir the listeners at your next performance.
This three part suite pairs the tenor pannist with the string cellist creating a novel timbral landscape. The first piece begins with a slow chromatic introduction working its way into a much faster section in the oft-neglected key of Gb Major. The second piece features a slow lyrical melody in the tenor pan over a gently moving cello line in the key of Db Major. The final piece in the work is an extremely brisk, mixed-meter, dancelike movement in D minor, complete with a metric modulation from compound to simple time.