wind band contest pieces for brass band?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by kaderschaufel, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. kaderschaufel

    kaderschaufel New Member

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    Do you know contest pieces from the wind band repertoire that have been arranged for brass band? I've just recently discovered

    El Camino Real by Alfred Reed, arr. Frode Rydland

    which I really like, and wondered if there's more.


    Brass bands have always played arrangements of orchestra pieces, but they seem to ignore wind bands, which is a shame, since they also have a rich repertoire (richer than brass bands anyway), and even are sound-wise a little closer to brass bands than orchestras.
     
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

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    … matter of opinion, I think … ?
     
  3. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

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    I think it’s fair to say that.

    Though wind bands don’t have pieces written specifically for contests. El Camino Real certainly wasn’t.
     
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  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

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    I’ve played in a Wind Band, it was an interesting experience and much if not most of the music was new to me - but, of course, moving between any two Brass Bands can introduce you to (though in my experience it hasn’t) a vastly different repertoire too. As for which repertoire is richer I think it difficult to say; IMHO you’d need several well regarded MD’s who’d conducted both types of band to guide a judgement on that. That aside I’d be interested to hear why you have reached that conclusion (that Wind Bands have a richer repertoire than Brass Bands) and then hear what others have to say. To me (not that I’m much of a Judge) they’re both rich in both their own and in overlapping ways.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

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    It's IMO a bit of a silly assertion. Both traditions have rich repertoires, with different focusses. Neither is overstocked with masterpieces the way the orchestral repertoire is, which is both a weakness and a strength.

    Regarding the original question, it's perhaps worth noting that Dutch publications have for many years often published simultaneously in the "HaFaBra" format ("Harmonie/Fanfare/Brass"), including for major works. I believe various of Philip Sparke's works came into the banding eye simultaneously in different formats in this fashion?
     
  6. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

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    Indeed.

    I think it's fair to say the wind band repertoire is much, much larger than the brass band one. This doesn't make it 'better' but certainly richer, I would say. The range of styles around the world is much wider than we have in the BB world, and there are many pieces 25 or 30 minutes long - of which we have very few. That doesn't make them good pieces of course, but some of them are. :)
     
  7. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

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    For the uneducated (I don’t know either) would it be possible to have further explanation of the “HaFaBra” format please, don’t mind who from. Always learning something new and often unexpectedly.
     
  8. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

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    HaFaBra (Harmonie/Fanfare/Brass Band) are three different types of band. Harmonie is what we call a wind band and Fanfare is a typical Dutch/Belgian line up consisting of brass and saxes, without other woodwinds.
     
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  9. kaderschaufel

    kaderschaufel New Member

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    mental note: if you wanna have a question answered, don't add a controversial claim, or people will only talk about that.

    I admit that I'm not fully qualified to compare brass bands and wind bands, because I'm not that much into wind bands, but since wind bands are so much more widespread than brass bands, and brass band repertoire really is rather small, I thought it was a reasonable assumption (thank you @Anglo Music Press for confirming it. Btw, are you the real Philip Sparke, or some kind of agent?).

    Particularly talking about lower section pieces that my village band could play, there are like 10 original brass band pieces that I'd consider fantastic (and obviously, we've done them all), so I was hoping we could borrow music from wind bands.
     
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it was my mistake to infer that the OP meant "richer" in terms of quality rather than quantity.
     
  11. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

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    That statement is a real puzzle to me and I can only assume that you are not here in the U.K. I know of only one Wind Band in my area but there are many more Brass Bands (possibly just into double digits). The Brass Bands that I’ve played for in recent years each have roughly one thousand pieces in their libraries - music amassed over many decades - and I’m sure that that is not unusual.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  12. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know how many wind bands there are worldwide, but the USA and Japan have about 20,000 each!

    There are hundreds and hundreds of new wind pieces published each year. Numbers of Brass bands are fairly tiny in comparison.
     
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  13. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

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    The UK is afaik the only country in the world where the traditional brass band as we know out outnumbers wind bands. And even that's not absolutely certain, because precise numbers of either are not available.
     
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  14. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the would explain why the U.K. is the destination of choice for so many migrants ........ makes you proud to be British :) . One lives and learns.
     
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  15. David Mann

    David Mann Member

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    In my local harmonie (orchestre harmonie d'Arras) we play a couple of original works by Thierry Delaruelle (of Fraternity fame) - Place des Héros and Emperor. Both of these would work for brass band but obviously with a very different sound palette.
     
  16. jobriant

    jobriant Active Member

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    Getting back to great Wind Band music that's been transcribed for Brass Band, several pieces come to mind. The Holst "First Suite in Eb for Military Band" and "Second Suite in F for Military Band" both work well for Brass Band, but Holst's wonderful ability to use the entire tonal palette of the Wind Band is lacking. (Many may already know that much of the Second Suite was originally part of his "St. Paul Suite" for string orchestra.) The Vaughn Williams "Folk Song Suite" was originally written for Wind Band; the composer himself produced a version for orchestra, and there's a good Brass Band version available as well. I would love to transcribe Frank Erickson's "Air for Band," an American wind band classic that's technically very easy & which is a great piece for developing ensemble playing and individual musicianship, for Brass Band. I approached the publisher for permission, but their terms were (to my mind at least) tantamount to highway robbery.

    But I have found a number of wind band pieces that are in the Public Domain, and arranged them for Brass Band, including:

    American Soldier, March (1907) by Francis A. Myers. Myers was a clarinetist in the Sousa Band. This march is also played by Dixieland Bands under the title "Bugle Boy March." The Pacific Brass Band performed this several times in our 2014-2015 season, including at a Dixieland Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA.

    Fantasia on American Airs (1892) by Fred Lax. Lax was principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I reconstructed this medley of American Patriotic tunes from a partial set of wind band parts purchased thru eBay in the late 1990's.

    Electric Scherzo (a/k/a/ "March Electric") (1902) by Giuseppe Creatore. A sprightly, transparently scored Italian march. The Brass Band version is scored a fourth lower than the Wind Band version.

    The Last Call, Funeral March (1917), by Fred Jewell. Included in the "Fred Jewell Band Book" published by C. L. Barnhouse, one of the leading wind band publishers in the US since the 1880's. The book is mostly circus marches and other material; I believe that Jewell wrote this so that circus bands would have an appropriate piece for funeral services when there was a death among the circus troupe. I wrote this arrangement (a very straightforward transcription of a pretty easy piece) in one evening, and we played it two days later at the memorial service for one of our members who passed away unexpectedly.

    Miss Trombone (1909) by Henry Fillmore. One of the 15 Trombone novelty / Ragtime pieces in Fillmore's collection, "The Trombone Family," written over a span of about 20 years.

    Shoutin' Liza Trombone (1920) by Henry Fillmore. Another member of "The Trombone Family."

    Fehrbelliner Reitermarsch (1875) by Richard Henrion. A German "Fanfare-March" written for a mounted cavalry band.

    Le Pere La Victoire (Father of Victory) (1888) by Louis Ganne. One of the classic French wind band marches. We also played this one at the 2015 Dixieland Festival:

    Galop Zip Boom (1920) by Charles E. Duble. A rip-roaring circus galop.

    Kentucky Sunrise (1919) by Karl K. King. A ragtime selection written for a 'dancing horse" act in the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The horse's name was "Kentucky Sunrise."

    Bravura, March (1917) by Charles E. Duble. Another classic American Circus March.

    The Call of the Elk, March (1920), by Harry L. Alford. Harry Alford (not to be confused with Kenneth J. Alford) wrote this for the 1920 National Convention of the B.P.O.E, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a fraternal organization in the USA. we premiered this arrangement in a benefit concert at the Gilroy, California Elks Lodge in March, 2017. The concert raised over $3,600.00 for college scholarships to be awarded by the Lodge to local students.

    Idaho March, by Charles L. Barnhouse. A lively march by the founder of C. L. Barnhouse Publishing; it has very unusual phrase lengths in the "Trio" section.



    Skyrocket March (1860) by Claudio S. Grafulla. An early march by a leading American band composer of the mid-19th century. (He also wrote "The Washington Grays," which is published for Brass Band and well worth playing.)

    The Exalted Ruler, March (1905) by Robert B. Hall. Another Elks Lodge march; the "Exalted Ruler" is the title held by the principal officer in each local Elks Lodge. That 2017 Scholarship benefit concert was such a success that the Gilroy Elks Lodge invited us back again, and in the spring of 2018 we opened the second concert with this march. (We're doing it again this spring, and I'm working on a Brass Band version of a march titled "The Jolly Corks." (The Elks began as an actors' drinking club in New York in 1868. They called themselves "The Jolly Corks" because they played a game using wine corks; it was rigged so that the new guy always bought the drinks.)

    Pozieres, March (1918), by Alex Lithgow. By the famous march composer from New Zealand. Named for the WWI Battle of Pozieres, in which the ANZAC troops played a major part.

    In Storm And Sunshine (1885) by John C. Heed. One of the classic, fast-tempo American Circus Marches. Here's the definitive wind band performance of it:

    Santa Cecilia, Marcia Sinfonica (2000) by Maurizio Cancelli. I found a wind band recording of this on YouTube, tracked down the composer's contact information, and emailed him for permission to score it for Brass Band. His email reply included his permission, as well as PDFs of the score and all the parts for an Italian Wind Band. Lots of high clarinet writing in the original, so this one is a real workout for our Eb Soprano player. We've read through it twice, and will perform it for the first time in October, 2018.

    There are a lot of other wind band pieces that I'd like to see become available for Brass Band, such as:

    George Washington Bridge (1950) by William Schuman
    A Festival Prelude (1962), by Alfred Reed
    The Billboard March (1907?) by John Klohr
    Greensleeves, as arranged for Wind Band by Alfred Reed
    L'Inglesina (The Little English Girl), March, by David Delle Cese
    Marcia Sinfonica in C Minor (ca 1917) by Giuseppe Creatore (I have a partial set of wind band parts for this, but there's too much missing to reconstruct at this point)
    On The Mall, March (1923), by Edwin Franko Goldman
    The Chimes of Liberty, March (1922 or earlier), by Edwin Franko Goldman
    Pentland Hills, March (1965), by Capt. Jimmy Howe (a march made up of Scottish songs). An easy march.
    The Purple Carnival, March (1933) by Harry L. Alford
    March of the Steel Men (1937) by Charles S. Belsterling
    Toccata (1925), attributed to Frescobaldi but actually by Gaspar Cassado
    Winter Storms, Waltzes (date uncertain), by Julius Fucik

    If you're curious about any of these, most but not all) 0f them are on YouTube in their original wind band versions.

    And now it's after 1:30 AM here in California, and time for all Music Directors to go to sleep.

    Jim O'Briant, Gilroy, California, USA
    Music Director / Staff Arranger
    The Pacific Brass Band www.PacificBrassBand.org
     
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  17. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

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    (Many may already know that much of the Second Suite was originally part of his "St. Paul Suite" for string orchestra.)

    What a great post! But my OCD means I need to point out that Holst's St Paul's Suite was written after his Second Suite so this 'borrowing' is the other way round.
     
  18. jobriant

    jobriant Active Member

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    Thank you for the compliment! I had been told (and thought I'd read many times) that the St. Paul's Suite came first. I just spent about 20 minutes online, researching this to try to prove that I was right. I was wrong. I think part of my confusion comes from the facts that the Second Suite was written in 1911 and not published until 1922; and the Saint Paul's Suite was written in 1912 and also not published until 1922. Thanks for the correction!

    In an interesting bit of programming, our local community orchestra, the South Valley Symphony will be performing both of these pieces on the same program in March of 2019. I believe we'll augment our winds with players from one or more local high school wind bands for this. we

    I might as well add another interesting programming choice. This orchestra presents four concerts per season: September, December, March and May. This year we're doing Glazounov's The Seasons -- we'll perform Autumn in September, Winter in December, Spring in March and Summer in May. I suggested this, as a member of the orchestras "programming advisory committee," and our conductor liked the idea.

    Jim O'Briant, Gilroy, California, USA
    Music Director / Staff Arranger, The Pacific Brass Band www.PacificBrassBand.org
    Principal Tuba, The South Valley Symphony Orchestra www.SouthValleySymphony.org
     
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