Beginner Band Solos - fact or fiction?



I don't know if anything like it even exists, but are there such things as a stand up solo's or duet's with band accompaniment for beginner bands? Or at least pieces that feature particular instruments? To give an idea of standard, they're currently making light work of "The Cathederal Suite" by Stuart Johnson.

I'm facing a problem that I'm sure other instructors face; you've got a few players that are ahead of the rest, and you're trying to keep them challenged but don't want to leave the others behind.

Any suggestions?


Staff member
The Salvation Army's American Brass Ensemble Series (not quite sure of the proper name) includes solos with band accompaniment graded at levels I to IV. The accompaniment is flexible, with 4 basic parts and others which are optional, and the series includes composers such as Jim Curnow and Steven Bulla. I've a feeling there may even be some in the current SP&S sale, but either way I'm sure an email or phone call to worldofbrass will give you more details.

Di B

Have got 'O Sole Mio' for cornet from Mostyn music.

It is written as a cornet solo, but has an Eb part too. Highest note is a top G, and gives a nice little counter melody in the middle too! There is an optional top B near the end for those more advanced. Accompanying parts not too bad at all, possible grade 2/3 standard and parts are doubled up in a lot of cases so if you haven't got a full compliment of players it doesn't affect the music too much!

My cornet player has just passed grade 3 with distinction and is going straight onto grade 5. The piece is within his range, but it is a challenge without being impossible.

The other thing I do is look at traditional music (ie non copyright) and then arrange my own solos from this. This is good because this way you can really tailor make a solo or duet for your particular players. Even if you aren't fantastic at arranging, it is possible but it does take a lot of nights in!!!!! :shock:

The final choice is to choose a piece and ask an arranger to arrange it within your specific requirements. If you are paying for it then you should be able to have a technical bass trombone part and nothing above middle G for the cornets if you want to! :wink:

Hope this helps


Active Member
The sunshine of your smile is a fairly simple one i did when i was on 3rd cornet (cant remember arranger/publisher) but it's on a sheet with "I hear you calling me", "Drake goes west" and another one i can't remember, it's quite old and yellow if my memory serves me corerectly!!

TuTuKu xxx


Be thou my vision [slane] is quite nice- i wouldn't say it was hugely difficult- but is melodic and played nicely is very effective in concerts.

the solo is for cornet and goes to a top A, at the highest poit but is mainly range between low D- C in stave. the accomp. parts are mainly chordaly bits- not sure who by [?]
myabe some one could help me out there.

i think its a great piece- x

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