We have been encouraging band directors, music librarians and others to share their suggestions for Golden Age band music that is fun to play and pleasing to audiences. Here are favorites from Marcus L. Neiman, conductor of the Medina Community Band.
America Victorious – Edwin E. Bagley (1919) Bagley. Key: A-flat/D-flat. Time: cut time. Score: conductor/solo cornet. Length: 2:30. Grade 4.
Newly transposed parts: C piccolo, F horn. Very playable. Appropriate for Flag Day, July 4th, Veterans’ Day.
Under the Big Tent – Ned Brill (1913) F.J.A. Forster Music Publisher. Key: E-flat/A-flat. Time: cut-time. Score: solo cornet. Length: 3:30. Grade 4.
Straightforward circus-style march. Newly transposed parts: C piccolo, F horn.
The Mississippi River (March) – Julius Fučík. Original: (1906) Mojmir Urbanek, new edition: Martin Tousignant. Key: F/B-flat. Time: 6/8 / 2/4.
Length: 3:20. Grade 3.
Great find, very playable. In the original the part names are in Czech and some study will be required to make sure parts are distributed to the right instruments. The new edition has modern parts and full score. Very much in the flavor and style of Fučík.
Razzazza Mazzazza (Ragtime) – Arthur Pryor. Original: (1905) Carl Fischer, new edition: Martin Tousignant. Key: F. Time: 2/4. Score: solo cornet. Length: 3:00. Grade 4.
While the original is very good, the Tousignant arrangement is outstanding. It comes with a full score and modern instrumentation. This is a classic ragtime trombone smear, well worth working on and playing. If you like Joplin, you’ll love this one.
George Rosenkrans marches, expertly arranged by Gary Gillett and William Roche. All include full scores and well-edited parts for the Rosenkranz marches. You can find one at any level. These marches should be played!
The Debutante – Herbert L. Clarke. Original: (1917) M. Witmark & Sons, new edition: Ian E. Charleton. Grade 4, cornet solo grade 5. Original has D-flat piccolo and C flute, E-flat horn parts, and solo cornet with cues for conductor. Charleton’s edition has a full score, C piccolo and F horn parts. This is a classic cornet solo and Charleton’s new edition really makes playing the piece a joy!
Solo Pomposo – Al Hayes (191) Fillmore. Grade 3, tuba solo grade 3. D-flat piccolo and C piccolo/flute; both E-flat and F horn parts; baritone TC and BC. Solo part must be used as score. Straightforward solo that is accessible by most good players, accompaniment is well written and easy to put together with solo. It should be noted that Al Hayes is a pen name for Henry Fillmore.
Marcus Neiman is a retired high school band director and arts education administrator. He has conducted the Medina Community Band since September of 1972, and is currently on the music education faculty at Kent State University.