You are seated in a rehearsal with your students.  Suddenly without warning an alto clarinet spontaneously combusts into flames.  It spreads quickly to your gradebook, old wool band uniforms, and begins creeping towards the music library.  You have but seconds to get you and your students out of the room (okay so there are a few percussionists that you conveniently tell to put EVERYTHING away first before exiting the building)…..

 Okay true believers, this post is inspired by my good friend Joe Pisano over at (Bump on over and buy him a cup of coffee!) and my Professor of Music Education at GCC, Mr. Edgar S. Groves.  But you must save some of the music.  You have time to save only 7 pieces.  7 pieces from any time, any level.  But only 7.  These 7 will be the first played on the first concert after the band room is rebuilt.  I have listed my 7 pieces below (no particular order of importance).  I hope you join in on the “Save the music” hypothetical situation.  Whether a student musician or director, I look forward to hearing from you!

1) First Suite in E-flat – Holst
2) Greensleeves – arr. Alfred Reed
3) Flourish for Glorious John – Vaughan Williams
4) The Pines of Rome – Ottorino Respighi
5) I Am – Andrew Boysen Jr.
6) O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen/arr. Reynolds
7) The Liberty Bell – John Philip Sousa

Hope this lights a “fire” under bloggers everywhere!


Travis J. Weller

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  1. Travis,

    Great Idea…Let’s circulate this in the music blog world… I’ll write a post with my Top 7 and list your Top 7 to it -with a link back to your site… and so forth…

    Let’s see what happens..

    -J. Pisano

  2. Travis,
    I am technologically challenged and couldn’t figure out how to post.
    1. Salvation is Created
    2. Irish Tune from County Derry
    3. Dusk
    4. Blue Shades
    5. Chester
    6. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
    7. Any classic march (Sousa/Fillmore/etc.etc.etc.) I love playing the
    clarinet parts
    Sam Fisher
    Middletown HS

  3. Wow….tough choices but here are mine today. These of course would be different on any given day depending on my mood.

    1. American Overture for Band Jenkins, Joseph W.
    2. Russian Christmas Music Alfred Reed
    3. American Salute Gould, Morton
    4. March from 1941 John WIlliams
    5. Of Sailors and Whales McBeth
    6. Amazing Grace Ticheli, Frank
    7. Loch Lomond Ticheli, Frank

  4. 1. America the Beautiful – Carmen Dragon
    2. Irish Tune from County Derry – Percy Grainger
    3. Daphnis and Chloe – Ravel
    4. Shenandoah – Frank Ticheli
    5. Amazing Grace – Frank Ticheli
    6. First Suite in Eb – Gustav Holst
    7. Manhattan Beach March – Sousa

  5. 1. Variations on a Korean Folksong
    2. Hands Across the Sea
    3. March of the Belgian Paratroopers
    4. Flourish for Wind Band
    5. Amazing Grace (Ticheli)
    6. Sleigh Ride (Anderson)
    7. Overture for Winds

  6. To have to only choose seven hurts, but here it goes.
    In no particular order…and just how I feel at the moment…

    1) English Folk Song Suite – Vaughan Williams
    2) Lincolnshire Posy – Grainger
    3) Salvation is Created – Tschesnokov
    4) Canterbury Chorale – Van der Roost
    5) An American Elegy – Ticheli
    6) Courtly Airs and Dances – Nelson
    7) La Fiesta Mexicana – H. Owen Reed

  7. I’ll take a swing…

    Rushmore-Alfred Reed
    Canzona-Peter Mennin
    Abram’s Pursuit-David Holsinger
    Pagent-Vincent Persichetti
    American Patrol-FW Meachum (concert band, not jazz)
    Shiny Stockings-Frank Foster (jazz band)
    Switch In Time-Sammy Nestico (jazz band)

    I might have tried a more well rounded concert, but the flames really started to hurt.

  8. Well thank God that alto clarinet is gone.

    In no particular order…
    1. Grainger – Lincolnshire Posy
    2. Holst – 1st Suite in Eb
    3. de Meij – Symphony No. 1 – Lord of the Rings
    4. Mozart – Gran Partita
    5. Maslanka – A Child’s Garden of Dreams
    6. Reed – Armenian Dances
    7. Respighi – Pines of Rome

    this will probably change if you ask me again in 5 minutes.

  9. Removing transcriptions and arrangements from other sources (Orchestral, Choral, etc…)

    1) Second Suite in F – Holst
    2) American Civil War Fantasy – Bilik
    3) Rolling Thunder – Fillmore
    4) Festival Prelude – Reed
    5) Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo – Arnold
    6) Pirates – Dr. F. Travis Weller
    7) Most of the Sousa Marches

  10. Thunder,
    Thanks for the mention, it is a little humbling. Great choices – especially including Festival Prelude, & Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I’m enjoying reading what concert band music has so moved my colleagues over the years. Here, in no particular order, are some of my very favorite works for band (some transcriptions):

    • Suite for Band Nos. 1 & 2, Holst
    • Incantation and Dance, Chance
    • Symphony for Band, Persichetti
    • …and the mountains rising nowhere…, Schwantner
    • Lincoln Portrait, Copland
    • Amazing Grace, Tichelli
    • American Salute, Gould
    • Javelin, Torke/Patterson
    • O Magnum Mysterium, Lauridsen/Reynolds
    • Russian Christmas Music, Reed

  12. Alright, so I’ve been putting a lot of thought into this and here’s what I’ve come up with. Please bear in mind the following:

    1) I’ve chosen pieces that, in my mind, have some educational benefits to my students;
    2) I’ve tried to select 7 pieces that, when compiled together, would still make some assemblance of an actual program; and

    3) I have the sweetest high school band in the world and rehearsal time is not an issue.

    Note- In addition to really believing that the following pieces are great works for Wind Band, I’ve included a concise rationale for each (for all you skeptics out there).

    Here goes (in program order):

    * Overature to Candide – Bernstein/Grundman
    Not a big fan of transcriptions, but I suppose I should include at least one on the program

    * Lincolnshire Posy – Grainger
    A staple of Wind Band Lit. Also, provides opportunity to talk about significance of Folk Music.

    * Winds of Nagual – Colgrass
    Educational aspects of Program Music.

    * Armenian Dances (1) – A. Reed
    Educational aspects of assymetrical meter.

    * October – Whitacre
    The program should have a slow piece. It came done to October or Tichelli’s Amazing Grace. It was a rough choice. Sorry Tichelli.

    * First Suite in Eb – Holst
    In addition to it being a staple of Wind Band Lit, its composition was arguably one of the most pivotal moments in the history of the Wind Ensemble medium. Definitely a keeper.

    * Stars and Stripes – Sousa
    Program should have a march, why not pick the National March and arguably the most well known march ever written. Note- I’m not going to make my trumpets stand up at any time throughout the piece.


  13. Hi guys…I ran across this blog while reading up on wind music, and I think you guys might find the Wind Repertory Project website useful.

    It is a database of all sorts of wind literature, and also has a forum where you can “talk shop” about wind music.

  14. Seeing as how I am a percussionist(leaving the percussionists in the FIRE to put away the instruments…I see how much you care for us :D) you might know what to expect, but here goes nothing. 🙂

    -Disney at the Movies: John Higgins

    -Vesuvius: Frank Ticheli

    -The Cowboys Overture: John Williams

    -Harrison’s Dream: Peter Graham

    -March From 1941: John Williams

    -English Folk Song Suite: Ralph Vaughn Williams

    -Variants on a Medieval Tune: Norman Dello Joio

    There was one piece the I cannot remember the name for the life of me…it started with an ‘A’, it had a short name, it was an operatic piece(with an actual opera singer as the main attraction of the piece), and it well, was a fun piece.

  15. 1.O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen/arr. Reynolds
    2.Second Suite in F – Gustav Holst
    3.Shenandoah – Frank Ticheli
    4.First Suite in Eb – Gustav Holst
    5.October – Whitacre
    6.Satiric DAnces-Norman Dello Joio
    7.An American Elegy- Frank Ticheli

  16. Not bad choices

    1 English folk song suite – Ralph Vaughan Williams
    2 Second suite in F – Holst
    3 Fantasia on Greensleeves – Vaughan Williams
    4 Antecedium – ed hucklby
    5 Molly on the shore – Grainger
    6Pirates of the Caribbean – Hans Zimmer
    7 Lord of the rings – Howard shore

  17. Here’s my program: I could only think of six pieces to save instead of seven….there i go again making things complicated.

    Emblems………………..Aaron Copland
    *This is my favorite Copland piece for wind band. It has great writing throughout and is recognizable for the audience with the passages of Amazing Grace throughout the mid-section. The ending is powerful and will leave the audience wanting more.

    Colonial Song……………….Percy Grainger
    * A Grainger piece that is not terribly overplayed. Features the horn section, solo cornet and solo alto sax.


    Anahita…………………………Roshanne Etezady.
    * An explosive, programmatic, three-movement piece. It encapsulates the composer’s reactions to a mural of the godess Anahita and her horses that has since been destroyed, but used to adorn the ceiling of a prominent Albany building. The piece is frantic and explosive at times, yet has very peaceful moments. The final bars feature four cornet soloists depicting the last harkening of angels heralding the dawn.

    March Intercollegiate………………..Charles Ives
    * A favorite Ives march of mine, it would be a nice break from the more serious repertoire on the progam.

    When Jesus Wept………………….William Schuman

    * A gorgeous prelude from Schuman’s New England Tryptich, heart wrenching passages and lyrical writing throughout.

    Symphony in B-flat……………….Paul Hindemith
    * One of my all-time favorite works for the medium. Suspenseful, angry, robust….Hindemith! A piece that will utmost challenge students to test them of their musical mastery. Educational for the audience and a piece that will challenge their listening skills. The final moments of the Fugue will have everyone on their seat and over all a perfect closer to the concert.


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