LINKS TO EACH GROUP'S SOUNDFILES
Current Band Soundfiles
Permanent Folder for Band
Recent recordings that we have made
Updated January 20, 2016
(let me know if soundfiles don't work)
There are several really good reasons for listening to the soundfiles of music you are playing:
- To get a sense of how the music sounds, its style, its phrasing, its harmonies
- Following your music while listening to the soundfile (not playing) helps you learn how your part fits with the whole and helps you learn to keep your place
- Playing along with the music gives you more opportunities to "practice with the group" than you can get just in rehearsals.
- Purchase the software, Amazing Slow Downer (from http://ronimusic.com/) and you can practice with the soundfile slowed down to where you can play along. (Soundfiles must be on the same device where the Slow Downer resides; you can not use YouTube or soundfiles that are streamed from the web). For those of you cautious about what you download, this software site is safe according to Norton)
FOR THE WINTER/SPRING SEMESTER (these will open in a new tab in your browser)
- Pictures - a classic by the Russian Composer, Modest Mussorgsky. Do get the original (for piano) or the orchestral transcription by Maurice Ravel and listen to those too. Doing so gives you the sense of the whole and therefore a better understanding of the music in our arrangement. Also, the history of the piece is a good read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pictures_at_an_Exhibition. There is no demo recording, but I found two YouTube versions of our arrangment - neither is a steller performance. The first is by what seems to be a community band in Mexico, the other is a HS band.
HS group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7vmelUb96A
Banda de Música de Majadahonda: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcB0lPRz0jE
- StarsStripes - Sousa never wrote out his arrangements as he really wanted them played; instructions were given verbally, written in the parts and passed down from player to player. Consequently, many directors miss the subtleties heard in performances by the Sousa Band. Sousa historians Keith Brion & Loras Schissel have researched the performances of many of Sousa's pieces and created arrangements as close to what Sousa would have done as is possible. This sound file is their arrangment, which is what we are doing.
- BlueRidgeReel - something different! the soundfile is the demo version put out by the publisher, but here is a good YouTube also: San Dieguito Academy Symphonic Band
- AsSummer - Spectacularly beautiful! Tribute to JimmyDean. (now complete recording)
- Alex'sBand (now longer demo - goes to 77) - A fun trumpet feature, but plenty of good stuff for everyone! And definitely listen to this version by the Andrews Sisters (sometime during WWII) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPTbgvzgMZU Also sung by Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Bee Gees(!), among others. Here is a HS version (actually, grade 9 - wow - they are good!!). It is on YouTube twice - the first one, is left channel only, but shows the trumpets (notice the bells up!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB6i_3-VBrg. The second is better to listen to, but shows mostly family members... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHgsphxoeK4 My biggest critique of this performance is no dynamics - it is just loud... We can do better! :-)
- Royal Fireworks Music - no sound file of our version; it is an oldie, but take the time to listen to /watch at least a little bit of this performance on "period instruments". What that means is that they are playing old style instruments - it is harder to see in the strings, but inthe oboes, trumpets & horns, it is very obvious. The trumpet & horns are valveless and called, natural horn or natural trumpet.
From wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_for_the_Royal_Fireworks:
--"The Music for the Royal Fireworks (HWV 351) is a wind band suite composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 under contract of George II of Great Britain for the fireworks in London's Green Park on 27 April 1749. It was to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748." and
--"It was scored for a large wind band ensemble consisting of 24 oboes, 12 bassoons and a contrabassoon, nine natural trumpets, nine natural horns, three pairs of kettledrums, and side drums which were given only the direction to play "ad libitum"; no side drum parts were written by Handel." (The king said NO violins, but later Handel rescored it to add the strings, which is how we see it in this YouTube version.)
-- This performance is at the Royal Albert Hall in London, by Hervé Niquet, conductor, and
Le Concert Spirituel. Watch for the timpani (kettle drums) "conversing" at about 2:45. Notice the construction of the oboes and bassoon - fewer keys. And the size of the contra-bassoon! Ours double back on themselves for ease of playing (and holding!). Notice the horns and trumpets (no valves) held bells up in a stylized fashion.
SWING BAND (these will open in a new tab in your browser)
- Moondance - I don't have a demo file of the John Berry arrangement. I found two on YouTube:
- Rangi Ruru Girls' School-New Zealand Good tempo and nice feel to the performance! This is a good one to play along with.
- Melrose HS (yes, Melrose MA). Well done, but WAY too fast! Director is to young to know the piece as it should be played!
- AmPatrol - a great Swing version of this classic patriotic song. Glenn Miller recorded it and played it often. Our version is based on the Glenn Miller version (link to YouTube). There is no demo, but the version I've attached (AmPatrol) is also based on the Glenn Miller version and is pretty true to ours (up until 77, then at 2'47" in the recording, it picks up at 77 again and remains very similar).
- SoWhat - here is the demo, but definitely download the orignial by Miles Davis; as a matter of fact, you should purchase the whole "Kind of Blue" album! Our version has the melody in the horns rather than in the bass (weird), but that's good cuz we don't have a bass player! Practice soloing with this soundfile.
(SWING BAND: KEEP THESE IN YOUR FOLDER)
Here are some computer generated soundfiles of our versions - DO NOT listen for style, unless you are listening for how NOT to play! :-) Ex: Notice that the staccatos are very choppy and sound like the hic-ups that we don't want to hear!! Also the dynamics are rather abrupt and the tone quality of the instruments stinks! So why post them? You can use them to hear the individual parts and how they fit together in our arrangements and you can play along with them.
KEEP THESE IN THE PERMANENT BAND FOLDER
Here is a document with comments, changes, corrections, cautions for each piece
- AmzGrace - demo. Such a beautiful arrangement...
- America the Beautiful - a gorgeous version.... (sorry that it cuts of abruptly at the end!)
- AshFarewl This OUR recording from Spring 2014. Nice. There were a few notes that got out of control and the last note had too much cresc on it. Also, the snare & bass got off and came in 2 meas late into 52 and then tried to play at 60, but they were watching and I could get them back on track by 68! I have done this piece MANY times, but this is definitely one of the best performances of it - passionate, peaceful... Bravo!
- Beatles - follow the link for the demo. It is only a partial recording, though. Or you can play along with a YouTube performance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGN9DCfTngU. Not the best performance (it is a middle school, after all!) but it is decent and will give you a feel for the piece.
- Bogey - Here is a summer rehearsal from 2012 so you can play along. USN Band performance of the original - notice there is a part that we don't have in our arrangement.
- Gershwin - this is a recording of our rehearsal July 2012
- GodBlessAm - This is the recording of the new version, from our Dec 2014 concertt
- Greasy - this is a recording of my kids a few years ago - Some messiness and they don't get the subtleties (it was a, "we have 2 weeks before the concert - let's put this together...") But, you can play along and get a sense of the piece! It is an old piece and no longer in print and there are no YouTube renditions (there are some of the same title, but a different piece).
- Johnny - This is the recording from the Cape Concert. Also find the original by Chuck Berry to get a flavor of the piece in case you don't know it.
- KindGentle - what a piece... wow. Here is the demo version.
- Lassus - this is our May 2012 concert recording
- LibertyBellMarch - this is our version, played by my WMS band. I found it the other day - bones got a bit messed up, but otherwise a solid performance! LibBell-Pryor - this one is performed by the actual Sousa band - he wasn't conducting, Arthur Pryor was (his lead trumpet player). Sousa wanted nothing to do with recording on these wax cylinders; he predicted it would be the downfall of live music (he was right) and coined the term, "Canned Music". No repeats due to size constriction of the cylinders and no percussion because it was too loud for the technology! LibBell-Brion - this is the modern Sousa Band with director Keith Brion (Sousa scholar). Great rendition, complete with the Liberty Bell as Sousa wrote it!
- Oregon - Great melody commemorating the travel westward of our pioneers, the excitement, the fear, the sadness.
- PatrioticFest - nice arrangement and not very difficult. We will have the audience sing along.
- RowanTree - This is such a gorgeous Scottish tune. Follow this link to see the lyrics.
- Yankee / Chester - our July 4, 2012 rehearsal recording so that you can hear the repeated section. This link goes to the demo version.
OUR MOST RECENT RECORDINGS (these will open in a new tab in your browser)
Concert December 5, 2015
Concert May 2, 2015