Difficulty: Medium/Easy (great for beginning junior high, high school, and college steel bands)
This tune came about after listening to a bunch of horn bands like Tower of Power and Cory Wong & the Wongnotes. If your students aren’t familiar with bands like these, turn them on to that music. It’s funky and loads of fun!
Pedagogical Points/Performance Notes-
Intro- As I was finishing up this composition, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin passed away. The Intro is just a few bars of "Respect" as a tribute to her. The Guitar-Cello part has a 3-voice chord. Split the part between two (or more) players. If you only have one Guitar player, leave out the top note of that chord.
If you aren’t a fan of the "Respect" quote, feel free to start at measure 5.
Difficulty: Medium (great for advanced high school, community level & college level steel bands)
A one movement concerto for tenor pan and wind ensemble. This piece seeks to incorporate the steelpan as a highlighted feature in the classical wind ensemble setting. The sense of a "mercurial" piece speaks in that there are temperamental changes that shift from a sense of hope into a sense of despair. It seeks to feel as though the listener is on a journey of uncertainty yet all relating to a common theme of returning home.
Difficulty: Medium (great for advanced high school & college steel bands)
This contemporary pan ensemble work highlights a somber and haunting emotion meant to replicate the feeling of insomnia. The piece focuses on the old tradition of counting sheep to try and sleep. The main melody heard in the piece replicates the idea of something being counted in order to counter those delirious, sleepless nights. The theme traverses and develops along with all 4 pan parts supported by 4 tremolo-based chords.
Difficulty: Easy (great for junior high, high school & college steel bands)
"Aim to Please" was written for W.O. Smith Music School's Steel Band in 2023. The parts are simple and repetitive but shouldn't sound cheesy or easy. Each ensemble member should only have 2 - 3 separate 4 bar phrases to learn and from there they are repeated in various orders and volumes. This is super beginner friendly and even includes each pan part with regular note heads or Note Name note heads to help break down another barrier to...
Difficulty: Easy (great for junior high, high school, and college steel bands)
"Walking Down the Avenue" was written as part of a project I did while I was studying for my Master's degree at George Mason University. Our pan professor, Victor Provost, challenged my classmates and I to write short pieces for beginners and then we would perform them in class. This is the second of two projects done. This is a pedagogical piece used to introduce young students to Calypso music, the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago. The "Avenue" also refers to a very specific street in Trinidad and Tobago. The street in question is Aripita Ave, which is one of the main streets that the colorful Masquerade Bands parade down on Carnival Tuesday.
"Night Walk" was written as part of a project I did while I was studying for my Master’s degree at George Mason University. Our pan professor, Victor Provost, challenged my classmates and I to write short pieces for beginners and then we would perform them in class. This is one of two projects done. This is a nice, soothing piece that can be used as a change up to the high-energy music that steel bands normally play. With only two chords, it can also work as an introductory piece to improvising.
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