Festival Favorites: March of the Meistersingers

This is an easy arrangement, which, through close scoring, makes the young string orchestra sound especially full. It is a grade 2 on the UIL PML, class D on the Florida MPA list, and NYSSMA Manual level 2.

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About March of the Meistersingers

This arrangement is playable by all instruments in the first position. Any extended fingerings are noted in the parts. The bowings should be adhered to for maximum stylistic impact. The cello part between letters A and B should be divided according the abilities of the players in the section. A Violin III part is included, which is essentially a treble clef viola part; on those occasions where the viola part uses the C string, these notes are cued in the cello part. A piano part is included but is recommended for rehearsal purposes only.

About Sandra Dackow

Sandra Dackow holds three degrees from the Eastman School of Music and currently serves as Music Director of the Hershey Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. An Aspen Conducting fellow, she was awarded the Silver medal in the 2001 Vakhtang Jordania/New Millennium Conducting Competition in Ukraine. Dr. Dackow has published over 90 works for student orchestras. She has appeared as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the US and abroad. Sandra Dackow was President of the Conductor’ Guild, an international organization serving conductors in 32 countries. She has been a member of the conducting faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp and, as well as director of the Slippery Rock University and Brandeis University Orchestras. Dr. Dackow teaches at William Paterson University and has been involved in graduate string and orchestra education at a variety of institutions. She has been named a Lowell Mason Fellow by MENC: The National Association for Music Education.

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New Music Friday: The Picnic: Watch Out for the B’s

This piece tells the story of a picnic being interrupted by pesky bees. As time goes on, more and more bees can be heard, and every section gets a turn. Listen for the sounds of the bees as they travel around the orchestra. Most of the “buzzes” include the musical note B in the dissonant cluster of notes. This piece gives your students a chance to tell a story with their music. Invite the students to engage in the drama, looking nervously around or occasionally swatting an imaginary bee in front of their faces. The orchestra creates the narrative of happy picnic-goers having their beautiful day interrupted by pesky bees.

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New Music Friday: Renegade Showdown

In Renegade Showdown, the violins battle the low strings in an epic clash. Hear the twists and turns each side takes as they vie for the win. This piece was composed to teach students to understand regular vs. low first finger. Bass students will benefit from identifying sections that will work well in half position.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Aurora’s March

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s three masterpiece ballet scores, including Sleeping Beauty, are known for their timeless music. Only three years before the composer’s death, the ballet was first performed in 1890. The storyline for the Sleeping Beauty ballet was inspired by the Brothers Grimm adaptation of the folk tale first published in 1330. This arrangement for string orchestra captures the enduring melodies and great depth of Tchaikovsky’s geniu. Because much of Tchaikovsky’s style is not written with articulations, students will need assistance with the bow stroke in order to perform this incredible piece. This march, which follows the overture in the ballet, was renamed Aurora’s March for this arrangement.

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