Spotlight: Alan Bernstein

After an initial career as a traveling musician, Alan Bernstein studied music at the University of Rhode Island, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education. For the next 29 years, he has been a music teacher, first in Fall River, MA and then in the Newport, RI public schools, where he served as Supervisor of the Arts in addition to directing bands, jazz ensemble and orchestra. Now retired from the public schools Mr. Bernstein is the Executive Director of the Community String Project in Bristol RI, directing youth and adult programs in string performance in an El Sistema based program. In addition to his school duties, Mr. Bernstein is a freelance double bassist performing with regional and national artists throughout the United States. Mr. Bernstein’s compositions reflect his experience with the developmental needs of school musicians and are often fun vehicles for the development of stylistic and technical skills.

Antiphonals

Reinforce listening skills, articulation, and style matching with this energetic call-and-response piece.

Bling

Your students will love this swing tune. Even better, the solo sections allow your students to work on improvisation required by the National Standards for Music Education.

Colonial Newport Suite

Keeping all elements of the string orchestra version, winds and percussion have been added to further enhance the beauty and drama of the music. Students will be exposed to multi-movement work, rich in historic context and cultural references.

Colonial Newport Suite

Take a musical tour through Colonial Newport, RI in this three-movement work! Contrasting styles depict the nearby harbor, slave trade burial grounds, and the historic White Horse Tavern.

Fantasy on Tum Balalaika

This intermediate string orchestra arrangement of a traditional folk song will be sure to delight audiences.

New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Tango Americana

The Tango is a study in syncopation and accent. This original piece uses two themes, one in the key of F major and another in the relative minor. You can augment the overall Tango feel by using the included percussion parts for claves, bongo drums, and maracas.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: Personent Hodie

The tune used in this carol is believed to have originated in Germany, possibly around 1360. This arrangement stays relatively faithful to the melody, which is presented in groups of upper strings and lower strings. All parts can be played in first position, although the cello has several measures of divisi. At the marked tempo, the piece runs about two and a half minutes.

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New Music Friday

New Music Friday: The Changing Timepiece

This work is a set of brief variations based on the theme from the slow movement of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 101. This symphony is nicknamed “The Clock” due to the “tick-tock” effect that you will hear accompanying the theme. This work was created to be a teaching tool. Depending on what the students already were exposed to, this piece offers a chance to deal with changing time signatures, changing key signatures, changing tempi, col legno technique, subito, Grand Pause, tremolo, what are variations, what an old-fashioned mechanical clock sounds like, as well as historical information about Haydn and his symphonies.

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