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.

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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

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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