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Grade 0.5

Concert String Orchestra

Instinct

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Balmages, Brian
Original
ST6487
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The FJH Music Company
1:54

This aggressive work for true beginners portrays those inherent, and sometimes raw behaviors that help a species survive. All string parts move almost entirely by stepwise motion and use just half and whole notes. Violin 1 uses a full D Major scale and all other instruments use D through B. An optional percussion part adds considerable interest to the piece (and an optional background track is available if you do not have percussionists).

Grade 1

Concert String Orchestra

Guldfaxe

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Dabczynski, Andrew
Original
KEN8284
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Kendor Music
2:00

The Norse legend of Guldfaxe, Thor’s horse with the golden mane, is captured in this dramatic piece for grade 1 strings. Basic D-major finger patterns, “run pony” rhythms, and the mystic Dorian mode are used. This piece will excite students and delight audiences.

Water Music

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Handel/Lane Gruselle
Classical Arrangement
ST6481
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The FJH Music Company
2:23

Feature this amazingly authentic arrangement of a Baroque masterpiece! Two movements from Handel’s Water Music Suite No. 2 highlight some of the most famous music from the Baroque era while falling well within the technical capability of a young orchestra. Wonderful music with a vast amount of teaching opportunities!

Grade 1.5

Concert String Orchestra

Winter from The Four Seasons

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Vivaldi/Woolstenhulme
Classical Arrangement
SO422C
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Neil A. Kjos Publications
3:01

This is the perfect slow movement for young orchestras, especially when introducing works of the Baroque period. G Major.

Grade 2

Concert String Orchestra

The Blue Danube Waltz *Full Symphony Orchestra*

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Strauss/Meyer
Classical Arrangement
00-47481
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Alfred Music
4:06

A beautiful arrangement by Richard Meyer of "Waltz Number 1," "Waltz Number 2," and the "Coda" from the original, set perfectly for the first full-orchestra experience. Perhaps the most widely popular composer of light classical music ever, Johann Strauss, Jr. wrote over 150 waltzes, bringing the form to perfection as an extended musical composition. The Blue Danube (the common English title of An der schonen blauen Donau—German for "By the Beautiful Blue Danube"), was composed in 1866 and was premiered in February of 1867. It has been one of the most popular classical pieces ever since.

Hanukkah Dances

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arr. O'Hara, Katie
Holiday
00-47426
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Alfred Music
2:13

Liven up your holiday concert with a medley of four familiar Hanukkah tunes that are perfect for beginning to advanced levels. Everyone gets a chance to play the melody in this exciting arrangement. Technical considerations include optional shifting for 1st violins while cellos work on extensions.

Sound the Celebration

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Baker Monday, Deborah
Original
SO423C
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Neil A. Kjos Publications
2:39

Set in ABA form, with a brief “Andante e legato” middle section, the A section is truly a bright fanfare which makes for a fantastic concert opener. It’s in D Major with some C naturals thrown in for extra color.

Wildfire

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Griesinger, Kathryn
Original
KEN9765
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Kendor Music
2:14

The rapid pace and tight rhythms of this grade 2 original will help students develop quick and crisp bowing technique. A fast and furious theme requires precision in playing staccato and hooked bowings while managing string crossings, resulting in a great teaching piece and concert feature. This piece remains within first position with just a few slurs and 16th-note patterns.

Grade 2.5

Concert String Orchestra

Ante Meridian

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Parish, Todd
Original
00-47466
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Alfred Music
2:44

Inspired by a painting of the same name, this engaging work by Todd Parrish features memorable rhythmic patterns of sixteenth notes, flat-key fingerings, and varied articulations. The original painting evokes the awesome, eternal nature of the sea that could occur on any given morning. Imagine crashing waves!

Finale from Symphony No. 12

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Haydn/Lane Gruselle
Classical Arrangement
ST6476
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The FJH Music Company
3:30

Treat your students to this spectacular arrangement showcasing the “Father of the Symphony.” This exquisitely orchestrated arrangement teaches a wealth of skills including off-the-string eighth notes, detaché, sixteenth notes, chromatic alterations, and includes abundant opportunities to practice up-beats at the frog. Engaging for every member of the orchestra!

Ignite

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Griesinger, Kathryn
Original
YAS196
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Carl Fischer
2:32

Feel the intensity and fire of an exciting adventure in this electric work for string orchestra. Written in A minor, the musical journey takes players through a series of unexpected modal shifts using easy accidentals, edgy syncopation and accented rhythms to maintain a sense of danger and momentum. A daring escape that explodes with energy, keeping players and audiences on the edge of their seats.

Land of Dragons

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Thomas, Chris
Original
ST6485
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The FJH Music Company
3:19

It is a world of sorcerers, magic, elven warriors, and fantastical creatures. Anything is possible, and adventure is always on the horizon. Fierce, marcato rhythms are juxtaposed with dark haunting melodies that weave their way throughout the ensemble. Capture your students’ imaginations and bring the adventure to your audience!

Perpetuum

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Baker, Paul
Original
YAS197
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Carl Fischer
1:55

Perpetuum is a lively and contemporary addition to any concert performance with its memorable melodic lines and relentless driving rhythms. The piece begins with a powerful introduction to the main theme which is ingeniously augmented as the piece powers forward. The middle section provides a warm, lyrical contrast performed by the lower strings. The main theme returns with a wall of sound heading to a dramatic close. This beautifully expressive and contemporary work is a nice change of pace for orchestra students. Using the optional percussion parts are highly recommended for optimal effect.

Pictures at an Exhibition, Themes from

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Mussorgsky/Roszell
Classical Arrangement
00-47433
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Alfred Music
4:13

Expose your students to one of the great compositions of the 19th century. This arrangement contains three of the more popular pieces from the original suite: "Promenade," "Baba Yaga (The Hut on Fowl's Legs)," and "The Great Gate of Kiev." A great contest or concert piece!

Grade 3

Concert String Orchestra

A Festival of Christmas

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arr. McBrien, Brendan
Holiday
00-47478
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Alfred Music
3:28

This lovely setting of three timeless and lively holiday tunes forms a festive trio of toe-tapping fun. Jaunty, rhythmic carols from Victorian-era England—"Good King Wenceslas," "Deck the Hall," and "Here We Come A-Caroling"—help form the cornerstone of traditional Christmas music. Set with both traditional and contemporary harmonies, and including optional percussion, your musicians and audience will be filled with the joy and pleasure of the season.

Struggle in the Shadows

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Balmages, Brian
Original
ST6474
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The FJH Music Company
4:55

This powerful work tackles the issue of bullying in schools from the perspective of a student. Making use of a quartet within the ensemble (either a standard quartet or an option of using a second cellist instead of viola), the piece moves between the voices of the lonely and their experiences. From moments of solitude to anguish and hope, this piece seeks to bring light to an issue that continues to plague schools worldwide.

Zoom!

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Meyer, Richard
Original
00-47475
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Alfred Music
5:36

Vivid imagery, colorful orchestrations, and a variety of styles all combine to make this one-of-a-kind selection a journey that your students and audience will never forget! In the form of a five-part rondo with changing tempos, this piece will let creativity fly!

Grade 3.5

Concert String Orchestra

Arrowhead

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Spata, Doug
Original
CAS124
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Carl Fischer
3:46

Arrowhead is an adventurous challenge for advancing string players, featuring approachable chromatic notes (mostly extended B-flats, D-sharps and G-sharps), enharmonic spellings and 16th note patterns. With its exciting, driving themes that course through each section of the orchestra, it is a thrilling journey that teachers will appreciate and students are sure to enjoy. The ABA form explores both the 6/8 and 3/4 time signatures in the key of B minor.

Finale from Symphony No. 2

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Sibelius/Moss
Classical Arrangement
00-47453
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Alfred Music
3:40

This arrangement for strings with optional timpani captures the drive and triumphant spirit of the original work but at an accessible level. In its original keys, this great selection for any concert is especially well suited for festivals or contests.

Grade 4

Concert String Orchestra

Infernal Galop from Orpheus

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Offenbach/Frackenpohl
Classical Arrangement
KEN10051
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Kendor Music
2:32

From Orpheus In The Underworld, Act 2 by Jacques Offenbach, this grade 3+ arrangement keeps the brilliance and excitement of the original. And, of course, the instantly recognizable Can Can section is featured, as well.

La Cascara

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Woolstenhulme, Jeremy
Original
SO410C
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Neil A. Kjos Publications
5:06

This work is on fire from the opening measure to its final ending. Rhythmically complex, it includes some 2 against 3 patterns and some meter changes. Position work in all sections. A definite workout and definitely worth it!