Piece of the Week: Rocky Point Holiday

PieceOfTheWeek_Rocky Point Holiday 

Composition Notes

Rocky Point Holiday was Ron Nelson’s first major work for wind band.

“It was commissioned in 1969 by Frank Bencriscutto for the University of Minnesota Concert Band’s Russian tour. Frank wanted an “Americana” piece to open the program. This was a pivotal moment in my notion of wind ensemble scoring, in which I focused on orchestrating in an extremely transparent way.

Piece of the Week: First Suite in Eb

PieceOfTheWeek_First Suite in Eb Composition Notes

“First Suite in E Flat for Military Band, Op. 28a” (1909) by Gustav Holst (Boosey & Hawkes) is written in three movements: “Chaconne” (Allegro moderato), “Intermezzo” (Vivace), and “March” (Tempo di Marcia). The original scoring was for flute, piccolo, two oboes, two E flat clarinets, B flat clarinets (solo-first, second) two trumpets in B flat, three trombones, euphonium, basses, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tambourine, and triangle, with condensed score only (as in the composer’s original scoring).

Midwest Panel Discussion Video Series Pt. 4

Midwest Clinic 1Marty Magnini, Cary Grove Comm. H.S.

Marty has been using accompaniment technology since the Vivace days, and has many great SmartMusic tips for educators of all experience levels. Take a few minutes to hear his story at the 2014 Midwest Clinic. If you were interested in the mail merge concept that Marty describes, take a look at the second video that outlines a new feature in SmartMusic: rubrics.

Feature Friday: Share your Score

FeatureFriday_Share your Score


In the era of social media, texting, and email, what better way to make a practice session relevant and motivating for your students than to include the ability to share a SmartMusic assessment score. Version 1.5 of the iPad application now includes this feature designed to give your students a competitive “nudge”, and to take pride in their achievements.

48 New Titles Released in SmartMusic Today

Title Comp/Arr/Lyr Music Type Pepper Level Sheherazade (The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship) Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai arr. by Bocook, Jay Concert Band M Brahms Finale (Symphony No. 1) Brahms, Johannes arr. by Bocook, Jay Concert Band E Night on Bald Mountain Moussorgsky, Modeste arr. by Sweeney, Michael Concert Band VE Illuminations Bocook, Jay Concert Band M Appalachian Air (Based on  My Shepherd Will Supply My Need ) Music from Walker’s Southern Harmony arr.

Piece of the Week: Con Brio by Ralph Ford


Composition Notes

Con Brio (March) was commissioned by Con Brio Festivals for the 2012 Whistler Music Festival Mass Band performance. The piece received its premiere in the Telus Conference Centre in Whistler, British Columbia by over 1,800 musicians from the participating bands who attended the three day event.

Feature Friday: Pinned Practice Rooms

FeatureFriday_Pinned Practice Rooms

When implementing SmartMusic in your program, many directors start by offering the tool to their students at a parent night or by absorbing the cost in the “band fee”. The most successful SmartMusic educators have seen a drastic improvement in student skills when the majority of their students have it in their home.

Piece of the Week: Academic Festival Overture

PieceOfTheWeek_Academic Festival Overture Composition Notes

“This arrangement of “Academic Festival Overture” contains most of the important themes of the original work in a setting lasting approximately 3 1/2 minutes. There are numerous cues present for bands that lack a complete lower woodwind section. The opening section should be played staccato and very lightly.

Feature Friday: Fingering Charts

FeatureFriday_Fingering Charts

The most powerful influence SmartMusic can have on your students is it’s ability to eliminate roadblocks during a practice session. This ability puts the pace of learning in the students hands, and creates a culture of accountability for home practice. In this blog series, we’ve already covered:

Metronome Digital Tuner Tempo Adjustment Accompaniment Practice Loops

If you missed an earlier Feature Friday post, click the links above to catch up.

Piece of the Week: Flash Flood by Chris Bernotas

PieceOfTheWeek_Flash Flood

Piece Of The Week’s First Guest Blog

This Piece of the Week guest blog was written by “Flash Flood” composer Chris Bernotas. A big thank you goes out to Chris for giving us additional insight into his motivation for this composition. I also appreciate Alfred Music’s help in working with MakeMusic and Chris on this post.