SmartPicks – ‘Round Midnight by Cootie Williams & Thelonious Monk / arr. Dave Wolpe

smartpicks round midnight

'round midnight cover

‘Round Midnight By Cootie Williams & Thelonious Monk / arr. Dave Wolpe

Ensemble type: Jazz Ensemble
Difficulty: Grade 4
Recommended by: Jason Wick, Director, Product Development

‘Round Midnight is simply one of the most gorgeous jazz melodies ever written. Not only do the tune and arrangement let students engross themselves in the beauty of the trumpet melody, but each small yet important part has to find its place in the balance and blend. It’s also a nice exercise in handling when a jazz ballad goes to double-time. It’s a simple but beautiful arrangement you can get lost in. And I mean lost in a good way!”

What are some teaching strategies you would recommend to teachers who are rehearsing this piece?

I’d have every student learn the melody of the piece first, maybe even separate from the rehearsal of the arrangement itself. That way each musician hears the context for their part in relation to the melody.

What memorable experiences did you have while rehearsing or performing this piece?

My instrument of choice is 2nd Trombone, and I love playing along with this piece in SmartMusic. Sometimes I just close my eyes, take in the beautiful trumpet melody, and savor the importance of my complementary and supporting part in the arrangement.

How did SmartMusic enhance the rehearsal process?

Having SmartMusic really helps when the tune goes to double-time at measure 57, especially making sure the sixteenth-note swing is hitting rhythmically in the right spots.

What sections or measures needed the most attention?

The double-time section at measure 57.

What interests you most about this piece?

Like I’ve said previously, it’s a beautiful melody, a lush arrangement harmonically, and a good way to feel “part of the band.”

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Jason Wick

Jason Wick is the director of the product development team. Equipped with a degree in jazz studies, he began his career as a performer, composer, arranger, and educator. Writing music for video games led first to a quality assurance role at LucasArts and evolved into a decade of experience in QA, automation, and engineering. Joining MakeMusic in 2014, his passion is to manage and guide the Finale team to higher performance. Jason lives in Colorado with his wife, two children, Fancy the dog, and Bobby the guinea pig.

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