Posts Tagged 'school orchestra'

Showcase Your Strings: 13 great pieces for recruitment and demonstration concerts

Curated by Kathryn Griesinger-Parrish, Orchestral Editor at Carl Fischer Music


Guests & Soloists

Include a beloved teacher or principal when hosting a recruiting event.

Concerto for Triangle

by Mike Hannickel

This easy piece cleverly features a triangle ‘soloist’…who keeps missing their cue. Until the very end, that is! Guaranteed to elicit giggles from young students.

Guest Soloist

by Richard Meyer

This time, a ‘volunteer’ is given a violin with just 2 strings (or substitute any instrument), and the ‘soloist’ is cued in by taps on the shoulder by the conductor. A great opportunity for audience participation.

One Bow Concerto

by Richard Meyer

See what happens when a violinist, violist, and cellist are soloing with a pizzicato orchestral accompaniment…but there is only one bow for all to share! Bonus points for getting to hear most orchestral instruments solo.

Section features

Put every instrument in the spotlight.

Eclipse

by Caryn Wiegand Neidhold

This grade 2 piece includes optional drumset and the opportunity for every instrument section to play a solo (or section soli) by playing either the notated solo, or improving their own as the rest of the orchestra vamps in the background.

Instant Recruiting Concert

arr. Bob Phillips

This made-for-recruitment medley begins with familiar classical melodies, then offers instrument solo opportunities using fun tunes like The Pink Panther and The Flintstones. To finish, the orchestra combines for a grand finale of themes from movies like Star Wars and Harry Potter. Optional narration is provided to guide the audience through the various instrument sections.

Three Buccaneers

by Kathryn Griesinger

To hear every instrument, this piece gives every section of the orchestra its own theme: Violins, Violas, and Cellos/Basses. Each section can be demonstrated by playing a few measures of “their theme” before performing the entire piece.

Everyone’s Guide to the String Orchestra

by Camille Saint-Saens/arr. Douglas E. Wagner

If your recruitment theme is an instrument “petting zoo” then this arrangement of melodies from “The Carnival of the Animals” is a perfect fit. Cellos are featured in “The Swan,” violas in “Lion’s Royal March,” basses play the “The Elephant,” and violins bring the piece to a joyous conclusion with “Finale.”

Pop & Movie Hits

Get their attention with music they already know and love.

John Williams Trilogy

arr. Calvin Custer

Get several of the most recognizable movie themes in one medley! Tunes include Star Wars Main Title and End Credits, Theme from “Jurassic Park,” and Raiders March. This medium-level arrangement will require a little more rehearsal preparation and the piano and percussion parts add terrific energy, if you have the players.

Pirates of Caribbean (Easy Level)

arr. Paul Lavender

Pirates never go out of style and this easy-to-put-together arrangement captures all the swashbuckling fun of being in orchestra.

Great Themes from TV and Movies

arr. Bob Cerulli

Everyone loves cartoons and this arrangement combines the Batman Theme, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, and (Meet) The Flintstones.

Power Rock

arr. Michael Sweeney

For those last-minute performances, rock the house with this super-easy mash-up of Another One Bites the Dust and We Will Rock You.

Sunflower (from “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”)

arr. Michael Story (Alfred)

This easy to play pop hit will be familiar to all ages.

Viva la Vida

Coldplay, arr. Larry Moore

Lighten the mood with an upbeat and familiar melody that brings all the good vibes.

Last-Minute Favorites

Tried-and-true pieces are fun and easy for most ensembles to perform with minimal rehearsal time, and may likely already be in your library.

Rock Riffs/Soon Hee Newbold
Ninja/Richard Meyer
Metallurgy/Doug Spata
Dragonhunter/Richard Meyer
Beyond the Thunder/Deborah Baker Monday
Double Trouble/Lauren Bernofsky

Kathryn (Griesinger) Parrish received her B.A. (cello) and M.M. (music education) degrees from the University of Akron, where she later taught string pedagogy courses as adjunct faculty. She taught orchestra in Ohio and Florida private and public schools for 15 years, while freelancing as an arranger and cellist for various ensembles. She also writes commissioned works and sight-reading music for regional music festivals. Kathryn currently works for Carl Fischer Music as an orchestra editor.


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Thought-provoking articles by musicians for musicians

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