PWYC Commission Consortium for High School Band Fall 2020
Purpose To create a new piece of wind band music for High School band and to engage students in the writing process over the summer through videos of the composition’s progress
The Composition I am composing a new piece of wind band music for High School band for the Fall of 2020. Because not every school can afford to commission a new piece of music, I am organizing a commission consortium between as many schools as are interested. Instead of using the traditional model where each school pays an equal amount, each interested school will pay what they can (PWYC). This way schools that could not otherwise afford a new commission, or even a reduced consortium fee, will be able to do so.
The piece of music will be approximately 2-4 minutes in length, and written at Level 2-3. It will be scored for:
Flute 1 (Picc.) +2/Oboe (cued)/Clarinet in Bb 1, 2 +3/Bass Clarinet/Bassoon (cued) Alto Saxophone 1+2/Tenor Saxophone/Baritone Saxophone Horn in F 1 + 2/Trumpet in Bb 1, 2 + 3/Trombone 1 + 2/Euphonium/Tuba String Bass (cued)/Percussion
Shaun Bzdel, band director at St. Joseph’s High School in Saskatoon, SK, and the students of St. Joseph’s will be the Home Ensemble for the consortium and will be premiering the work.
Why now? In light of the early school closures this year because of COVID-19, I imagine morale is pretty low for teachers and students alike. While subjects such as English and Math are possible to teach online, Band does not transfer so well as an online subject. Band is a group experience, and this element has been completely lost from the quarantine. Without music to work on, it is quite possible that most students will not be picking up their instruments until band classes resume in the Fall.
So in that light, I feel that it would be very exciting for students to know that they will get to play a brand new work that is being written for them this summer. Not only is the piece by a composer that is presently living, but also by one that lives in their community. Most band repertoire is by composers who are long dead, or who live in another country. This can make the concept of music composition feel very foreign. So in addition to writing the new piece, I would also like to engage the students in the process by posting video updates of how the piece is coming along while I write it, giving them insight into the compositional process. Hopefully this could keep them engaged while out of school, and get them excited about a new piece of music that they will get to play in the coming year (and perhaps even pique their interest in composition!).
I would like to thank Tricia Howe from Long & McQuade for circulating news of this consortium to the Band Teaching community in Saskatchewan.
Timeline for Commission Consortium Present - August 31, 2020 - Taking pledges and members into the consortium.
June 2020 - Begin composing the new piece and creating videos for student engagement. Links to Unlisted YouTube videos will be sent to the teachers to pass on to their students for use throughout the school year at their discretion
August 31, 2020 - Send completed Conductor Score and Parts to the Members of the Consortium
Consortium Members Anyone who contributes any amount to this commission project will be credited in all publications as co-commissioners of the work. Members will receive digital scores and parts on August 31, 2020, and a list of video links to use as educational tools. They will have rights to perform this music this year and any future years.
Please take time to consider if you would like to support the creation of new music for High School Band. I will be accepting pledges until I am finished writing the piece.
If you are interested in being a part of this consortium, please contact me through my contact page.
Thank you teachers for being teachers! Stay healthy and sane.
For more information on my work as a composer, please browse through my website (kendraharder.com); for music samples, click here to visit my soundcloud page. I would highly suggest my "Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Double Bass."