During the next nine months or so, I'll be working with three other teacher/composers on a series of projects for our school ensembles. There are four compositional challenges for each of us to complete. At the conclusion of each one, we'll send parts to each other and have our ensembles read the results. In future posts, I'll detail the group involved and hopefully be able to share some of the products of the project. For today, I'll explain our guidelines and the first project.
First, we are going to write for grade 1 - 1.5. The ensembles we teach are a mix of high school and middle school groups, so we are aiming at a level that everyone will be able to play without spending an enormous amount of rehearsal time. None of us have huge, complete ensembles, so typical scoring for grade 1 - 1.5 allows for ample doubling. Our instrumentation is:
2 Clarinet parts
2 Trumpet parts
Bass - (including bassoon, bass clarinet, bari sax, trombone, baritone, tuba)
The first task is simple--harmonize a given melody in four parts. The melody is taken from a short Bach chorale, and we have an early November deadline for the parts to be finished. In some ways, this is the simplest of the four projects. Still, I don't want to mess up the Bach too much!