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All State Band Recordings

Percussion

Junior Mallet: Audition Solo, Presto

  • I find that the sticking and double stops in measure 1 (and all others like it), make this passage a little awkward. The double left from Eb down to Bb can be challenging, especially for right-handed players.
  • This solo is FULL of double stops and they need to sound precisely together. Work on the double stop passages by playing static notes, and not moving laterally on the keyboard.  This will help you focus on the exact timing of the double stops.  From a young age, we are taught to play flams on snare drum, and often, this influences the quality of our double stops.
  • For the passage beginning at measure 9, I like to stick the lower line as LLRL, LLRL, etc. It may also work to stick the lower line with LLLL, LLLL, etc.  Use whichever works best for you to make the rhythm and volume of the repeated notes even
  • In measure 14a of the region ending, begin with the left hand to avoid any cross-stickings. Then begin measure 15a with the right hand to finish out the piece.
  • *In the All-State ending, adjust your technique to use the tops of the mallets for the rolled passage in measure 14b-15b. Also bring out the moving line in the right hand.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Clinic Mallet: Audition Solo, Vivo

  • The accents in the 5/4 measures in the first line are very important. Also be sure not to rush the eighth note rests in these measures.
  • Frequent dynamic changes add to the difficulty of this solo. Be sure to pace your crescendos and decrescendos evenly across the entire dynamic change – sometimes one measure, sometimes two measures.
  • Many musicians tend to slow down when playing softer and speed up when playing louder. That can certainly be the case with this solo, especially at the softer dynamic levels.  Work hard to keep the pace of the eighth note triplets even when playing soft.
  • In the region ending, try adjusting your technique to play on the tops of the mallets for the rolls. This will produce less articulation and result in a smoother roll sound.
  • *The most significant challenge in the All-State ending is playing the double stops together. Try practicing this section without changing any notes (stay on the Bb/C) and just play the rhythms.  This will help you focus on the exact timing of the two notes sounding together.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Senior Mallet: Audition Solo, Moderato

  • Make sure to play exact sixteenth notes for the first two note that lead into measure one. After practicing the first few measures of this piece, it is easy to play those two notes as grace notes, as in the remainder of that passage.
  • Play the grace notes in measure 1 and two very softly and close to their accompanying primary note.
  • Carefully observe the accidentals in the first few measures, especially measure 4!
  • Molto Appasionato con Rubato loosely translates to "with great passion and freedom." The composer has afforded the performer some artistic liberty with tempo and dynamics in the section.  Generally, I try to follow the dynamic contour with the rhythmic freedom – a little faster in the crescendos, and slightly relaxing on the decrescendos.
  • At measure 15 (for both endings) be sure to return to the original tempo, and remain steady, until the accelerando in the All-State Ending.
  • *In the All-State ending, be careful not to accelerate too quickly, otherwise the final measure will be virtually unplayable. For the 32nd note passage in measure 20b, bring out the moving line in the right hand, and play the "F#’s" a little softer.  That will make executing the fast rhythm much more manageable.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Junior Snare: Audition Solo, Allegro

  • Observe the accents carefully in this solo. Try to make a noticeable difference between accented notes and unaccented notes, especially in the first measure.
  • Be aware of dynamics throughout the solo. Crescendos and decrescendos should be relative to the written dynamic level.
  • Measures 9 through 11 call for subito dynamic changes (quickly or suddenly). Changing your stick heights and your playing area on the drum will help achieve the sudden dynamic changes.
  • In this solo, all flams, rolls, and ruffs can be played on the same hand - RH for those of us right-handed players (LH if you prefer left-handed rudiments).
  • The rolls in measure 8 should have clear releases. (The release is also accented which will help)
  • For this solo, a sixteenth-note roll base (skeleton) works well.
  • In the Region Ending, be aware of the many dynamic changes. ff to p spans 5 dynamic levels. p should be played close to the edge of the drum with smaller stick heights while ff should be played just off-center with larger stick heights.
  • *In the All-State Ending, there are no accents until the very last bar. Be sure not to accent releases of rolls, or any of the syncopated rhythms leading up to the last measure.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Clinic Snare: Audition Solo, Con brio

  • The first 3 measures (and beat 1 of measure 4) have a decrescendo from ff to p with constant sixteenth notes. Even sixteenth notes are very important here and the accents should be relative to the decrescendo.
  • The fp on beat 1 of measure 5 means that you should play the roll release (first eighth note in the measure) at a forte dynamic level, and then immediately drop down to a piano dynamic level.
  • A Sixteenth-note roll base (skeleton) will work well for this solo.
  • The accent pattern in measure 15 is the same as in measure 2. Measure 15 should be played the same as measure 2 while doing a buzz roll on top of the accent pattern.
  • The difference between accented notes and unaccented notes is very important in this solo. Avoid adding accents to flams or other syncopated rhythms that do not have accents written.
  • In the Region Ending, pace your decrescendo carefully. It spans multiple bars similar to the beginning of the solo.
  • *For the All-State Ending I suggest practicing it under tempo to begin and work up the speed as you practice. Continue to use a 16th note roll base, and try to avoid "flat" flams.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Senior Snare: Audition Solo, Maestoso

  • Due to the slow tempo at the beginning of this solo, I suggest using a 32nd note roll base (skeleton). Sixteenth notes and sixteenth note triplets are just too slow at this tempo for rolls.
  • It is very easy to accent unaccented notes in this solo. Try to avoid accenting flams, ruffs, or any other ornament that does not have an accent written.
  • Once you get to measure 5 where the tempo change occurs, your roll base can change to sixteenth notes.
  • In measure 6, put the four eighth notes with flams on the same hand to help with consistency in sound.
  • In the Region Ending, be careful transitioning from triplets to sixteenth note rhythms. Use a metronome to help with measure 9a and 10a.
  • *In the All-State Ending measure 9b starts at pp and immediately starts to crescendo until measure 11b. While the written crescendo does not start until measure 10b, I suggest that you increase your volume slightly through measure 9b and then crescendo the rest of the way to ff to measure 11b.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Junior Timpani Solo:  Pesante

  • For this solo, the pitch/drum assignments should be as follows:
    • 29" – A
    • 26" – E
  • The articulations will be the difference maker in this solo. Be sure to observe the articulations carefully, whether it is an accent, a staccato, a tenuto, or marcato, and in some instances a combination.
  • For the staccato markings, one should mute the drum during the rest immediately following (an example of this would be in measure 3). You must be careful that you give these notes their proper length prior to muting, though.  Two specific examples are below:
    • Measure 9: Mute the E on beat two, and the A on beat four.
    • Measure 16: Mute the E on the ‘and’ of one, and mute the A on the 'and' of two.
  • Make sure to keep the tempo very steady during the decrescendos that happen in measures 5 and 6.
  • The passage from measure 13-19 will need attention. Be sure to mute every note that has a staccato.
  • Region Ending:
    • The fp crescendo roll in measure 23a and 24a should feel as if the roll releases into beat 4 of 24a, even though there is a rest.
  • All-State Ending:
    • Be sure to make a clear difference in which notes are accented.
    • The release of the roll from measure 24b to measure 25b should not sound forced, but also not have too much space.
    • The 'double-stops' on beats 3 and 4 of measure 25b should be struck at exactly the same time, and with exactly the same articulation.

Be sure to give the last note its full length before muting the drums.

Clinic Timpani Solo: Moderato

  • For this solo, the pitch/drum assignments should be as follows:
    • 32" – F
    • 29" – Bb
    • 26" – D
  • The articulations will be the difference maker in this solo. Be sure to observe the articulations carefully, whether it is an accent, a staccato, a tenuto, or marcato, and in some instances a combination.
  • For the staccato markings, one should mute the drum during the rest immediately following. An example of this would be in measure 3.
  • The ¾ passage starting in measure 13 is particularly tricky. The crescendo rolls are released by an accented, staccato, f eighth-note.  The timing of the mute (which remember will occur in the eighth-note rest) is very important in being able to execute the tenuto p half-note/quarter-note that follows.
  • In measure 24, stick the sixteenth-notes on beat 4 based upon which ending you are performing. This will help facilitate the next measure appropriately.
    • If you are performing the Region Ending, play these LRLR.
    • If you are performing the All-State Ending, play these RLRL.
  • Region Ending:
    • The ffp crescendo rolls that occur in 24a/25a and 26a/27a should feel like they lead into the accented down beat of the following measure, even though there is a rest on beat four.
  • All-State Ending:
    • Be sure to make a clear difference in which notes are accented, and fight the temptation to ‘crush’ the sixteenth-note rests that occur.
    • Just as in the Region Ending, make it sound like the roll in 27b leads into the downbeat of 28b.

Senior Timpani Solo:  Allegretto

  • For this solo, the pitch/drum assignments should be as follows:
    • 32" – F
    • 29" – A
    • 26" – C
    • 23" – Eb
  • The articulations will be the difference maker in this solo. Be sure to observe the articulations carefully, whether it is an accent, a staccato, a tenuto, or marcato, and in some instances a combination.
  • For the staccato markings, one should mute the drum during the rest immediately following. An example of this would be in measure 3.
  • The syncopation throughout this solo is very important. Be sure to count carefully and give all notes and rests their proper values.
  • The ¾ passage starting in measure 12 is particularly tricky.
    • In measure(s) 12 and 14, the A should be muted on the ‘and’ of beat one, the re-struck with a tenuto stroke on beat two – this will take some work; the same applies to the C in measure(s) 16 and 18.
    • The rolls on the 'and' of beats 1 and 2 in measure 19 should not sound as if they are forced into their place. Make this sound natural as possible, as if they were placed on the downbeat.
  • Region Ending:
    • The F on beat one of 24a should be played with the LH, which will a double-left, including the last sixteenth-note of measure 23. This will facilitate the following passage much easier.
    • The fp crescendo roll in 27a/28a should feel like it leads to beat 4 of 28z, with the sixteenth-note triplet also leading to beat 4.
  • All-State Ending:
    • The accents in this passage are the most important part, and make the phrasing what the composer intended. Follow these carefully.
    • Measures 28b and 29b should be played as one phrase, ending on the 'e-and' of beat 3 in 29b.

 


Download the mallet performance notes [pdf].

Download the snare performance notes [pdf].

Download the timpani performance notes [pdf].