Volume Five in this series features music honoring the men who built a nation. The suite includes five such tunes popular the middle 1800s. It includes these five tunes:
John Henry — This suite begins with a tremendously fun jazz-style trumpet solo – you can tell your trumpet player to really cut loose on this one! Various sections share in passing the melody around later in this tune, and it winds up with an easy flute solo that’s bound to delight the player and the audience.
Paddy Works On The Railway — This is one of those tunes that everyone has heard before, but very few can put their finger on the name when called upon to do so. The tune is In 6/8 and a minor key. It will get everyone involved in the music..
I’ve Been Working On The Railroad — This starts at a moderately ponderous tempo, with sledge-hammer spike driving sound effects, and each section of the tune gets a bit faster until you’re really flying by the end of this section.
The Erie Canal — This tune is total jazz! An observer in the back of the concert hall during the premiere said every head in the audience was bobbing to the music. One of the listeners told me she felt like standing up and doing a can-can-style high kick to this one.
Casey Jones — Very much a “train” tune, from the driving of the wheels to the scream of the steam whistle, just like Casey Jones’ final ride, the tune gets more and more frantic until it finally winds up in a tremendous train crash that will challenge your percussion section’s ingenuity and provide more fun for both players and audience than they’ve ever had at a music concert before.
At the premiere of this medley we observed for the very first time the performance of a tune interrupted in the middle by the audience — for laughter and applause.
This piece has been carefully scored to be a challenging Grade 3, and would be another ideal piece for state contest lists.
It will also make an ideal easy-to-master showcase piece for your next concert.
This work will make an ideal easy-to-master showcase piece for your next concert.