So I had an idea in the summer of 2020.. technically I had lots of idea, most of them didn't come to fruition. Summer 2020 was like no other for all of us. In anticipating instrumentation woes that were sure to come out of Covid, I decided to do my own take on the "flex band" craze. I began just tinkering with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star just to see what I could do. It seemed to work pretty well... my own take on how Mozart wrote some variations for piano, mine were just for young-ish wind musicians.
I LOVE chamber music. I love listening/watching performers and performing it myself. It creates such a unique connection between the musicians themselves, but also between the musicians and audience. So I started writing adaptable quintets to maximize the ability for musicians to have arrangements to play for various settings.
The Classics for Everyone
Let's first establish how much I love classical music. Okay good. I am on a mission to bring that love of classical music to the masses in as many ways as possible. One great way is to actually be able to perform and interact directly with the music. *Also, most classical music is in the public domain and free to arrange* So I decided to start finding the pieces, be it piano or orchestra, and started adapting them into accessible quintets for developing musicians. Developed musicians can totally play them as well. I dare say that some audiences might not appreciate the Ewald as much as some good ol' Bach.
I also see this series as a great way to start young musicians on a journey to a deeper listen/study on these pieces. As sad as it is to say, my "alternative/punk rock ears" were first exposed to Copland my freshman year in high school because I joined marching band. Oh how that changed everything for me. Hours and hours and hours of Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring. Maybe these chamber pieces can spark a similar interest in someone else (fingers crossed).
Let's Talk Performance
So here are some ways I see these tunes working..
To me, the key is being creative in whatever spaces you can fill with music... especially LIVE PEFORMERS. Which gets me to...
I'm ALL ABOUT infusing our communities with music in as many scenarios as possible. Teachers and music enthusiasts should get out in public and PLAY, lest we be replaced by a speaker streaming tunes. There's a huge difference to having actual musicians fill a space. The average person won't really know the difference until they experience it themselves. It's why (classical) music flash mobs are sooo cool. There's an energy to it. A connection to people. I don't think we should ever take for granted the kid that walks by and decides to play trumpet or clarinet or whatever.. just because a group happened to set up shop on the corner and make some music.
If you've read this far, music clearly means a lot to you and we probably have some similar views. I sincerely hope you go out and fill your community with awesome music. Let's keep classical/instrumental/performing alive for generations to come!
Adaptable Arrangement Sections
The musings of a composer that also band directs!! ... or maybe it's the other way around..