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Low Brass Ensembles

Low Brass Choir – New Listings
Foster Favorites - S.C. Foster, arr. Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50542001  
This is written in just three voices, meaning it could be performed by just three low brass players of trombones, euphoniums and tuba, but Low Brass Choir really means multiple players on each part. This will enable the ensemble to get a rich tone. Care must be taken in assigning parts to achieve harmonic balance. Songs included are: Ring, Ring the Banjo, Massa’s In The Cold, Cold Ground, and Camptown Racetrack. Stephen Foster’s songs are a vital part of our musical heritage, depicting life in the American South as it was in the mid 1800’s. As you rehearse and perform this ensemble, try to make it sound like a finely tuned male chorus.

Low Brass Trios
College Glee Club - arr. by Percy Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00415  
Aura Lee and Good Night Ladies are two songs from a bygone era often sung by college male glee clubs. They have been effectively arranged for brass trio of trombones or euphoniums, both instruments in the same range as male voices. Both legato and marcato styles are called for and players will experience playing in three major keys: Bb, Eb and Ab. Range in the parts extends from low F to high Eb and the melody is shared by all three players. Fun to play and fun to hear.

Olde Tyme Songs - Percy Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00414  
These two original trios: Sentimental Waltz and Rambunctious Rag were conceived for trombone or euphonium trio. They are written in the style of music around 1900 - a time when vaudeville and ragtime were in vogue. The waltz must be played sweetly with nice phrasing and vibrato to the point of sounding schmaltzy.and the rag in contrast is light and frivolous, but really not too rambunctious! The third part has quite a few glissandi which can be effectively play on euphonium using chromatic or diatonic runs. Lots of fun to be had in these two short pieces for players and audiences alike.

Spirituals About Nobody - Spitituals/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00411  
Spirituals are a great source of American music for instrumental ensembles as well as vocal, and since they are often sung by male choruses, it is very fitting to be played by trombones and/or euphoniums, being the same range and tessitura. These two spirituals compliment and contrast each other: Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen and I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray. The first one calls for a legato style with expressive musical phrasing, and the second contrasts with a spirited marcato staccato style to bring out the intentions of those who created the spiritual.

Spirituals of the Old South - Spirtuals/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00413  
Spirituals are truly American music. The music as well as the lyrics expresses the sorrows and the joys of the early African-Americans. They were a means of teaching Bible stories through song to those who could not read. This short suite is a medley of three familiar spirituals: My Lord, What a Mornin’, King Jesus Is A’Listenin’ and My Lord Delivered Daniel. Both legato and marcato styles are necessary to capture the mood and spirit of the songs. Range is from low F to high F and this trio is equally effective for trombones and/or euphoniums.

Steal Away, little David - Spirituals/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00412  
A spiritual speaks to our country’s past, present and future. The emotional impact can be just as intense when performed on instruments as when sung, and the range and quality of the trombone and/or euphonium is an excellent choice because of it closeness to the sound of the male voice. The two spirituals included in this work are Steal Away and Little David, Play On Your Harp. Both are quite familiar, and the combination offers contrast of tempo, style and of thought as well. Effective for Low Brass Choir as well.

Low Brass Quartet (Tuba Quartet)
Air and March - Percy Hall            short MP3            
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: LB42086  
These two original pieces give the opportunity to experience two contrasting styles: legato and staccato-marcato. The legato style is often the most difficult to achieve for the less experienced players. As a low brass quartet it is most effective when played by three euphoniums and tuba, but perhaps equally well by two trombones, euphonium and tuba. It also can be played by a low brass choir with various combinations of all listed instruments. It can be also in the category of a tuba quartet for two euphoniums and two tubas, but only if tuba player on the third parts has excellent control in the high range.

Chorale and Clog Dance - Percy Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00449  
This quartet for low brass (or low brass choir) was written to give the less experienced ensemble an opportunity to perform music of limited range and technique with satisfying results. It has been widely performed. Two contrasting styles are included in this attractive musical package. The Clog Dance is patterned after the Cape Breton style of dance that has it roots in Ireland. It is intended for three euphoniums and tuba, with alternate parts for trombone. There is also an optional horn part for use only as a brass choir. The top range for the first part is only high Eb and the key of both pieces is Eb major.

Dirge and Slow Dance - Percy Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00451  
While a dirge may suggest a funeral procession, performers can be assured that this is not a deadly piece! The minor tonality and the slow tempo give opportunity for an emotional expression that is melancholy, but beautifully expressive and well suited to the tessitura and quality of sound of the low brass instruments. Instrumentation calls for three euphoniums (or trombones) plus tuba. The slow tempi, limited range and simple technical demands make this an excellent educational experience for younger performers. The first part does call for a range up to high F above the staff. Effective for low brass choir as well.

Four Leaf Clover - Woods/Hall
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20548606  
desc.The song I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover was composed in 1927 by Harry Woods with lyrics by Mort Dixon, and was revived in 1948 and became very popular at that time being recorded by Art Mooney. The sound of the tune has an up beat vaudeville flavor, especially when performed by a tuba/euphonium quartet. Even though this arrangement is short in duration, there are a lot of notes to be played by all four players, and in several different styles as well. Don’t be fooled by the looks of the parts. This is not a simple arrangement. Range of the first part is up to high Bb, and the range of the Tuba 1 part will be even more of a challenge. It is scored for 2 Euphoniums and 2 Tubas. Tuba 1 is preferred on this part, but Euphonium 3 is an option is no such tuba player is available. Players and audiences alike will really enjoy this tuba quartet.

Processions in Contrast - Percy Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20537001  
This ensemble includes two processional marches based on the same melodic theme but contrasting in style. They are titled Marche Pomposo and Marche Dignitaire. Range and endurance are both quite limited (first part goes no higher than middle C) making this an outstanding first ensemble for younger players, and will help them experience the rich sonority of the low brass instruments. It is scored for three euphoniums, or trombones, and tuba, with an optional fourth part for euphonium or trombone. It is also an excellent choice for low brass choir.

Proudly As The Eagle - Spohr/Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20413105  
Louis Spohr is a lesser known German composer who lived at the same time as Beethoven. Proudly As The Eagle is a vocal piece from one of his operas. It is often sung by male voices making it well suited to the low brass tessitura and sonority. Two short settings of the melody present it first as a chorale, then in contrapuntal style in pairs. Range and endurance are limited making this an outstanding ensemble for younger players. It is scored for three euphoniums, or trombones, and tuba, with an optional fourth part for euphonium or trombone. It is also an excellent choice for low brass choir.

Two Auras - arr. by Percy Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20537002  
The title Two Auras is a play on words. This arrangement presents the college song Aura Lee in two versions, first as a ballad, and then as a waltz. The melody is familiar dating back to the Civil War era, and also because of its revival by Elvis Presley who recorded it in 1960 under the title of Love Me Tender. Range is quite limited with only two high Eb’s in the first part and other parts equally restrictive, making this an excellent ensemble for younger players. It is scored for three euphoniums or trombones, and tuba as a quartet, but also can be effectively used as a low brass choir.

Two Sentimental Songs -Barnby and Hawthorne/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00452  
These two songs were very popular in the late 19th century: Sweet and Low and Listen to the Mocking Bird. They were often sung by male choruses and hence fit well into the tessitura and sonority of the low brass ensemble or choir. The ensemble is scored for three euphoniums, or trombones, and tuba. An optional F Horn part is included for use only as a brass choir. Range is somewhat limited, the first part occasionally calling for high F above the staff. Players need to understand 6/8 rhythm in 6, and have some facility in rapid articulation.

Waltz and March - Percy Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00450  
This low brass quartet (or choir) is designed for a first experience of less experienced players. The melodies and harmonies are so traditional that they may sound like you have heard them before. Range of the top part is only as high as middle C, and rhythms are quite basic. However, the sonority to be achieved is quite rich when played with good balance and intonation. It is scored for three euphoniums and tuba with optional trombone parts and also an optional horn part to be used only as a brass choir ensemble. The euphonium 3 part could be played by a more advanced tuba player who has control of a higher range.

“OMEA Class” refers to the assigned difficulty rating on the Ohio Music Educators Association Required List.

Sound samples are provided for some of the arrangements on this site. These are produced as MP3 files, with links noted after those arrangements for which they are available. Many also provide a "short MP3" alternative for those with slower, dial-up connections. While all sound samples are fairly compact, the shorter versions will typically download four to five times faster than their fuller counterparts.

Score samples are also provided for some arrangements. These show the first page (and sometimes several pages) of the score, and are provided in PDF format. You will need to have the Adobe Reader installed to be able to read these files. If you are unsure if you have this capability, click on a score link and see what happens. If you cannot read the file, a free version of the Adobe Reader is available at www.adobe.com.


How to order:   Published music can be purchased from any reputable music dealer, including the following:
Stanton's Sheet Music, 330 S. Fourth St., Columbus, OH 43215, phone 1-800-42MUSIC.
Rettig Music, Inc., Defiance / Lima / Toledo / Westlake, phone 1-800-52MUSIC.


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