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Saxophone Ensembles

New on the OMEA Ensemble List - Jan. 2012

Saxophone Trio
Trio Sonata in Bb Major - Becker/Hall  (for two altos and tenor sax)
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 50456001  
Becker was an early German Baroque violinist and composer pre-dating Bach, Handel and Corelli. His chamber music was among the most important music coming from Germany and pointed directly to where music composition was headed. This was written over 200 years before the saxophone was invented, but nevertheless, excellent music for saxophonists to experience

The three short movements lie well for the saxophones and offer contrast in tempo and style. The music is contrapuntal, a trademark of the Baroque Period.  Players must be rhythmically accurate and stable in order to play rhythmically and stylistically correct.



Song and Polka – Percy Hall
Difficulty: ME Grade 2, Jr High; Easy High  OMEA Class: (none)  Publ. Code: 50452001  
This piece is scored for 3 alto saxophones, and there is an optional tenor sax part to replace the third alto. It is intended for a trio of developing players for an early ensemble experience. It was first composed for trumpet trio and has been so popular it is now available for flute trio, clarinet trio, and saxophone trio. They are all in the same key which would permit players in the various ensembles to rehearse together. Both staccato and legato styles are called for, and each instrument in the trio has a short solo. Some independent reading of rhythms is necessary, but that is the value of ensemble playing.

Saxophone Quartet
Reverie and Rag - Percy Hall  (for 2 altos and 2 tenors with optional parts)
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50453001  
An original work in two contrasting styles, both imitative of the sentimental music of the very early 1900's when ragtime was prevalent. Melodies lie well for the saxophones but could be a bit challenging at times for class C players. Ranges are practical.  There is an alternate 3rd alto part, and also an alternate baritone sax part making a variety of other instrumentations possible. Both legato and staccato articulations are necessary. Much thought has gone into the preparation of style, articulation and phrasing.

Previously listed

Saxophone Trios
Triple Treat - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20456001  
Triple Treat was first available for trumpet trio and flute trio. It is now available for clarinet trio, and sax trio. It is scored for 3 alto saxophones with an optional tenor sax part for the 3rd alto. It is a rather challenging piece for all parts and lots of fun to play. After an 8 measure lyrical introduction it moves forward at a moderately fast tempo with lots of staccato 8th notes and slurred 16th notes. Rhythmically is is quite contrapuntal with lots of imitative themes. The musical content is well worth the experience.

Vignettes for Saxophones - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20456002  
Three short separate pieces are included, each evoking a scene in nature. First, A Scenic Vista which is lyrical with moving harmonies and some interesting dissonances. Next we picture A Woodland Stream with running 8th not passages in imitative form, and finally A Rugged Mountain provides a dramatic ending in the staccato-marcato style. It is scored for three alto saxophones with an optional tenor part for third alto. This same trio is also available for flutes.

Skating on North Lake - Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00430  
This trio was written to provide a basic ensemble experience for developing saxophone players that would emphasize legato playing, which is the characteristic sound of the instrument. Work on developing a rich resonant tone in all three parts as you think of gliding along while ice skating. It is scored for alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and all three parts are quite melodic and within the limits of basic range. The 4 measure introduction is quite slow, and then it blossoms into the tempo and style of a Viennese Valse.

Two for Three - Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00428  
This trio was first written for trumpet, and it adapts very well to the range for three alto saxophones. (There is an optional tenor sax part for the 3rd alto). The titles simply refers to two pieces for three players. It has been frequently performed in Ohio contests both as a sax trio and a trumpet trio, and now it is also available as a flute trio. The opening section is lyrical with melodies in four measure phrases and moving voices in the harmony parts. For contrast it then proceeds to a 2/4 march including several 2 measure solos for the 2nd and 3rd parts. Staccato-marcato style is essential in this section. Both pieces are in G major.

Saxophone Quartet
Three Miniatures
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00169  
These three short pieces give opportunity for the young saxophonist to play music of varied tempi, key and style. The Air is lyrical, offering a chance to focus on tone and phrasing. The Minuet is to be played in the traditional 17th century style of light staccato, and the last movement, Jig, is the most technically challenging of the three, but most of the technique is confined to the first part. This is frequently performed in Ohio contests. It is scored for 4 alto saxes making it a possibility for younger ensembles where the larger saxophones are not yet available, but it has other options of instrumentation. Tenor sax parts are provided for the 3rd and 4th alto parts, and baritone sax is another option for the 4th part. Three Miniatures is also available as a flute quartet, clarinet quartet, and mixed clarinet quartet, and under a different title, Air, Minuet and Jig, it is scored for clarinet choir.

Saxophone Quintet
Dance-A-Jig - Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00456  
The tune is original, but based on the rhythm, meter and style of an Irish jig. However, it is more of a concert jig than one for dancing because of the ritards and a tempi, which also make it a more significant musical experience in the skill of ensemble playing. Keys are D and G major, and the meter is 6/8. The is plenty of activity for all five voices. It is scored for 2 altos, 2 tenors and baritone, but an optional 3rd alto part is included to replace the 1st tenor. The pitches not slurred should be lightly tongued, which is a challenge for the developing saxophone players.

“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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