Woodland Serenade & Rondo is a 6-minute concerto, crafted to spotlight not only a fine saxophone soloist, but also to give a director the opportunity to feature other outstanding solo wind players in the ensemble.
Genre: Solo Alto Saxophone with Band | # of Players: Standard + 1
Level: 4 | Duration: 6:00
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2/3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2/3
Horn in F 1/2
Horn in F 3/4
Solo Alto Saxophone
Percussion 1 (bells, snare drum, claves)
Percussion 2 (marimba, bass drum)
Percussion 3 (vibraphone, sandblock/shaker, xylophone, slapstick)
Percussion 4 (triangle, finger cymbals, suspended cymbal, cowbell)
Percussion 5 (wind chimes, suspended cymbal, tambourine, 2 woodblocks)
Woodland Serenade & Rondo is a 6-minute concerto, crafted to spotlight not only a fine saxophone soloist, but also to give a director the opportunity to feature other outstanding solo wind players in the ensemble. Its premiere was December 20, 2003 at the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. It was performed by The Woodlands (TX) High School Band, Brett Johnson conducting, with Mr. Lynn Klock, professor of saxophone at the University of Massachussetts at Amherst, the soloist.
Although it is a short piece, the thematic material is rich and well-developed. The serenade's simple, haunting theme demands sensitive musicality and warm tone quality from soloist and band alike. Vibraphone, marimba, bells and wind chimes create a dreamy backdrop to the long-limbed melody. At times the serenade is chamber-like in texture spotlighting solo winds on lines that answer and mingle with the saxophone melodies. A short cadenza is followed by an improvisational type variation of the main theme, and the serenade comes to a peaceful close as the saxophone and solo winds call and respond with a motive from the theme. An immediate segue into the rondo follows, picking up the pace with a jazzy tune derived from the serenade theme, accompanied by brass. In classic rondo form, the second and third themes have contrasting textures and moods, and include the use of xylophone, slapstick, rimshots and other percussion colors. Sass, humor and driving intensity are all elements of this fast-paced rondo, with the ending bringing a real wail of delight from soloist, band and audience alike.
- Catherine McMichael