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#15 Suggested Repertoire from Around the World for Developing Bands

This 15th installment is submitted by Dutch conductor, clinician and former WASBE Board Member Joop Boerstoel. In this edition of Suggested Repertoire from Around the World for Developing Bands some choices for completing a concert program.

Grade 2

Monsters (2018) – 4’25” – Mitropa

Thomas Doss (Austria, 1966)

Thomas Doss

This piece for youth orchestra will frighten not only the audience but the players also! There are rumors of musicians disappearing during the rehearsals of this piece, never to be found... It is said, however, that singing loudly in the vocal passages provides protection from nasty surprises. ‘Monsters’ was awarded first prize in the Symphonic Wind Composers Project composition competition.

This piece contains many aspects of music-making. Besides the ‘normal’ way of playing the instruments, other techniques are involved:  whistling, screaming, and singing. Especially this last item is not a favorite for many (young) instrumentalists, although it can be a very important subject to become a better musician. The quality of intonation, tuning, instrumental timbre, etc. increases a lot if a (young) musician can sing. To learn this at an early age is a benefit. This piece integrates singing subtle and efficient.

To create the right atmosphere it’s not enough to play the notes in the right way, also dynamics and articulations are important.

About the composer

With his compositions, Thomas Doss wants to convey a message: the listener should be taken along and at the end of the composition be confused, happy, moved or everything at the same time. In any case, he should be emotionally touched in the concert.

Colors and sounds play a major role in Thomas Doss' compositions. Especially the phenomena of the overtone series and the light spectrum. Impressionism and spirituality – not reduced to religion – are central to his compositions. And above all, he celebrates “the silence in music”. Thomas Doss is fascinated by the aspects of time/mete /pulse/tempo, how they work in context, by the secrets that lie behind them and seem to be a kind of key to a better understanding of our existence.

Musically, he doesn't like to be limited to a genre or pigeonholed. He loves classical music, but at the same time also jazz, folklore and modern music. All preferences that he can live out in his compositions for symphonic wind orchestra. He speaks of high demands on his musical aesthetics  which, for humanitarian reasons, can be reconciled with the fact that he also writes music for children, young people and, above all, amateurs. “Music must be for everyone…”.


Grade 2 – 3

Suite Miniatura (2008) – 9’25” –  Molenaar Edition

Santiago Quinto Serna (Spain, 1971)

Arnaldo Santiago Quinto Serna is a Spanish composer, educator, conductor and pianist.

This melodic miniature suite is a short but nice composition for young musicians. It was composed for the Youth Band of the Unión Musical La Aurora from the little Spanish town of Albatera. There are four parts: March, Waltz, Christmas Carol and Burlesque March. The band that will perform this needs a complete woodwind section. Brass is more limited in Trumpet and Horn parts (Both 1st and 2nd parts).

This composition is besides a great concert piece from a certain length also a good educational work. It treats many challenges that need to be solved before it’s ready for the stage. But as soon these hurdles have been overcome it brings joy and lots of pleasure.

​​About the composer

Arnaldo Santiago Quinto Serna is a Spanish composer, educator, conductor and pianist. Quinto Serna got his first music lessons in the Banda de Música de la Sociedad Unión Musical La Aurora de Albatera. He studied composition, piano and orchestral conducting.

Currently he is a professor of harmony and analysis at the Conservatorio Profesional Municipal de Orihuela.  As a composer, Quinto Serna writes for orchestras, concert bands, music, vocal music and chamber music.


Grade 3

Band of Heroes (2020) - 5' – Alfred Music

Erika Svanoe (USA, 1976)

Dr. Erika Svanoe (b. 1976) is a conductor and composer for wind band

Band of Heroes is an “interactive musical adventure” for band. The piece includes a PowerPoint presentation that takes the audience through a narrative adventure where they must vote to decide which path the story and music will take during the performance. Inspired by your own adventure novels, text-based computer games and fairy tale-style characters, the piece gives audiences and students a unique interactive performance experience.



About the Composer

Dr. Erika Svanoe (b. 1976) is a conductor and composer for wind band, known for her lyrical melodies, nods to classic literature, and musical deconstruction, humor, and pastiche. Her works have been performed internationally by school, university, community, and professional bands.

As a conductor, Dr. Svanoe has held residencies with the USAF Heritage of America Band, the Atlanta Freedom Bands, and numerous universities. She is active as a guest conductor and clinician, appearing with high school, university, and festival ensembles across the United States. She currently lives in Menomonie, WI with her husband, designer and graphic novelist Erik Evensen.


Grade 3

Prima Luce (1999) - 8'40" – De Haske

Jan Van der Roost (Belgiun, 1956)

Prima Luce

The work “Prima Luce” was written on the commission of the Holy Angels Elementary School located in Aurora, a city in the United States of America. The composition is dedicated to Stan Smith. The place name Aurora was the inspiration for writing this work. Aurora means dawn, the phenomenon that is given musical expression by a soft opening with dark timbres. The choral-like theme strengthens the idea of sunrise.Prima Luce means the first light. The commissioning authority has a Catholic foundation therefore, the title “Prima Luce” fits the work quite well. Catholic influences are heard throughout the music. A Gregorian influence is clearly heard in the melodies, as well as modal influences in the harmonization.The beginning of the composition works toward an orchestral climax in which the orchestra sounds like an organ. Then an energetic allegro part follows with racy discordant notes. This fast part alludes to the dynamic town of Aurora. In this way, the composer refers to the title because Aurora was one of the first towns with streetlights! The work ends majestically with broad sounds in which the hymn is heard for the last time. Put in a Grade 3 level, this wonderful composition has some challenges. But for bands looking for challenging repertoire regarding their level, this piece is a wonderful composition to study and perform. Lots of success!


About the Composer

Jan Van der Roost

Jan Van der Roost became a triple laureate of the Lemmens Institute (now LUCA School of Arts, Leuven), where he followed Conservatoire and Music Education. The theoretical training was completed with a first prize in fugue at the Royal Conservatoire of Ghent. At the Royal Flemish Music Conservatoire of Antwerp, he obtained first prizes for choral conducting and composition.

Lecturer Until 2016, Van der Roost taught counterpoint, fugue, orchestration and composition at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven and was the institute’s conductor of the wind orchestra. He is also guest professor at Senzoku Gakuen in Kawasaki and guest professor emeritus at Nagoya University of Arts. He has been invited as a guest at music institutes in many countries worldwide.

Composer So far, Jan Van der Roost has composed more than 350 very diverse works in which music for wind instruments has a special place. His music is performed worldwide and most of his works are recorded (radio, TV and/or CD). Several titles are on the programs of renowned performers all over the world.


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