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Penacook Lake Middle School

7th Grade Strings

November 1, 2015
Program

Petite Tango. C.B. Kriechbaum

Danny Boy. arr. Harry Alshin

Little Symphony.... Carold Nuez


Program Notes

Petite Tango
Casimer B. Kriechbaum, Jr. (1923-1991)

Petite Tango was written in 1975, expanding upon a then small repertoire of
original, contemporary music for young string orchestras. This piece gives students
a crash course in the cross-cultural nature of music, drawing heavily from Spanish
Cultures and even including auxiliary instrumentation like the claves and bongos.

Danny Boy
Arr. Harry Alshin (1909-1995)

This Irish classic has been pleasing audiences for many, many years, as it
dates all the way back to 1855. Here, Alshin beautifully sets the traditional melody
for the string orchestra, capturing the lyrical abilities of these instruments.

Little Symphony
Carold Nuez (1929-2015)

Little Symphony is evocative of music from the Classical Era, which lasted
from the mid-18th century and into the 19th century. This era focused heavily on
form and balance, and brought to the world such composers as Mozart and
Beethoven. In this composition, Nuez utilizes similar elements as a way to
introduce young string players to the beauty of music from this era, within a more
contemporary context.
1st Violins Cellos

Adrian Allen Mark Anderson


Jason Doyle Wayne Brady*
Mike Figueroa Teresa Flores
Rochelle Gardner Samantha Hickie
Tony Hoffman Sadie Quinn
Robyn Montgomery** Becca Sanford
Leland Nunez Claude Wood
Mark Rowe
Damian Su Basses
Tommie Warren
Scott Washington Scott Daniels*
Thomas Wheeler Valerie Silva
Tristan Wolfe
2nd Violins

Andrea Baker
Nick Cain
Henry Campbell * Section Principal
Jerry Evans **Concertmaster
Lorene Fletcher
Mack Fox*
Aaron Gray
Marie Johnson
Mollie McGinnis
Nyla Sykes
Roland Turner

Violas
Sam Collins
Adrienne Pope
Carolyn Simmons
Elias Stone
Lucas Tanner
Liang Xau*
Rationale

To choose my music, I looked through the Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra
book, and listened to selections in the grade level that would be appropriate for an early 7th grade,
class B ensemble. The pieces I chose, Petite Tango, Danny Boy, and Little Symphony were chosen
based on their aesthetic appeal and diversity, as well as their pedagogical value. There wasnt any
particular theme or reason for putting these three pieces together besides the fact that there is a lot of
stylistic diversity and an emotional arc comparable to the structure of a larger-scale sonata or
concerto across the three pieces when they are played in this order.

Rationale for Petite Tango

I chose this piece for a seventh grade orchestra because it is a short, fun tango and in my
experience young students tend to find dance music like tangos to be very fun to play. The claves and
bongos give this piece extra character that would be enjoyable for both the students and the audience,
also giving the students an introduction to playing with instruments other than strings, thus serving as
an intermediary step towards someday playing with a full orchestra. This piece will also give the
students practice in becoming proficient in switching between pizz. and arco sections smoothly.

Rationale for Danny Boy

Danny Boy is a good choice for an ensemble at this level because it largely stays in first
position (expect a brief first violin divisi). This will provide a good teaching opportunity for the more
difficult aspects of this song such as creating a good legato tone, playing in-tune together, and
creating long phrases. These are very difficult concepts to achieve effectively in a young ensemble,
but the fact that the arrangement is very beautiful while being technically achievable makes this a
good program choice.

Rationale for Little Symphony

To end the program, I wanted something was a little more upbeat after Danny Boy. Little
Symphony moves at a nice pace of quarter = 112. This piece gives the concert a more classical flavor,
which is pedagogically valuable because it provides opportunities to teach the students classical bow
strokes such as brush-strokes, as well as how to balance accompaniment vs. melody parts in classical
music. This is important because so much classical repertoire is still widely performed and this is a
great initiation into that style. If I was actually programming a real concert for this November, I
would also justify this piece being on the concert in honor of its composer, Carold Nuez, who
just passed away this previous June and was an important string educator and advocate in this
country.