Junior High Band
Program Survival Tips

Let the Stars Shine

One way to challenge the very best players is to feature them playing a solo with band accompaniment on the final concert. If you don’t have a band arrangement of the accompaniment, use the piano accompaniment. If you have more than one “superstar” in the band, have them play a duet, trio, or quarter together. It gives the best players time to shine and it inspires the younger players. It also adds variety to the concert.

Here are some examples of my 9th-grade superstars (click on the red "play" button to watch):

  • Watch on YouTubeDick - Drum DuetThe Blue Devils
  • Watch on YouTubeWhen I'm Sixty-Four - Saxophone QuartetLennon / McCartney arr. Ramon Richer
  • Watch on YouTubePiano Concerto #1, 1st movement - Piano SoloRachmaninoff
  • Watch on YouTubeFlight of the Bumblebee - Xylophone SoloKorsakoff arr. Albert Davis
  • Watch on YouTubeFlight of the Bumblebee - Xylophone Trumpet DuetKorsakoff arr. Albert Davis

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.