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October/November 2021 Issue

Leonard Releases Charlie Brown Christmas Play-Along
For more than 50 years, the much-loved soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas has been popular with musicians of all ages. Now, early-level musicians can play-along with professional jazz recordings. The new play-along packs are available for flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, and violin, and feature full-demo performances and backing tracks. The audio files can be accessed at the Hal Leonard MyLibrary website and include an audio player that allows players to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, and change keys. Each new book retails for $14.99 and is available at music stores and

Midwest Clinic Featured Concerts
   The Midwest Clinic has announced performances by several highly respected ensembles. Here are some of the highlights:
   The Dallas Wind Symphony, the leading professional civilian band in the United States will appear on Thursday, December 16 at 7:30 pm. The ensemble, led by Artistic Director Jerry Junkin, has released a dozen highly regarded albums on Reference Recordings.
   The Count Basie Orchestra, under the leadership of Scotty Barnhart, continues to give sold-out performances 30 years after Basie’s passing. Over the years, the group has performed at every major concert hall and jazz festival in the world. This American institution performs on Friday, December 17 at 7 pm.
   The Grammy nominated Imani Winds, celebrating 20 years of performances, will appear on Wednesday, December 15 at 4:30 pm. The group has achieved great success through its dynamic playing, adventurous programming, and imaginative collaborations. The quintet’s playlist ranges from traditional chamber music to exciting new works that expand the repertoire for the 21st century.
   The popular Brass Band of Battle Creek has become one of the premier brass/percussion ensembles in the world. The member has grown to include such outstanding players as Sam Pilafian, Wycliffe Gordon, Vince DiMartino, and Tim Morrison. The group is led by conductor Michael Garasi, and their Midwest Anniver-sary performance takes place on Saturday, December 18 at 11:15 am.

New Horns from KHS
KHS Music, maker of XO professional brass instruments, has added the first French horns in the line. After more than a decade of development, the new double horns are designed for superior slotting and intonation of notes in all ranges. The 1650 horns with Geyer wrap have a one-piece leadpipe and a continuous F side tube. Multi-axis adjustment of the thumb level and pinky finger hook increase player comfort. XO Professional Horns are available with a fixed bell (1650) and a detached bell (1650D). The new horns are available now and further expansion of the line is planned for 2022.

Excelcia Acquires RBC, Wingert-Jones

Excelcia Music Publishing has acquired RBC Publications and Wingert-Jones from J.W. Pepper & Son. Excelcia founder and President Larry Clark noted that “there is a tremendous opportunity to ensure these historied publishers remain a vital part of music experienced in our schools and concert halls.” J.W. Pepper will retain an ownership stake in the resulting company and continue to provide printing and order fulfillment for all three publishers.

Reely Launches Band Stuff on YouTube
Director, author, humorist, and long-time Instrumentalist contributor Trey Reely has launched a new YouTube channel called Band Stuff. His inaugural post covers “The Top 10 Mistakes Band Directors Make, Part 1.” This site is just one of several pending Reely releases.

The Pedagogics Project
Buffet Crampon USA has announced The Pedagogics Project, a new educational initiative that offers live, online masterclasses from the company’s roster of artists. Paula Corley, Buffet Crampon Education Adviser, will head the project. Corley is a nationally respected clarinet and music education teacher with 33 years of teaching experience with students in middle school through college. The project will offer free clinics to middle school, high school, and collegiate band and orchestra programs, as well as collegiate applied music studios and collegiate instrumental methods classes. To learn more or to inquire about booking a free online class, visit

Pearl Awards Scholarships
   In May, Pearl Corporation started a new annual college scholarship, awarding two $5,000 scholarships to high school musicians who have demonstrated the ability to create positive change in their community. This year’s awards went to Emmanuel Wade and Isabel Michaelides.
   Since age 14, Emmanuel Wade (Clarksville, TN) has worked with the non-profit organization, I Am Invis-ible Bullying & Suicide. Emmanuel wrote a song titled, I’m Invisible that is used by the organization and the community to spread encouragement and a positive message. To date, I Am Invisible has reached over 3,500 students ages 8-17 in middle Tennessee. Emmanuel will attend Alabama A&M University and plans to continue his work helping those affected by bullying and suicide.
   Isabel Michaelides (Valencia, CA) has spent much of the past year volunteering at Oakmont of Valencia Senior Center, where every Sunday she would perform an arrangement of 1950s-60s music. Oakmont specializes in seniors with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Having been accepted into the University of California Irvine’s Biomedical Engineering program this Fall, Isabel looks forward to participating in further research related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia, while volunteering in the local community.

New Kendor Titles
Kendor Music has released several volumes of solos for festivals and contests, available for Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, Horn In F, Trombone, Baritone TC, Baritone BC, and Tuba.
Recital Solos, Volume 2 has eight grade 3-4 pieces for instrumental solo with piano accompaniment.
Debut Solos is designed for a first contest or recital performance. These grade 1-2 collections contain 14 pieces carefully edited by a specialist on each instrument and by Carl Strommen.
Master Repertoire contains eight highly idiomatic grade 4 solos, selected and arranged by a performing artist/educator on each instrument and edited by Carl Strommen.
Recital Solos has ten solos for grade 1-2 instrumentalists, many of which have been previously published in single editions.

August/September 2021 Issue

Legendary Director Retires
This issue’s cover (photo by Charlie Groh) features a performance by the Los Angeles USD All-District High School Honor Marching Band. This group is one of four bands that perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade on an annual basis. One force behind the band’s success has been Darnella Davidson, who directed bands for 38 years in the district and retired in June. She has taught at San Pedro High School since 2015 and also at Los Angeles High School, where she led her groups to 25 consecutive city championships. Her many career honors include the Honorary Life Member Award from the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. In 2018, the Country Music Association gave her the Music Teachers of Excellence Award. She was recently appointed a Los Angeles County Arts commissioner and will continue to work with the All-City and district bands.

Wenger Marks 75 Years
Wenger Corporation is marking its 75th anniversary with a variety of events throughout 2021. Wenger began in 1946 when high school band director Harry Wenger, having observed a lack of good music stands and chairs, started making his own. His initial invention, a Sousaphone chair, gained attention as Wenger and his wife, Ruth, traveled to state conventions. Wenger pursued marketing with catalogs and direct mail and had added 40 products by 1964. In the 1970s and 80s the company expanded into practice rooms, music posture chairs, and music stands. With expertise in acoustics, the company also expanded into acoustical shells, wall and ceiling panels, and stage design for performing centers everywhere. Today, the company employs 500 people in Minnesota and New York, and its products can be found in 50 countries.

Stahl Appointed at Kentucky
Shayna Stahl has been named director of athletic bands and assistant director at the University of Kentucky. She will also direct pep bands and the concert band at the school. She previously served as associate director of bands and director of athletic bands at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned degrees from Temple University, Stony Brook University, The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, and the University of Washington. She calls the appointment “a dream of mine since I started my journey working with college athletic bands.”

Eastman Celebrates Centennial
The Eastman School of Music officially began its Centennial celebration in July. The 18-month event will include more than 50 new compositions, world premieres, and Centennial fanfares.The commissions will include works several current Eastman faculty members and also former composition faculty members Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, and August Read Thomas. Although Eastman ensembles will perform many of the new works, several commissions will be written for current faculty members as part of the Faculty Artist Series performances. The three-semester celebration will begin in Fall 2021 and continue through 2020.

New Music from Kendor
Kendor Music has several notable releases for the year ahead. These include:
FlexEnsembles provide solid repertoire for mixed lesson groups and recitals. The arrangements are designed to work with any combination of woodwinds, brass, and strings. The releases include Christmas Collages, Classical FlexDuets, and original jazz duets by Doug Beach and George Shutack, among many others.
Kendor and Doug Beach Music have also released trumpet, trombone, and saxophone section workout books. These three collections were conceived to help each jazz section refine their skills as a unit. The books address balance, blend, articulation, and phrasing, and each collection includes six full performance pieces in a variety of styles. Optional rhythm section parts are included along with solos for any player. Each track comes has two accompanying MP3 tracks, one a full performance with rhythm section and one with rhythm only that can be used in rehearsals.

New Excelcia Concert Band Releases
Excelcia Music Publishing has released its 2021-22 Concert Band music catalog featuring over 50 new works by beloved composers and talented new voices. As in past years, the music includes live professional recordings of each piece that can be used as a tool with students in the classroom and for remote learning. Some of the composers included in this year’s music are Carol Brittin Chambers, Sean O’Loughlin, Brooke Pierson, Gene Milford, Yukiko Nishimura, Amy Riebs Mills, and Larry Clark. The concert band music follows a strict and consistent six-part grading system developed by Larry Clark and Tyler Acari. Score videos and preview scores for each piece are available on the Excelcia website.

Suzuki Trumpet Book Released
Alfred Music and the International Suzuki Association’s Brass Committee have released the first volume of the Suzuki Trumpet series. Recordings are available for teaching and practice purposes on SmartMusic and for download at, iTunes, and Amazon. Canadian Brass trumpeter Caleb Hudson performs on the recordings and is accompanied by pianist Michael Schneider.

Dave Black to Advise Tamburo

Proel North America has announced the appointment of Dave Black to the position of Artist and Market Development for Tamburo Drums, an Italian-made line of acoustic drums launching in North America. Black’s role will include artist relations, product development, and educational consulting. He is the former Vice President and Editor-in-Chief (School and Pop Publications) for Alfred Music, where he worked for 35 years. He is one of the biggest-selling percussion authors having contributed to Alfred’s Drum Method Books 1 & 2, Cymbals: A Crash Course, and Sound Innovations for Concert Band, among many others. He is a prolific composer and arranger with more than 60 published works.

Andreas Joins KHS America
Industry-veteran Jerry Andreas has joined KHS America as Director of Sales and Marketing after 15 years as a Senior Vice President at SKB Corporation. In his new role, he will oversee marketing activities for the educational division and such brands as Jupiter, XO and Azumi Winds, Mapex and Majestic Concert and Marching Percussion. He previously spent 18 years at Yamaha Corporation.

75th Anniversary Midwest Logo
The Midwest Clinic launched a logo contest to mark its 75th anniversary. More than 40 logo designs were submitted, and the board ultimately chose a design by Andre Cole of Coral Springs, Florida. The winning design will be featured throughout the 2021 event and on a special pin available at the Midwest Clinic Bookstore.

Essential Elements Access Expanded
Hal Leonard has announced that its Essential Elements Interactive has new free trial accounts for any music teacher to use the online platform. This new trial allows any teacher, regardless of the method they use, to check out the platform. The trial account includes unlimited to the platform’s assignment and assessment tools with audio and video recording options. Teachers can also sample all three levels of Essential Elements for band and strings. Free trials for student accounts are also planned for this summer.


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