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New Products and Publications
Director’s Humorous Memoir
Directors seeking some comic relief at the end of a long year may want to pick up a copy of the new memoir from long-time director Sam Bennett. Bennett retired after three decades as a director and has captured his reflections in Let’s Go Band! Earlier books in the series captured his humorous memories from a prolific trumpet career in the Chicago area and his time as a private teacher. All three are available on Amazon. (4/5-21)

First Album from SAGA Quartet

The SAGA Quartet recently released its first album, available by CD and digital download from Equilibrium Records. The group credits Paul Hindemith for seeing the artistic potential of the saxophone and inspiring many other composers in following decades. The quartet traces that development through works by Bernhard Heiden (a student of Hindemith), Frederick Fox (one of Heiden’s students), and David Dzubay (who studied with Fox). This talented group features Andrew J. Allen on soprano saxophone, Matthew Tracy on alto, Gregory Dewhirst on tenor, and baritone Andy Wright. The album also features contributions from timpanist Gordon Hicken. (4-5/21)

PracticeFirst/Excelcia Collaborate
    To provide their subscribers with a wide selection of educational content, music software company MusicFirst has entered a new collaboration with Excelcia Music Publishing. The joint effort allows MusicFirst customers who have subscribed to their performance assessment software, Practice-First, to access Excelcia’s catalog of new pieces by outstanding composers in the app at no additional cost. With the increased use of the PracticeFirst app during the COVID crisis, MusicFirst saw an opportunity to provide educators with supplemental resources for virtual learning. Excelcia’s Flexcel Concert Works series is scored by key rather than instrument, allowing use by almost any combination of instruments. (4-5/21)

Wenger Thanks Music Educators
    Wenger Corporation recently initiated a Thank You campaign to recognize the incredible efforts of music educators everywhere to keep the music alive during the pandemic. The campaign recognizes these educators and gives colleagues a chance to nominate a teacher for recognition. Those who submitted nominations by March 12 also earned a chance to win valuable prizes. In the words of Wenger’s Stacy Hanson, Director of Marketing Communications, “So many music educators have stepped up to keep the music alive and students engaged these past several months. Their adaptability, creativity, and new ideas have inspired students everywhere.” The grand prize is a trip to the Music for All event of choice in the United States in 2021. Wenger is the official performance equipment sponsor of Music for All. Additional prizes include a Teacher Taxi Mobile Cart, Flex Conductor’s System, and Mobile Media Storage Cabinet. (4-5/21)

GPG Music Online Platform

    In an effort to sustain ensemble music during the pandemic, GPG Music developed a music curriculum and online platform to help educators continue teaching and inspiring students in the current adjusted learning environments. According to GPG’s Steve Martin, Our Virtual Ensemble (OVE) was designed to keep young musicians engaged even with the challenges of digital learning. “A segment of kids only come to school because of their love of music and sense of belonging that comes with being a part of an ensemble. We wanted to save music in schools.” Music instructors receive the tools to learn, practice, and record pieces or routines virtually and provide feedback to individual players. Then, the OVE team edits the package together to share with audiences. Music licensing is offered for a variety of ensemble music available from GPG or instructors can use their own. (3-4/21)

Notable Releases from Crystal  

    Crystal Records, celebrating 55 years as a essential purveyor of world-class solo and ensemble records, has released two recent albums of note. The first features Christopher Leuba, whose distinguished career included stints with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age 19 and principal horn of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1954-1960. He was then selected by Fritz Reiner to succeed Leuba’s teacher, Philip Farkas as principal horn in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This album features works by John Verall, Paul Tufts, and Halsey Stevens that were recorded by Leuba and released originally by Crystal in 1977. All of the music on the album was written for Leuba and has become prominent in the horn recital literature. Leuba passed away in 2019.
    Crystal also features the work of the Richards Wind Quintet on a new release. The quartet was organized in 1948 at Michigan State University and was one of the first resident wind quintets in the United States. After a New York debut in 1968 the ensemble made yearly cross-country tours throughout the U.S. and Canada. This album includes remasters of 1976 recordings by the group of three works by Johann Peter Muller, a German composer known for his charming Classical works, operas, and other chamber music. For more information on everything available from Crystal visit (3-4/21)

Pearl to Distribute Wincent Drumsticks

    Pearl Corporation has partnered with Swedish drumstick company Wincent to distribute its products in the United States. Wincent, established in 1992, manufactures sticks with a stone lathing process and a unique wax protection to improve the feel and durability. Each pair is butt-end branded with stick size for easy location in a stick bag. For more information, visit or (12-1/20)

Excelcia Jazz Combo Series
    Florida-based Excelcia Music Pub-lishing has introduced its Flexcel Jazz Combo series, building on the success of its concert works series. The new jazz combos, which include four new flexible holiday works, can be used with as few as three wind players up to as many players as needed. The grade 3 works are scored in three parts by key, not by instrument and include such favorites as Go Tell It on the Mountain, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Joy to the World. Each piece is available for $45. (12-1/20)

Yamaha Baritone Saxophones
    The YBS-82 Custom Baritone Saxophone is the first custom-level model addition to the company’s venerated saxophone lineup. The YBS-82 offers a variety of configurations, including handmade neck options with varying tapers and finishes, such as silver-plated, unlacquered, and gold lacquer. A shorter bell length improves intonation, and a one-piece bell provides rich sound throughout the range of the instrument. A new key layout improves ergonomics. Yamaha also added a detachable peg, which supports a good portion of the weight.
    Yamaha is also introducing the second generation YBS-62II Professional Baritone Saxophone, which improves upon the ergonomics and intonation of the original YBS-62. The YBS-62II inherits high-end features from the Custom YBS-82 Baritone Saxophone, including an ergonomic key layout, a shorter bell length, and a peg receiver. 


Leonard Adds to Flex-Band Series

    Hal Leonard’s Flex-Band series has aimed to help bands struggling with limited instrumentation since 2006. The publisher has added several new titles for grade 1.5 and 2 bands. The new works are scored for just five parts, plus percussion, and can be played with combinations of woodwinds, brass, and strings. The new releases include Christmastime Is Here, the theme music from The Avengers, and the Elton John classic, Circle of Life from The Lion King. These new pieces, which will all retail for $45, join 140 titles already in print. Full scores and recordings are available at the Hal Leonard Concert Band YouTube channel. (12-1/20)

App Mimics Oberlin Acoustics

    ObieVerb, an app for macOS, allows people to pair recorded music with the acoustic properties of places on the Oberlin campus, including Kulas Recital Hall, Finney Chapel, Warner Concert Hall, Stull Recital Hall, the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse, and Clonick Hall. Andrew Tripp, codirector of Oberlin’s Recording Arts and Production graduate program, took recordings of each area, and Eli Stine, a member of Oberlin’s Technology in Music and Related Arts faculty, crated the interface.

Hal Leonard Launches Podcast

    Essential Elements author Charlie Menghini, Hal Leonard Vice President and composer Paul Lavender, and Tim Lautzenheiser have joined forces to create the Essential Elements Band Talk podcast. With ten podcasts up as of late September and more coming weekly, the sessions will cover such topics as teaching online, starting beginners in a hybrid teaching model, and keeping teachers encouraged in this difficult time. Guest participants to the podcast include current teachers, industry experts, and music education advocates. (10-11/20)

Alfred Music’s Flexible Instrumentation Series
   Alfred Music introduced two new flexible instrumentation series: Belwin Flex and Alfred Flex. Each series contains a variety of styles and grade levels up to 3+ to meet the needs of ensembles with incomplete or unique instrumentation. These newly reimagined pieces are available throughout the Belwin and Alfred Concert Band Catalogs, written by a variety of composers and arrangers, including Michael Story, Michael Kamuf, Victor López, Chris M. Bernotas, Scott Watson, and Vince Gassi. The pieces and arrangements in this new series will have complete flexibility of instrumentation, which will allow directors to use them for full band, string orchestra, a mix of band and string instruments, and mixed or like-instrument ensembles.
   A teacher map to guide instrument choices and provide a way to document part assignments is included with each piece. To address the potential for unbalanced sounds in common five-part scores, a four-part model for younger bands to help support the lower parts is included. The purchase of these flexible instrumentation series titles include permission to photocopy parts as needed to accommodate changing needs of teachers. Additionally, Alfred Flex and Belwin Flex will be made available in SmartMusic, giving teachers the ability to monitor and assess student progress while remote teaching. Students will be immediately shown what pitches and rhythms they hit or miss so they know what to work on, and learn their music correctly. (9/20)  

Excelcia’s Flexible Music Series  
   Excelcia Music Publishing has released its Flexcel series of band and orchestra music to be used with reduced ensemble sizes and any combination of wind, string, and percussion instruments. Each piece is arranged in five-part writing by transposed keys rather than by instrument. The works can be performed by as few as five players plus percussion. The purchase of each set includes unique photocopying permission as well as access to digital copies for remote learning. The series includes compositions by Carol Brittin Chambers, Tyler Acari, Sean O'Loughlin, and Larry Clark. When the full ensemble meets again, directors can switch to the fully-scored version of the piece. (9/20)

D’Addario Woodwinds Padded Leather Saxophone Straps
   This saxophone strap features soft but strong materials for a mix of style and functionality. Each strap comes with gel padding for added support and comfort and a premium-quality leather for style and durability. There is a secure adjustor to hold the position tightly during any performance and an ergonomic release button to quickly switch instruments with security and ease. The strap is available in black leather with nickel hardware or brown leather with brass hardware for soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. Each strap retails for $109. (9/20)

Industry News
Buehlman Contest Winners
    The Midwest Clinic has announced the winners of the First Annual Barbara Buehlman Prize for Composition. Composers born after 1985 were eligible to submit a composition for high school or middle school wind band. The middle school first prize was awarded to Miyuko Oda for her composition Dawn. Honorable mention in the middle school category went to Ben Robichaux of Thibodaux, Louisiana for the composition Gregorian Fantasy. Kinetics by Alexander Rood (Aliso Viejo, California) earned first place in the high school category; Theodore Strich (Tempe, Arizona) received honorable mention in the high school composition Glass Machine. In addition to cash awards, the winning composers will have their compositions featured at the 75th Anniversary Midwest Clinic in 2021 in Chicago.
    The contest honors Barbara Buehlman who is admired for her long career as a composer, conductor, and Executive Administrator of the Midwest from 1980-97. Her work for the Midwest is widely credited for modernizing and expanding the breadth and scope of the convention. The judges for the competition included Julie Giroux, Donald Grantham, Craig Kirchhoff, Michael Dougherty, and Frank Ticheli. Richard Crain and Paula Crider announced the winners in December. (3-4/21)

ABA Honors Larry Daehn
    The American Bandmasters Associ-ation has announced composer, publisher, and educator Larry Daehn as a 2021 recipient of the Edwin Franko Goldman Citation. Although Daehn’s distinguished career included 35 years as a band director, his publishing company and subsequent composing and arranging became his greatest mark on the band profession. His music ranges from the most elementary to the most challenging and appears everywhere on festival lists and honor band programs. (3-4/21)

San Francisco Conservatory Music Director Appointed

Edwin Outwater has been appointed Music Director at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His primary focus will be the conservatory’s broadscale musical objectives – shaping the large ensemble experience across orchestra, chamber, and contemporary music ensembles, striking a balance between canonical works and new initiatives, and guiding programmatic themes. He will also mentor students in the conducting program. Outwater has a long association with the San Francisco Symphony, and recent collaborations include Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, John Lithgow, and Metallica. (10-11/20)

Troopers Enlist Adams Marching Brass

    The Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps has expanded its partnership with Pearl Corporation by adding Adams Marching Brass. Since the relaunch of the Troopers in 2007, the corps has partnered with Pearl/Adams. The Trooper, founded in 1957 by businessman James Jones, has traditionally drawn on a western military tradition and a music style that focuses on the American spirit. (10-11/20)

New from Kendor
    Kendor Music has released Basic String Technique, which is designed to accompany any string method and provides instruction on basic instrument setup, technique, and common mistakes. The book offers ideas to help teach beginning string players in the crucial first year of playing. The book is designed for teachers new to string education and veteran educators alike.
Kendor also has a range of music available in its FlexEnsembles series. These flexible instrumentation collections provide solid repertoire for virtual learning, mixed lesson groups, and recitals. These offerings include Christmas Collages. a collection of holiday selections for trios and quartets by Carl Strommen and Christmas FlexDuets by Frank J. Hafferty. Other composers represented in the series include Andrew Balent, Lennie Niehaus, and Scott Wagstaff. (10-11/20)

The Midwest Clinic 2020, Staying Connected

    The Midwest Clinic has gone virtual with a number of exciting events planned with leaders in the profession. The event from December 16-18, 2020 will include professional development accreditation, live chats on various topics with colleagues and industry partners around the world, a virtual exhibit hall, and iconic Midwest performances from years past. Registrants will be able to view all content through January 31, 2021. For information and to register, visit (10-11/20)
Kalmus, LudwigMasters to Be Sold
   Keiser Southern Music announced an agreement with E.F. Kalmus, LudwigMasters, and affiliated music catalogs of Jacksonville, Florida. Keiser Southern has been appointed the exclusive worldwide sales agent and distributor for the Kalmus/Ludwig catalogs during the finalization process. (9/20)

Meredith Music Joins GIA
   Founded by Garwood Whaley in 1979, Meredith Music Publications has grown into a storied catalog of percussion pedagogical materials and music education and performance reference books. Today, Meredith Music Publications represents more than five hundred authors through its publications, including Frank Battisti, Shelley Jagow, David Kish, Gary Stith, and Michael Colgrass. Based on the premise that performance and music education are inextricably linked, Meredith publications are guided by the principle that music and music texts must be artistic and educationally creative, intelligently and attractively presented, and reasonably priced. Previously distributed by Hal Leonard Corporation, GIA Publications took over distribution of Meredith Music Publications on July 1, 2020.   (9/20)

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