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Air for Band (Erickson)

From Wind Repertory Project
Frank Erickson

Frank Erickson


General Info

Year: 1956 / 1966
Duration: c. 3:20
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bourne Co. Music Publishers
Cost: Score and Parts - $48.75   |   Score - $7.25


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute
Oboe
Bassoon
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Baritone
Tuba
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Cymbals (crash)
  • Snare Drum


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

One of the stronger tendencies of twentieth century music has been a return to certain aspects of music of the Baroque and Classical periods. Compositions falling into this category are referred to as "neo classic." Air for Band is such a piece. The form (binary) was quite common in the Baroque period and the melody and harmonies were strongly influenced by the works of Bach.

- Program note from score


Several generations of band members have developed their ability to play a sustained line, to listen for the moving part, and to improve their intonation while playing this work since it was first published in 1956. While not difficult to play technically, Air for Band takes careful rehearsing to get the results the piece deserves. The composition begins softly and in a minor key, and by gradually adding instruments and increasing the dynamics and range, the climactic section is reached approximately halfway through. Erickson then uses the opening melody to create interesting rhythms and dialogues between sections on the way to a modulation to a major key and another crescendo leading to a maestoso ending.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


Frank Erickson’s Air for Band is an early-career work, written in 1956. He later (1966) revised it to fit “standard” band instrumentation and part divisions. In writing Air for Band, Erickson was preoccupied with creating a piece that young students could successfully perform that was also of educational value. The desire to create melodically interesting works of pedagogical merit was a goal shared by a growing list of composers at that time.

In Air for Band, Erickson favored simple and harmonically uncomplicated ideas that were playable, interesting, and to him musically worthwhile. The form of the piece is a modified song form AABACB’ – wherein the C section acts as a bit of development, and the second B section moves into a new key to serve as the coda.

- Program Note from SUNY Potsdam Symphonic Band concert program, 21 April 2016


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class C
  • Arkansas: I
  • Florida: III
  • Georgia: III
  • Iowa: II
  • Indiana: ISSMA SENIOR BAND GROUP III
  • Kansas: III
  • Louisiana: II
  • Maryland: III
  • Massachusetts: II
  • Michigan: Senior High D
  • Minnesota: III
  • New York: Concert Band II
  • North Carolina: III
  • Oklahoma: II-A
  • South Carolina: III
  • Tennessee: II
  • Texas: I. Complete
  • Virginia: II
  • Wisconsin: C
  • West Virginia: II


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Snake River New Horizons Band (Pocatello, Id.) (Casey Emerson, conductor)– 4 October 2019
  • Peninsula Symphonic Band (Palo Alto, Calif.) (G. Mancho Gonzalez, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • Strongsville (Ohio) Community Band (Brian Maskow, conductor) – 9 November 2018
  • Clovis North High School (Clovis, Calif.) Concert Band (Jose Vargas, conductor) – 17 October 2018
  • Kent State (Ohio) Symphony Band (John D. Franklin, conductor) – 30 September 2018
  • Le Mars (Iowa) Municipal Band (Jerry Bertrand, conductor) - 27 June 2018
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Concert Band (Alexandra Hulen, conductor) – 2 May 2018
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) White Concert Band (Jamal Duncan, conductor) – 22 April 2018
  • Truman University (Kirksville, Mo.) Concert Band (Timothy Clasby, conductor) – 7 March 2018
  • Hope College (Holland, Mich.) High School Honors Band – 3 March 2018
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Campus Band (Benjamin Rochford, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • Sul Ross State University (Alpine, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Jeffrey Meyer, conductor) – 12 October 2017
  • Catwaba Valley New Horizons Band, Hickory NC (Len Allman, conductor) - 11 May 2017
  • El Capitan Middle School (Fresno, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Christopher Golden, conductor) - 24 March 2017 (2017 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Three Oaks Senior High School (Summerside, PEI) Grade 10 Symphonic Band (Krista Bryson, conductor) - 23 May 2016
  • SUNY Potsdam Symphonic Band (not conducted) – 21 April 2016
  • University of Houston (Texas) Moores School of Music Wind Ensemble (David Bertman, conductor) - 11 February 2016 (2016 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Ensemble (Jennifer Rubin, conductor) – 2 December 2015
  • Wheaton North High School Concert Band (Kent Krause, conductor) - 3 November 2015
  • Illinois State (Normal) University University Band (Gavin Smith, conductor) – 8 October 2015
  • Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (Coleton Maruca, conductor) – 8 October 2015


Works for Winds


Resources

  • Erickson, F. (1966). Air for Band [score]. Bourne: New York.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 261-264.
  • Neidig, Kenneth L., edt. (2007). Performance Study Guides of Essential Works for Band. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 195.