Newsreel in Five Shots
1. Horse-Race - 1:50
2. Fashion Show - 2:10
3. Tribal Dance -1:00
4. Monkeys at the Zoo - 1:40
5. Parade - 1:15
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion (five players) including:
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Glockenspiel (or Orchestra Bells)
- Snare Drum (2)
- Suspended Cymbal
None discovered thus far.
The "Newsreel" was Schuman's first composition for band. He enjoyed writing band music because "he wanted to write music that could be performed by kids." He later realized that this work was too difficult for most school bands at the time, although it has become more accessible over the years. Schuman also enjoyed writing for bands because, "bands want new pieces. Unlike most symphony orchestras, who do new music on sufferance, bands love to do it." "Newsreel" was premiered in 1942 by the Pennsylvania State College Band, conducted by George S. Howard, director of the United States Air Force Band.
In late 1941 Schuman composed his first work for band, entitled Newsreel in Five Shots. Schuman had always loved the sounds of bands: “I wanted to write music that could be performed by kids, because I love kids... but I got better at it after [Newsreel] because [it’s] too difficult to play in terms of musical content.” Another reason Schuman enjoyed band writing was that “it makes you feel like a citizen. Bands want new pieces. Unlike most symphony orchestras, who do new music on sufferance, bands love to do it.”
In the 1930s and early 1940s, the newsreel was an integral part of any movie going experience. It presented short snippets of the news of the day, both serious and whimsical: “[I] thought how amusing it would be to imagine these events and write music to go with them, so I did.. It was great fun to do— kind of a joke. Lukas Foss loves that piece... He never played anything of any importance that I wrote, but he loved that.”
Newsreel was premiered in 1942 by the Pennsylvania State College Band under the direction of George S. Howard, director of the United States Air Force Band. Written in five movements, whose titles depict various topics in a newsreel (“Horse Race,” “Fashion Show,” “Tribal Dance,” “Monkeys at the Zoo,” and “Parade”), the piece became a favorite with bands around the United States and eventually was even played by junior high school bands.”
- Program Note by Joseph TV Polisi (American Muse: The Life & Times of William Schuman)
- Newsreel in Five Shots has been recommended as interesting, serious and distinctive music by members of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- East Tennessee State University (Johnson City) Wind Ensemble (Christian Zembower, conductors) - 3 March 2020
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble (Mark A. Norman, conductor) – 15 July 2015 - WASBE Conference, San Jose, Calif.
Works for Winds by This Composer
- American Hymn (1981)
- Anniversary Fanfare (1969)
- The Band Song (1967)
- Circus Overture (tr. Owen) (1944/1972)
- Dedication Fanfare (1969)
- George Washington Bridge (1950)
- New England Triptych (1956)
- Newsreel in Five Shots
- Prelude for a Great Occasion (1975)
- Variations on "America" (as orchestrator, trans. Rhoads)
- Polisi, Joseph W. (2008). American Muse: The Life and Times of William Schuman. New York: Amadeus Press, 68–69.
- Rhodes, Stephen. “A comparative analysis of the band compositions of William Schuman.” Dissertation. Greeley: University of Northern Colorado. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts International (1988, January) 48(7), 1579-A.
- William Schuman website