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Newsreel in Five Shots

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William Schuman

William Schuman


General Info

Year: 1941
Duration: 8:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer
Cost: Score & Parts - Rental only   |  Score Only - $5.00

Movements

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


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Flugelhorn I-II
F Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion, five players, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals (crash and suspended)
  • Glockenspiel (Orchestra Bells)
  • Snare Drum (2)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

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.”

- Progarm Note by Joseph TV Polisi (American Muse: The Life & Times of William Schuman)


Awards


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources