About difficulty

Most of my wind music has been written beyond the grade system. For the pieces that I have written for younger bands (now a fair number), I have composed them paying careful attention to the specific band for which I was writing, rather than the generalization of a grade number. The grading system can offer some guidelines for conductors who are sorting through music, but the numbers can also lead to the acceptance of a mental limitation: “My band can only play grade three, can’t play grade four.” I have written pieces for conductors of younger bands which the conductors, on their own, would never have selected. It was my intuition that the band was capable of the piece. Things have invariably turned out well, and even memorably. Along with legitimate concerns about technical ability conductors need to find and trust musical intuition, and be willing to risk the adventure for music that moves them strongly.

By |2014-03-09T12:36:18+00:005 February 2014|Reference|