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Please recommend school orchestra music


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I teach a small middle school string orchestra that is as advanced as many high school orchestras. I know this because I've looked at the programs of many high school groups and my little 15 member group has already played many of the pieces older groups are playing. This is a problem! How do I keep my young players challenged? Also, I'm very limited because I have no cellos. I have 14 exceptional violinists, one violist, an excellent pianist, and a bass player who has just started, but is improving by leaps and bounds. Can anybody recommend some orchestra music that has good challenging violin parts and an intrgral (not just for rehearsal) piano part?

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My school orchestra played Intermezzo from Cavelleria Rusticana by Mascagni last year. It's very heavy on the first violins. We used a string ensemble arrangement which used the piano to cover the missing wind parts. While it's beyond the level of most high school orchestras, Bloch's concerto grosso has a big piano part.

With that instrumentation, maybe you should get some violin ensemble music. Or give a few of the violinists violas and teach them to read alto clef. You have my sympathies; my school orchestra only has one cello (but we also only have 4 firsts, 3 seconds and 3 violas).

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I play in a group with a similar configuration except we have a cello and no violists and it is difficult to find things to play.

You might trio the Corelli Trio Sonatas for two violin with the basso continuo that has been converted to piano accompaniment -- there are a couple of Vivaldi concerto Grosso's that you could play and we played a two violin /piano Huber Allegro. We just did a simple arrangement that I made out of the duet from Leo Delibes Lakme that was really quite nice -- simple but nice.

I would be interested to hear what you have tried already. We are always in search of arrangements.


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