Leading Tones Music and Chicago Public Schools Team Up to Create Solutions for Bands and Orchestras during the Pandemic
Online learning, limited rehearsal time, and smaller groups of performers pose a challenge to bands and orchestras this fall semester. Many teachers wonder, How can I find music to play that will actually work during these uncertain situations? Well, composers of all ages and backgrounds are working with the Leading Tones Music publishing company to create new opportunities for students in one of the largest school districts in the United States.
The Chicago Public Schools district serves almost 400,000 students, making it the third-largest school district in the country. Thousands of students in Chicago perform in bands and orchestras with the support of the district's Department of Arts Education, and a team of composers from Leading Tones Music is developing a catalog of over forty adaptable and mixed-level scores. This innovative new content will be available to musicians in Chicago and around the world. So before you dive into perusing these new scores, you may be wondering…
What is an adaptable score? It is a piece of music for bands and orchestras that allows any number and combination of instruments to play. If you only have three flutes, one saxophone, and one cello in the room, it will still be possible to play the piece. Other concepts such as improvisation and electronic music also can be used in adaptable scores. We recommend checking out the CRI (Creative Repertoire Initiative) website or Facebook page for additional resources regarding adaptable scores.
What is a mixed level score? It is a score where each part offers a simplified version that still fits into the melodic and harmonic structure of the piece. If your ensemble of three flutes, saxophone, and cello has two flute players who are not as advanced as the other, then they can choose a part that is more suited to their current abilities. Unfortunately, there are not many additional resources for mixed-level literature. Thankfully, you are here on our website reading this blog, because…
Leading Tones Music is the only publishing company that specializes in combining both the adaptable and mixed-level formats. Many such pieces already exist on our website, and the full catalog created for the Chicago Public Schools will be available by mid-September. Please see our Adaptable Music Catalogue for access to recordings and perusal scores, and feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or special requests.
In the United States and abroad, adaptable and mixed-level scores can be helpful during the pandemic and in “normal” times. Composers in Leading Tones Music and elsewhere are finding innovative ways to create opportunities for performers now more than ever before. This is just one example of how musicians of all ages and abilities are supporting each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.