Besant Hill School Musical Performances – Spring 2021

La Morisque

La Morisque is a reorchestrated adaptation of a Symphonic Band arrangement of a song by the Renaissance composer Tielman Susato arranged by Kenneth Singleton. This song was composed around 1551, and featured musicians from all of the Instrumental Music classes at Besant Hill School. It is written in a fairly unusual key of Ab Major, and it presented the challenge of most musicians playing a part that their neighbor was not playing. It was also an excellent study of music from an era many of our young musicians were unfamiliar with.

Oye Como Va

Oye Como Va was performed by the Music Ensemble I class. It is an original arrangement created just for the members of this class, but it was based on the famous Carlos Santana version of the song. Although composed as a cha cha in 1962 by Tito Puente, it is the Santana interpretation of this song that is most iconic and best known. Music Ensemble I studied this song shortly after a unit on eighth notes, and the famous break rhythm was an excellent study of rhythm. Students also explored syncopated rhythms and improvisation as a part of their studies of this song.

Locked Out of Heaven

Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, is an excellent study of 16th note syncopation. The Music Ensemble II class, culminated in a unit of sixteenth notes with the study of this song that features sixteenth note offbeat rhythms in the song’s recognizable bassline. Along with sixteenth notes, this song was also a study of shifting grooves and song sections that made this a challenge to study, but a ton of fun to perform.

G Blues

G Blues is an exercise that I took out of our reading studies book, and created an ensemble chart out of. It featured Blues Eighth Notes, The blues progression in G, and improvised solos with the Blues Scale. The core of this performance group was the Besant Hill School Guitar Ensemble but also featured members of other classes and a special guest to fill out a full ensemble.

Bach Chorale #42

The Chorale #42 by Bach was a beautiful arrangement for 5 guitars. Each member of the quintet had a different part to play, and the balanced and gentle sound of acoustic guitars gave a new aura to the piece originally composed for vocal ensembles.

Moby Dick

Moby Dick is a classic song by the band Led Zeppelin. Originally a drum feature that let John Bonham go wild for a 20-minute drum solo masterpiece, we rearranged the song but kept all of its essential parts. We also added a guitar and violin solo as we had been working on improvisation this semester.

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