Students playing saxaphone band instrumental festivals

Programming Inspiration For Your Music Classroom

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Welcome to a new school year! We know many music teachers and directors will have a repertoire already set, but if you are in need of programming inspiration or want a reference list for highlighting major musical events occurring throughout the 2017-2018 school year, here are some ideas:

Celebrate the milestone birthdays of major composers:

  • Leonard Bernstein (100th)
  • Lili Boulanger (125th)
  • Scott Joplin (150th)
  • Gioachino Antonio Rossini (225th)
  • Claudio Monteverdi (450th)
  • William Byrd (475th)

Commemorate the anniversaries of major composers’ deaths:

  • John Cage (25th anniversary)
  • Zoltán Kodály (50th anniversary)
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff (75th anniversary)
  • Scott Joplin (100th anniversary)
  • Claude Debussy (100th anniversary)
  • Lili Boulanger (100th anniversary)
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (125th anniversary)
  • Gioachino Antonio Rossini (150th)
  • Georg Philipp Telemann (250th anniversary)

Honor the longevity of well-loved compositions:

  • Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony (Symphony No. 9 in E minor) and American Quartet (The String Quartet in F major) were composed 125 years ago
  • “The Blue Danube” (“An der schönen blauen Donau”) by Johann Strauss II premiered 150 years ago, as did Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem
  • Brahms published “Brahms’ Lullaby” (“Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht,” Op. 49, No. 4) 150 years ago
  • Ubiquitous Christmas carol “Silent Night,” by Josef Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber premiered 200 years ago
  • Messiah by George Frideric Handel premiered 275 years ago
  • Water Music, also by Handel, premiered 300 years ago

Revisit significant recordings:

  • 100 years ago, “Livery Stable Blues,” as recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass [sic] Band, was released as the first disc issued as a “jazz” record
  • 50 years ago, The Beatles’ landmark album, Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was released

How are you honoring music’s history this year?

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