A reminder to students and parents, Solo & Ensemble is only a little over a month away. Hopefully most students have chosen the pieces that they will be performing in front of the judge. If not, here are a few of my favorite choices for High School students.
Solos for the Alto Saxophone Player by, Larry Teal. (Also available in a tenor saxophone version.) – A collection of famous classical pieces arranged for the saxophone with a wide range of styles and challenges.
My favorite: The Old Castle from: Pictures at an Exhibition by, Modest Mussorgsky
Neapolitan Tarantella by, Alfred P. Zambarano – Named after the famous Italian dance which mimics the hysteria that came from a disease in the 15th – 17th centuries thought to be caused by the bite of the tarantula, this piece is lively and upbeat. It is sure to entertain everyone with its quick technical passages.
Concerto, Opus 57 by, Jean-Baptiste Singelee – This solo for tenor or soprano saxophone is a dramatic piece with both beautiful lyrical phrases and very quick passages. I find this piece easier to perform than it sounds, so don’t be afraid of it! Pro tip: this title is available via Instant Download! Super easy and convenient if you’re in a time crunch.
Aria by, Eugene Bozza – A standard piece of saxophone repertoire. This work is slow and lyrical with very dramatic phrases. It is a great piece for a student trying to work on their vibrato.
Diversion by, Bernhard Heiden- By far one of my favorite pieces written for the alto saxophone. This work is challenging but very fun to play. I have had students learn this piece for both Solo & Ensemble and College auditions. It is sure to “wow” even the harshest critic if played well. Students will have to learn some technically difficult passages and play slow and beautiful lines especially in the middle of the piece.
Hopefully this list gives many of you somewhere to start in your search. Don’t be afraid to use your favorite search engine and YouTube to find other great pieces. There are so many out there!
Remember to check out your local music store for great works that they already have on hand. Still can’t decide what to play? Feel free to contact me or another awesome music teacher to help you out.
Disclosure: Some of the included links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.