Small Brass Band Series

While traveling with the National Capital Band in April 2017, the Brass Crest webmaster was privileged to meet Bandmaster Ken Collins (Albany, Oregon). Bandmaster Collins has begun a new initiative for small brass bands, making arrangements that can be played by as few as four players. The Brass Crest is pleased to be able to make these pieces available in PDF format by special arrangement with Bandmaster Collins.

This new series can by played by as few as four brass instrumentalists. It is a unique series that does not include an optional fifth part. The first part covers the typical first cornet role. The second part is written a grade or two down from the first part. The third part is closer in difficulty to the first part. It provides harmony and encompasses the “floral”, usually counterpoint, of the euphonium part, but only as necessary to give the piece its special flavor. The fourth part can be covered by baritone, euphonium, or tuba, whatever is available, and is generally a grade or two down from the first and third parts.

The arrangements create pieces of music that can be played by instrumentalists at different levels of development all enjoying the same piece. This can be very encouraging to new or start-up bands that have some accomplished players together with those less accomplished.

The Small Brass Band Series encompasses new arrangements and re-scored Salvation Army classics at difficulty levels within reach of most small bands. They sound very full when played by larger ensembles.

The length and demands of the arrangements are reduced to accommodate fatigue problems which would occur when playing the originals with a small ensemble. The shorter length of the pieces is an attractive feature for both worship and concert purposes. The Small Brass Band Series concept is to help build Salvation Army brass bands. This is especially useful for small corps with limited funds. In recent years I have seen a decline in Salvation Army brass bands. I hope that this series will help divisions and corps develop brass bands so that they may eventually move up into the mainstream of brass music offered by Salvation Army publishers.

Besides using these arrangements at my home corps and in combination playing with other corps, this series has been successful at band camp.

Bandmaster Ken Collins
Albany, Oregon

The links below are for PDF files containing the score and all parts for each piece. Parts provided are first (B♭), second (B♭ and E♭), third (E♭, B♭, bass clef), fourth (E♭, B♭ bass clef), and percussion (generally snare and bass drum) when appropriate.