Charles Fernandez – Master Class

On Saturday morning, August 25th, Charles Fernandez presented a fantastic Master Class about the nuts and bolts of arranging for concert band and wind ensemble. Lawrence Stoffel, educator and director of bands at California State University, Northridge, shared the stage with great input from an educator’s perspective throughout the class.

A few of the many subjects included a discussion of the standard instrumentation, range limitations and other detailed writing suggestions for grade school, middle school and high school bands. For instance, the younger the players, the thicker the orchestration and the shorter the pieces. Chuck suggested that every part should be fun for the musicians as opposed to just being a repetitive, mundane accompaniment part.

Finding inspiration was the next important topic as Chuck shared details of what, artistically, influenced several of his concert band compositions including Soldier’s Farewell, Persepolis Bazaar, Spirits Rising and Animatus Eventus. More words of wisdom included the value of dovetailing fast difficult parts to make them playable.

The event continued with an in-depth discussion as to how a composer should go about publishing music and making contacts with school groups. Lawrence emphasized the difference of writing for the recording world as opposed to the scholastic world. Not only is a great performance important, but providing educational value is equally important to educators. He added some great input for composers and how to relate to an educator. A research list of great concert band composers, along with book suggestions and the names of various organizations, was also offered as a resource to aspiring composers. Materials that were handed out to the attendees included score examples, instrumentation, ranges, along with other valuable information. The audience included ASMAC Golden Score recipient Bill Holman, as well as Ira Hearshen, who presented part 1 of the 2 part series on writing for concert band.

This Master Class will be available soon in our online store, along with our other great Master Classes, Interviews, Luncheons, and Scores! [Click here to view our selection.]