Middle School Solos – Tried & True Favorites

These recommendations are the top responses from a survey of 30+ very experienced band directors.  Be aware: some of the listed songs may have multiple movements and only certain movements are the correct level of difficulty.  Books are notated.

These results are from the late 1990s that took place at the WTAMU band camp and Band Directors’ Workshop.  BandDirectorsTalkShop.com is hoping to run a new survey in the future to update these, but most of these are tried and true solos and will probably remain on the list. We hope these give you a good starting point for building a Solo/Ensemble library.

FLUTE
Rubank Book of Flute Solos (BOOK)
Wye – Flute Solos Volume II (BOOK)
Handel/Dishinger – Allegro from Concerto Grosso
Kuhlau/Voxman – Menuett

OBOE
Oboe solos – Level 2 (BOOK)
Bach/Dishinger – Menuet in G or Musette
Lully/Post – Gavotte in Rondeau
Handel/Dishinger – Allegro – Concerto Grosso, Op.3 No.4
Schumann/Best – Humming Song
Walters – Sakura, Sakura

BASSOON
Wiessenborn – Arioso and Humoresque
Bach/Dishinger – Menuet in G
Paine – The happy Hunter
Lawton – The Young Bassoonist Volume 1 (BOOK)
Petrie/Walters – Asleep in the Dark

CLARINET
Langenus – Chrysalis
Bach/Dishinger – Menuet in G
Hovey/Leonard – Gypsy Moods
Vaughn Williams – Six Studies in English Folk Songs
Hovey/Leonard – Clouds in Summer

SAXOPHONE
Ployhar – The Hunt (not on PML)
Teal – Program Solos (BOOK)
Corelli – Gigue
Vaughn Williams/Dishinger – A Winter’s Willow
von Wever/Rascher – Hunters Chorus from Freischutz

TRUMPET/CORNET
VanderCook (BOOK) – specifically Altair, Centaurus, Lyra, Vega
Fitzgerald – English Suite
Thomas – El Torerro
Lamb – Solo Sounds for Trumpet Levels 1-3, Vol. 1 – Valiant, Trumpet Voluntary
Shelukov/Gower – The Cavalier

FRENCH HORN
Ployhar – The Hunt
Rameau/Dishinger – Rigaudon from Pieces de Clavecin
Beethoven/Dishinger – May Song
Bach/Dishinger – Musette from Anna Madalena Bach Notebook

TROMBONE/BARITONE
VanderCook – Trombone Gems (BOOK)
Rameau/Dishinger – Rigaudon
Handel/Buchtel – Cantelena
Pinard – The Crusader

TUBA
Grieg/Homes – In the Hall of the Mountain King
Bell – The Spartan
Isaac – The Jolly Dutchman
Purcell/Dishinger – Gavotte & Hornpipe

SNARE DRUM
Freytag – The Rudamental Cookbook (BOOK)
Harr – Aquamarine
Pratt – Solo Snare Drummer Vol 1 (BOOK)

KEYBOARD PERCUSSION
Schinstine – Southern Special Marimba Solos (BOOK)
Peters – Chant for Marimba
Montecalvo – Petite Mallet Suite (piano accompaniment)

Another keyboard solo collection that we have to mention that was not on the original list and does not appear on the PML yet (just released)…
One of our core contributors, Eric Rath, along with a co-author Ralph Hicks, has a new set of 5 authentic ragtime xylophone solos available. The Golden Age of Ragtime can be played with piano or 4 person ensemble accompaniment and come with  a CD with ensemble parts, assignment charts & audio practice tracks as well as historical background and tips & tricks. They range from Class 3 solos to Class 1 in difficulty. You can see video recordings here.  

Hope these favorite Class 3 solos help you build a great solo library.

Related Reading:
3 Quick Ways to Check Your Percussionist’s Grip from the Podium
Free Metronome & Sheet Music (including solos)
Note Starts “Try This Quick Tip…”

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