Happy (early) 4th of July to all of my American colleagues! I’m happy to admit that I started my holiday celebrations a bit early this year – I spent the past weekend enjoying family, tasty BBQ and fresh watermelon. I also had the opportunity to play through a delightful new patriotic solo by composer Betty Lea Martocchio that’s hot off the presses and perfect for summer lessons!
Spirit of ’76, a new release from Alberti Publishing, was written to commemorate Independence Day, although with its bright march setting I can imagine that students will also love to play this piece well into the fall when football and marching band seasons are upon us. The piece features a catchy melody and a full-sounding accompaniment that comes across as “harder” than it really is (always a plus!).
Spirit of ’76 is labeled as an elementary level solo. From a reading perspective, it feels a bit more difficult, however, the composer does a wonderful job of incorporating patterns that are easy to decipher and follow, making it accessible for younger students. This would be an excellent piece for late elementary students who learn well by ear or by rote, and are comfortable moving their hands around the keyboard.
One thing that I particularly enjoyed about this solo was the number of different creative accompaniments the composer used to complement repetitions of the main melodic theme. The piece starts with a tuba-like walking bass, then moves on to inverted triads in the LH, and even includes 7th chords at the end. If you have late elementary or intermediate students who are working on composition projects this summer, this would be a great piece for them to study and analyze from a compositional standpoint.
The piece is available as a digital download from Alberti Publishing’s website. To celebrate the holiday week, one lucky reader will have the chance to win a free copy of this solo! To enter the drawing, leave a comment below. A winner will be determined by random number generator on Friday, July 6th at 12:00 noon central time. Want extra chances to win? Sign up for Alberti Publishing’s email list, follow them on Facebook, or re-post about the giveaway on your blog or Facebook page, and leave comments below to say that you’ve done so. Best of luck to everyone!