Bandworld "Top 100" Selections
I am proud that over the years many of my pieces have been selected by the Band World Magazine as the top 100 new pieces published that year. Here is a listing of the pieces by the year they were selected. All of the pieces have recordings attached. You can play the recording by clicking on the title or >>
What young person hasn’t looked up at the stars and wondered what is up there in the cold darkness of space? The piece tries to depict this feeling with majestic fanfare-like themes in the winds, and twinkling of the stars depicted in the bells. A dream-like secondary theme is used to add to the musical mystery.
Larry Clark seldom writes at this grade level but when he does, we are always left speechless. This timeless melody has been re-imagined in the hauntingly beautiful work for the concert band. Extremely accessible, Enduring Traveler will have your ensemble on full display, with ample opportunity to showcase your student’s musicianship.
Set in the classic “fast and fun” American march style, Reliance is unique in that it begins in the relative minor for the introduction and first strain, before shifting to a major key for the second strain and beyond. Exciting and different!
Larry Clark’s newest march, Ingenuity, is the ideal introduction to the march style. It is a fast and fun uptempo march that will be perfect for contest and festival.
A throwback to the old circus marches, Flying High is a tour de force from start to finish! This traditional Fillmore-like march has everything you need to teach technique and style. Perfect for any concert program or festival adjudication, Flying High is a winning selection!
Taking its title from a poem about grief and loss by Chrissie Pinney, Live On honors the life of band director Linda Mann, to whom the piece is dedicated. The piece begins with a pensive intro before shifting to a whimsical theme that brings about happy thoughts of a life well-lived. After a return to the poignant opening material, the music surges to a triumphant conclusion based on an augmented version of the whimsical theme.
Dream Engine is a concert overture in classic ABA form. Opening with a tuneful melody that weaves throughout the ensemble over staccato accompaniments, the piece then evolves into a contrastingly lyrical and beautifully lush B section. As with the rest of Clark's work, Dream Engine blends musicality with teachability and is perfect for your next contest or festival.
A lilting melodic ostinato in the woodwinds provides a base over which a flowing melody and lush harmonies develop in "Crystalline," by Larry Clark. The piece is set in a vibrant 3/4 feel and provides interesting contrasts between the ostinato sections and colorful harmonic changes.
Forever Climbing was written as tribute to the loss of a high school band student that was tragically killed in a rock climbing accident. It is not intended as a sad piece, but as a celebration of the life of this exceptional young man. At times the piece is contemplative, but also contains a joy that is to depict the way he lived. As the piece builds to its conclusion, the listener will have a sense of fulfillment in a life well lived, even though it was cut short. A moving new addition to the band repertoire.
This is a rip roaring march right from the start. Composer Larry Clark marks the tempo "Fast and fun." This original march was written to honor an exemplary band director with over 62 years teaching. It is a work that emulates the great marches of Henry Fillmore. This will be a fun and solid march for festival performances.
The inspiration for this piece comes from one of Henry David Thoreau's most famous quotes - "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." It was Thoreau's vision that we contemplate a simpler life and be deep thinkers about what we want our lives to be. The piece is divided into three distinct sections based on the same three-note motive. The first section is intense and bold, the second is introspective and lyrical and the third is dance-like, almost reminiscent of a Celtic folk song, in lilting in 6/8. This perfect contest or festival selection will highlight your band's strengths.
This piece drives from the start with bold trumpet flourishes and interjections from the rest of the band. After the exciting first section, a lyrical second theme departs to something beautiful and lush in harmonic structure. The development section is based on the opening theme, eventually leading the piece back, followed by a dynamic brass flourish in the coda. A solid choice by a known composer for contests and festivals.
It is all too common for pieces to be written for the loss of members of high school bands. This is such a piece, but it is uplifting and inspiring, serving as a touching tribute to the lives lost. The piece takes the listener on a journey through the stages of grief and uses a popular hymn as the basis for this serious work by popular composer Larry Clark.
Envisage brings across the contemplative feeling of a journey, drawing the performer and listener toward an inevitable outcome. The piece is written in a standard overture form with a strident A section contrasted by a gorgeous B section which shifts to a major key. To finish it up, the A section returns and ends with a dramatic coda.
This work is a three-part composition based on the Latin words meaning Strength, Skill, and Character. The piece opens with a poignant fanfare depicting the strength of the modern concert band, which is followed by a fast-paced section, meant to demonstrate the performers’ skills. The third section of the work is an uplifting theme designed to depict character. After moving back to the skill theme in a new key, it builds to a dramatic climax, followed by a short coda that bursts to the finish. Ideal for concert or contest.
Dance of the Harlequins is a dance-like composition that uses the harmonic progression of the famous Pachelbel Canon as its basis. Depicting the painted, jerky harlequin clown, it is at times playful, and others, simply beautiful. The familiarity of the famous bass line makes this work feel comfortable and pleasurably original at the same time, and your groups will love the new spin on the Pachelbel Canon.
Larry Clark has arranged many of the popular Bennett band marches over the years and here, he provides us with a new original march in Bennett style; an excellent vehicle to teach the march style and form to students. Pinnacle of Distinction would be perfect as a warm-up piece for a festival performance.
This piece is a tribute to the Da Vincian model of creativity. Using a single theme, Larry Clark uses da Vinci's approach to view this theme from every angle. Clark starts with a fanfare, followed by an original theme, then presents a multitude of variations on the themes in different keys, styles and time signatures. You'll find everything from African style to jigs in this incredibly complex piece; well worth the effort for your band.
Please note that there are two different editions of this piece. The 1999 Belwin-Mills edition and the 2010 Carl Fischer edition. They cannot be performed together as 6 measures were added in 2010.
Written as a commission for the Georgia District 10 Honor Band, Larry Clark has drawn on the history of the coast of Georgia where the pirate Blackbeard was thought to have stashed his treasure. He has written an intriguing concert overture for young bands with this flavor. Not only will your students love it, but there are many musical opportunities for teaching as well.
Two of the most popular American folk songs are ingeniously combined in this outstanding setting by composer Larry Clark. It begins with the gentle flow of the river, followed by full statements of folk songs "Shenandoah" and "Simple Gifts." A brass cascade leads into a marvelous buildup to the climax of the piece, where both songs are heard simultaneously. Shenandoah's Simple Gifts has all the makings to become part of the standard reportoire.
This cutting-edge piece by Larry Clark is a dynamic, colorful and descriptive work that is easy for younger generations to relate to. It begins with a spritely fanfare based on the perfect fourth and perfect fifth familiar from many television technology commercials, There are numerous bold contrasts of style and instrumentation in this brilliantly scored work that give it terrific audience appeal.
An evocative depiction of the many moods of winter, Out of the Winter begins with a mysterious and stormy opening that gives way to a tuneful and vigorous "allegro." This energetic and colorful piece is enriched by some easy contrapuntal writing and contemporary harmonic touches. Out of the Winter will be a fine chance for young musicians to demonstrate their playing abilities.