Originally published more than 10 years ago in Volume 10, Number 5, and subsequently released as a Singles Reproducible Kit, Paul's arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" continues to be one of our most popular songs. Knowing how music teachers love to focus on all things musical that are being honored out there in the "real world," when we saw the 80th anniversary of the song becoming America's official national anthem (March 1931), we knew we had to reprint it in Music K-8. After all, every school should have this in their library, and we think this traditional symphonic chart is one of the best and most accessible for general music students. Besides, the 200th anniversary of the song's creation (1814) is still a few years off and we couldn't wait. Of course, you can use this for any event you feel it is appropriate.
In this issue, you will find the student part. If you would like to also have the piano/vocal score or lyric page, you can get those online. We also have a reproducible information sheet for you. (See box on page 67 for details.)
From our original notes: Since the range is the real concern about this song for most schools, we have put it in the key of Ab, which we feel is best for young singers. The range is from Ab below middle C to the Eb an octave and a fifth higher. (The higher notes can be sung an octave lower, as necessary.)
The best way to learn the ritard and length of the holds toward the end of the piece is to listen to the recording a few times. During the word "free" (measures 36-37), you will hear two piccolo trumpets playing a fanfare. The full ensemble comes back in with pick-ups into the next phrase for your guidance.
At the end of the song, there are several measures of just instrumental tracks. You can have your students stand respectfully at attention during this time, maybe even saluting the American flag, or keeping their hands over their hearts. Or perhaps you would like to have a mini flag ceremony to highlight the event.