Keveli Music Band Publication

Children’s Folksong Suite


Concert Band


Kevin M. Walczyk

Grade 3-4   |   Duration: 8'35"
CFS Cover

A recent addition to the Texas UIL Prescribed Music List, Children's Folksong Suite for concert band is based on five Hungarian folk melodies with a simple, child-like character that have been culled from sources published between 1813 and 1896. The five melodies are also found in a collection of Hungarian and Slovakian folk songs in Béla Bartók's piano collection entitled For Children. As with Bartók's Mikrokosmos and his Forty-four Violin Duets, For Children is an expression of Bartók's interest in composing accessible works for young musicians that introduces them to contemporary harmonic resources rarely encountered at the beginning level. Similarly, the five folk melodies set in Children's Folksong Suite have been completely re-harmonized and, in some instances, expanded. Although not bound by common-practice theoretical expectations, Children's Folksong Suite preserves each piece's unique, child-like character. Children's Folksong Suite is dedicated to the members of the Leslie Middle School band (Salem, Oregon) and their former conductor Dr. Danh Pham, who commissioned the work.

Selected as a finalist for the 2007 CBDNA Young Band Composition Contest and Honorable Mention recipient for the 2009 CBDNA Young Band Composition Contest, Children’s Folksong Suite received its official premiere January 25, 2008 at the Oregon Music Educators Association conference in Eugene, Oregon by the commissioning party – the Leslie Middle School band, under the direction of Dr. Danh Pham. The work has received multiple performances throughout the United States and has been featured repertoire for numerous honor bands, conventions and symposia, including the North Texas Conductors Collegium, Kansas – John Philip Sousa Honor Band, Augustana College Band Festival, University of Oklahoma’s Conducting and Teaching Workshop for Band Directors, Indiana University’s 63rd Annual Music Clinic, University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory’s Midwest Honor Band Festival & Symposium, University of Oklahoma’s Summer Honor Band, Association of Texas Small School Bands TMEA Honor Band, West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association All-West Symphonic Band repertoire, Oregon Music Educator’s Association All State Symphonic Band, Colorado Music Educators Association State Conference, and Western International Band Clinic Honor Band.

Children’s Folksong Suite can be found on multiple state recommended and/or required literature lists, including the Texas, Iowa, Oregon, Illinois, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Performances are usually graded on number of movements performed: any three (3) movements is grade 3, while performing all five (5) movements is grade 4. Please check with your state bandmaster’s organization for clarification.

GIA CD coverChildren’s Folksong Suite is available on volume 9 of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, which includes a full analysis and editorial of the work, plus a studio recording (GIA CD 899) by the North Texas Wind Symphony, conducted by Eugene Migliaro Corporon. Children’s Folksong Suite received Honorable Mention in the 2009 College Band Directors National Association’s Young Band Composition Contest.

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Children’s Folksong Suite is a grade 3-4 work. It is suitable for most advanced middle school bands, high school concert bands, and small college bands. The work is easy and suitable for college-level bands. The Texas UIL Prescribed List gives Children’s Folksong Suite a rating of grade 3 when up to three movements are performed and a rating of grade 4 when all five movements are performed.

flutes 1-2
clarinets 1-3
bass clarinet
alto saxophones 1-2
tenor saxophone
baritone saxophone
horns 1-2
trumpets 1-3
trombones 1-2
euphonium – B.C. & T.C.
timpani2 drums
percussion 1glockenspiel, tambourine, and snare drum
percussion 2crash cymbals and triangle
percussion 3bass drum and suspended cymbal
percussion 4xylophone
percussion 5 – marimba
percussion 6vibraphone
string bass