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Rising Star by Samuel Hazo

Analysis for Teaching

About the Piece:

A striking chorale written in cantabile (singing like) style, meant to challenge young players. The
melody is introduced straight away in the percussion section, and is then extended and repeated
throughout, switching between instrumentalists. While the rhythms and ranges are simplified for
the beginner player, the piece is challenging in its rich texture and incredible need for balance
within the ensemble. The piece also only features the first 6 notes many students learn on their
instruments and has no accidentals or modulations to new keys. This allows young players to
focus on their tone and blend within the ensemble while playing the piece.

About the Composer:

Samuel R. Hazo has been a prominent musician, composer and educator for the majority of his
career. He has composed not only for all grade levels (primary, secondary and university) but has
also had his work featured in television, radio and the stage. His work has often been featured on
prominent stages such as that of the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the World Association
for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Convention as well as many more. One of his main goals
is to create music for young and beginner musicians that is just as beautiful, complex and
musically stimulating as that of a grand symphony.
Hazo has taught at all levels and received his masters and bachelor of music education at the
University of Duquesnes. He has served as a guest clinician and conductor for the Hal Leonard
Form and Analysis
Measures Concert Key Analysis
1-5 Bb Major Introduction: opening bar has cymbal crescendo that opens up
the ensemble to open with a rich and strong harmonic opening.
6-9 “” Dynamics drop down to mp as the flutes take over as main
melodic line in mm. 6. Clarinet 1 acts as counter melody,
providing movement in flutes longer notes. Ensemble
accompanies using harmonic half notes until the crescendo
leading up to mm.10
10-18 “” Flute 1, alto, horn take over melody line as the accompanying
ensemble rises in volume and texture. Bells join in melody half
way through long phrase while timpani keeps strong beats in I-
V harmonic gesture. Ensemble rises to forte with flute
descending line and sus cymbal crescendo into mm.18.
18-32 “” Trumpets take over main melody as the flutes begin a new line
in the piece that consists of slurred interval jumps (P5 and
M2).4 mm into section texture thins out, letting high harmonic
half note line ring through. Mm24. Texture fills out with
counter melody lines intertwining between sections (saxes,
trpts; trmb, clari, tuba together). The final 2 bars of this section
fall away in a subito piano.
32-41 “” Trumpets and flutes again take the main line as the ensemble
remerges in a mf after the subito piano. Clr. 2 and trmb/tub
begin slow harmonic line underneath, pushing the ensemble
towards the crescendo to forte at mm. 37. Here we hear most of
the ensemble play a slurred 2 quarter note motif, as the
percussion dies away. Percussionist return at mm. 40 to propel
the ensemble forward with a fast cymbal crescendo into a
dramatic fermata and grand pause.
41-49 “” Returning to a more subdued volume and thin melodic line, the
ensemble accompanies flute and trumpet as they move towards
mm. 44 which has a sudden crescendo to forte and switch to
alto 1 and bells for main line.
49-53 “” The piece ends 4 fermata chords, all elongating the tonic chord
(end) with different orchestrations. The first is full, as the entire
ensemble plays. The second drastically thins out as only upper
wood winds contribute. 3rd fills out a bit as more lower voices
join and then finally the entire ensemble joins to play the final
tonic chord on a mp.

Terminology/Articulations Found:
• Cantabile: in a singing style (long, strong phrases)
• Forte: strong, louder playing
• S.D.: Snare Drum (percussion 1)
• B.D.: Bass Drum (percussion 1)
• B. Cl.: trombone/baritone part to indicate the following notes are cues for the bass clarinet
• Mezzo Piano: Medium soft
• Crescendo: gradually becoming stronger in sound
• Mezzo Forte: medium strong (loud)
• Forte: Strong (loud)
• Rehearsal Markings: intended to more easily pinpoint important sections of the piece
• Piano: soft (quietly)
• Grace Note: percussion 1, meaning that the note should be played quickly before the note it
is connecting to (before the beat)
• Subito: suddenly (seen in mm. 30)
• Fermata: holding a note for an unspecified amount of time, to be determined by conductor
• Slur: connecting two notes, not breaking with the tongue or air stream.