Opa!Opa!
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Opa!

for percussion ensemble
Level: Medium
Duration: 2:50
Personnel: 10 players
Release Date: 2022
Product ID : TSPCE22-007
Price: $36.00
Item #: TSPCE22-007

Formats Available:


Description

Brian Slawson wrote Opa! as a celebration of Grandparents’ Day - a holiday that honors the bonds between grandparents and grandchildren. The title holds two meanings: Firstly, “opa!” is a Greek expression often cheered at weddings and Greek dances. The word also translates to “grandpa” in German, a fitting coincidence for the meaning behind the piece!

Musically, the work takes inspiration from multiple sources. The slow, call-and-response introduction is loosely inspired by the counterpoint of Bach. Soon after, the tempo picks up as the full ensemble breaks into exuberant music-making, including several zany quotes from Pachelbel’s Canon in D. This piece is a great addition to the intermediate ensemble repertoire for any festive occasion!

Opa! ships as a printed, professionally bound score, and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • Chimes
  • Vibraphone
  • 1 marimba* — low A
  • 4 timpani
  • Drumset
  • Drums (bongos, doumbek)
  • Cymbals & gongs (crash cymbals)
  • Accessories (temple blocks, bell tree, finger cymbals, cabasa, tambourine)

*Shared by 2 players

Reviews

This medium-difficult work for ten percussionists requires a standard keyboard percussion setup, timpani, two percussionists, and drum set. Keyboard parts are all two-mallet and are written in the key of A minor, with little chromaticism. The drum set is present throughout, providing a quasi-polka beat to anchor the ensemble. The percussion parts are particularly interesting in the spread of instruments the performers use, allowing students to contribute beyond the color of their instrument.

The piece begins with a call-and-response between different players, which begins to morph into the main groove. Harmonically, it follows traditional minor-key folk structure, utilizing the minor tonic and subdominant chords along with the major dominant chord. The timpani writing does not require tuning changes, but is an active and interesting part appropriate for a younger timpanist.

“Opa!” is an appropriate piece to help younger percussionists develop ensemble playing. There is a good range of individual responsibility among the parts. Much of the material repeats with slight variations, so note-learning should not slow down the rehearsal process. Directors looking for a fun and short piece that allows for a range of experience levels would do well to pick this one up.

—Jamie Wind Whitmarsh
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 4, August 2022

Description

Brian Slawson wrote Opa! as a celebration of Grandparents’ Day - a holiday that honors the bonds between grandparents and grandchildren. The title holds two meanings: Firstly, “opa!” is a Greek expression often cheered at weddings and Greek dances. The word also translates to “grandpa” in German, a fitting coincidence for the meaning behind the piece!

Musically, the work takes inspiration from multiple sources. The slow, call-and-response introduction is loosely inspired by the counterpoint of Bach. Soon after, the tempo picks up as the full ensemble breaks into exuberant music-making, including several zany quotes from Pachelbel’s Canon in D. This piece is a great addition to the intermediate ensemble repertoire for any festive occasion!

Opa! ships as a printed, professionally bound score, and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • Chimes
  • Vibraphone
  • 1 marimba* — low A
  • 4 timpani
  • Drumset
  • Drums (bongos, doumbek)
  • Cymbals & gongs (crash cymbals)
  • Accessories (temple blocks, bell tree, finger cymbals, cabasa, tambourine)

*Shared by 2 players

Reviews

This medium-difficult work for ten percussionists requires a standard keyboard percussion setup, timpani, two percussionists, and drum set. Keyboard parts are all two-mallet and are written in the key of A minor, with little chromaticism. The drum set is present throughout, providing a quasi-polka beat to anchor the ensemble. The percussion parts are particularly interesting in the spread of instruments the performers use, allowing students to contribute beyond the color of their instrument.

The piece begins with a call-and-response between different players, which begins to morph into the main groove. Harmonically, it follows traditional minor-key folk structure, utilizing the minor tonic and subdominant chords along with the major dominant chord. The timpani writing does not require tuning changes, but is an active and interesting part appropriate for a younger timpanist.

“Opa!” is an appropriate piece to help younger percussionists develop ensemble playing. There is a good range of individual responsibility among the parts. Much of the material repeats with slight variations, so note-learning should not slow down the rehearsal process. Directors looking for a fun and short piece that allows for a range of experience levels would do well to pick this one up.

—Jamie Wind Whitmarsh
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 4, August 2022


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