Witches’ Dance, by E.A. MacDowell, was composed in 1884 as a work for piano solo. In 1941, Charles Owen, then timpanist with the rank of Principal Musician in the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., arranged the Witches’ Dance as a xylophone solo with band accompaniment. Although Sgt. Owen arranged and performed many pieces for xylophone (or marimba) and band in his twenty years as a featured soloist with the Marine Band, the Witches’ Dance was his favourite. He even performed the solo part as a portion of his audition for his next position, that of Principal Percussionist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1990, the band version of Witches’ Dance was transcribed for xylophone solo with marimba quintet by Dan C. Armstrong (Associate Professor of Percussion at Penn State University and a former student of Charles own). This new version of Witches’ Dance was premiered at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Philadelphia on November 9, 1990 as the finale of the concert given by the twenty-three piece PASIC ’90 Marimba Orchestra, organised and conducted by Mr. Armstrong. The soloist for this premiere was another former student of Mr. Owen’s, the internationally renowned mallet artist, Mr. William Moersch.
Witches’ Dance by MacDowell arr. Dan Armstrong
Exquisite arrangement for xylophone feature and marimba ensemble.... Read More
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