PASSING TIME IN GOOD COMPANY
3 short pieces for inclusive orchestra by Andy Jackson
These three pieces are all based on the song "Passtime with Good Company" composed by Henry VIII. As a set, they provide material which integrates inexperienced players (including virtual beginners) into a standard orchestra. Each piece uses different scoring and is intended for a different purpose:
No. 1, "Passing time" is written in three graded parts. Part 1 is for players of round about grade 5 standard whereas part 3 is for players whose compass on their instrument is less than an octave. Part 2 is intermediate and might be used by an able and confident beginner or a better player who still has trouble with some of the high notes.
In no. 2, "In good time", the material learnt in no. 1 is played in exactly the same way, but the three parts now become a concertante group which is accompanied by more experienced players on oboe, bassoon, horn, trumpet, violin, 'cello and bass to give a more orchestral feel to the piece.
Finally, no. 3, "In good company", presents the main melodies from nos. 1 and 2 as rondo themes accompanied by a full orchestra of experienced players who also play the more complex musical episodes which frame the repeated themes.
These three pieces could be played as a set, one after the other, but each one stands on its own and could be performed as individual items. As a set, they would probably be best used scattered throughout a concert programme; starting with the piece for inexperienced players, followed later by the same piece with some subtle accompaniment (no.2), leading to no.3 as a rousing finale with everyone taking part.