Works suitable for high school final exams

Many of my works have been regularly performed for final year high school or university/college recitals. Often such recitals have strict requirements as to the length of the works that may be performed (this is currently the case with the HSC in NSW, the VCE in Victoria, as well as matriculation exams in other Australian states).

The following is a list of works from my catalogue that may be suitable for such exams.

This list is a suggestion only. I can’t count the number of times that ‘professional’ musicians have told me that a piece is too difficult to play, only to find five years later that students at school are performing it extremely well.

>Please note: often I am asked to recommend further cuts to a work if it is too long for a particular examination requirement. Generally I don’t mind a few cuts. It’s best if the player decides for themselves the best place to cut, and then they may contact me if they are unsure whether it will work or not.

of Work
Basement Art Guru and other piecesSolo violin4 mvts, each may be played separately.
Repetepetition not too difficult (grade 7?), others more challenging.
Song of LifeSolo violinSlow tempo, requires a singing tone. Chords but not too difficult.
Little Chrissietina’s Magic Fantasy2 violins or violin + pianoQuite difficult but a very popular work. Shows off each of the performers very well, particularly if there are great ensemble skills on show.
“Grand Final Day” from Violin ConcertoVioin and piano reductionDifficult but showy and rewarding. Students have won eisteddfods with this piece.
Baroquerieviolin and piano or violin and harpsichordEach of the 3 mvt.s may be played independently.
FourScorefour violinsDifficulty = between grade 6 and above.
Piano Trioviolin, cello, pianoThe 3rd mvt. is quite showy but not wildly difficult for the violin and cello.  The first mvt. is very difficult for the pianist.  The 2nd mvt. is slow and beautiful, with a melodic role at some stage for each of the performers.
techno logicstring quartet with optional electronicsThe 1st mvt. of this piece features the cellist in a soloistic role.  Mvts. 2, 3 and 4 are fast, very rhythmic and very much inspired by techno music.  Mvt. 5 is slow and beautiful after a cello introduction.  This piece has been performed with the addition of a didjeridu and it worked very well.
Five Movements for Saxophone Quartetsaxophone quartetThe final movement, GameBoy Music, is the most suited for a final performance.  It requires very good players, particularly for the melodic soprano saxophone part.
Night Piecesoboe and piano, or soprano saxophone and pianoTwo movements.  The first movement is short (2 minutes or so) and so the second movement, “Night Dance” is probably most suitable for this purpose.  It utilizes quarter tones in an ornamental way so would stand out in a larger programme.
By Jingoesoboe and pianoQuite easy for all concerned.  Duration is about 2 1/2 minutes.
GameBoy Musicclarinet in Bb and pianoVirtuosic for the clarinet player. The piano accompaniment isn’t particularly simple either.
Siegfried Interlude No. 2clarinet in Bb and piano or soprano sax and piano3 minute duration.  Reasonably challenging for the performers.
Nintendo Musicclarinet in A and pianoSome challenging parts for both the clarinet and piano parts, particularly in the ‘boss’ section. The work follows the structures of a typical NES platform game, so you’d want to ensure that the examiners could follow what is going on.
In Search of Ecstasyalto saxophone and piano or tenor saxophone and pianoEspecially written for this level of performance. Alternates between slow, serene sections and fast, loud, techno-esque material.
Ignition: PositiveTrumpet in C and piano or alto saxophone and pianoWritten for this level of performance.  The slow opening introduction may be easily cut for time reasons. The rest of the work is informed by techno music styles.
Jungle FeverTenor saxophone and piano or cello and pianoNot as hyperactive as many of my other works, being slightly more introspective in places. Challenging for the performers, particularly the pianist who has to jump around in the left hand a bit. 
Love SerenadeBassoon and piano or cello and pianoAt 8 minutes, it may be a little long for the syllabus requirements of many music exams, but if the performer is expressive with a beautiful tone, this piece will come across very well.
Granny TownFrench horn and piano or alto saxophone and piano or tenor saxophone and piano.Not too difficult at all for the instrumental soloists.
YandarraDouble bass and pianoSome cuts will be required but double bassists have told me that it’s a very effective work for their instrument and comes across well.  Challenging for the bassist.
AK-47Solo piano with optional electronic bass drumThis work is very virtuosic, requiring fingers of steel and strong arms. However it is usually stunning in performance.
Moments of Plastic JubilationSolo pianoA difficult piece in some places but very rhythmic and based upon a strong sense of fun.  If it lasts more than 5 minutes performance time, you’re playing it too slow.  Cuts should not be needed in this piece.
Plastic JubilationPiano with CD backing trackThe first mvt. fits very much into the time frame.  Based upon Moments of Plastic Jubilation but not quite as technically difficult, much practice is needed to co-ordinate exactly with the CD in performance.
Mechanically SpeakingSolo pianoA strong sense of rhythm will enable a very effective performance of this piece.
Silent MovieSolo pianoShortish work, probably about
Grade 5 in difficulty. Somewhat informed by ragtime and pianola music, this piece has a jolly character.

Some pages not working: working on fixing them – thanks for your patience