From time to time, people contact me to get help finding music for their school or church instrumental musicians. When I became the band and orchestra conductor at Fairhaven Baptist Church, I "inherited" a very large library of academic and sacred music for soloists, small groups, ensembles, and full band or orchestra. Because of that, I haven't needed to find a lot of music over the years. At the same time, I am always looking for new and fresh music that can challenge and keep the interest of our instrumental musicians.
For academic music, one of the best resources is J.W. Pepper. On their site, there are hundreds of classical, American, sacred, and popular arrangements for all kinds, sizes, and abilities of groups. Many of their songs have samples of the arrangement available making it easier to tell whether my groups (or yours) can handle the difficulty and whether I think it is acceptable to use in the setting I'm planning for.
Finding music specifically for smaller church ensembles or orchestras with incomplete instrumentation can be a challenge, but there are a good number of arrangers that create music for flexible instrumentation. Following is a list of other places to find music for your woodwind, brass, or string player, duet, trio, quartet, or ensemble. Some of these listings also have band and orchestra arrangements.
This is a continually developing list:
Jantz Publications- Paul Jantz is a teacher at Bob Jones University and a member of their Foundation Brass quintet. He and some of his colleagues have some very nice arrangements available here.
AnderKamp Music- I have bought, used, and recorded several of Jeff Anderson or Aaron Weitekamp's arrangements. Their early work is much more traditional and useful for our ministry.
David E. Smith Publications- David E. Smith distributes music from many smaller publishers. They have a very wide variety of music styles available.
Lifeway Worship Music- Lifeway is the current name for the publishing house of the Southern Baptist Convention. They have accumulated a very large and diverse selection of music. Many of the songs our orchestra plays came from them or from someone who they distribute for now.
Lillenas- Lillenas has a large selection of sacred arrangements for both ensembles and orchestras. Besides their previous selection, they recently purchased SoundForth music from Bob Jones University.
I love to hear of others that are using their instrumental abilities for the Lord. If you would like more information after checking these links out, please send me a message.
This post was expanded from a previous one published in 2011.