Songs by Gilbert and Sullivan




This was the first of a series of five arrangements I did to introduce the band to the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan as found in his Savoy operettas. For this initial foray, I ended with the excitement of the Can-Can from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

None of the students had heard of Sullivan, though most recognised the music by Offenbach, of course. The reception was excellent and it was equally well received at the concert with many in the audience coming up afterwards to say how it had brought back fond memories of school productions.

I had staged many of these operettas during my teaching career and they always went down well with students and audiences alike. I also produced Orpheus in the Underworld.

There are definite challenges within the arrangement but there are also easier parts written such that players of a wide range of abilities can participate. Care should be taken, of course, with the tempo changes.