Abington Ridge

Ed Huckeby
Birch Island Music Press, 1989


Abington Ridge (1989) is an exciting piece of music with energetic parts throughout the band. Your young band should enjoy the rhythmic energy and opportunities for expression this piece provides.  After a six measure introduction, measure 7 introduces a light hearted dotted-eighth/sixteenth note melody in F Major in the flute, oboe, bells, and trumpet that is accompanied by a dotted-quarter/eighth figure in the low brass and saxophone voices.  At measure 17 voices started to playfully pass the melody back and forth in two measure parcels.  At measure 27, the trumpet continues the original melody as the upper woodwinds accompany with a light eighth note figure and low brass on their original accompaniment.  Measure 44 introduces a new, slower tempo in 3/4 time with a lyrical horn and clarinet melody in the key of Bb Major. At measure 60 the flute and trumpet take over the new melody, but in the key of Eb Major.  After a trumpet solo beginning in measure 68, a D.S. al Cod finishes the ABA style,

Performance Notes

Abington Ridge (1989) is a light, energetic piece written for a developing band.  Care should be taken that the exuberance of the melody not get out of control and that students perform with a light, clear, crisp style of articulation. The middle section should be flowing and played freely.

Musical Challenges

Before playing this piece, students should be comfortable with all three of the F, Bb, and Eb Major scales.  The beginning tempo (QN=144) may be a challenge at first, so starting slower and building toward the eventual performance tempo would be a good idea!  There are dotted rhythms throughout this piece, making it a great vehicle for teaching this rhythm, but also a great opportunity for mistakes if the concept is not taught well.  Students should always be aware of the melody, and not let the energy of their accompanying figures overpower what should be a playful tune.  As always, tempo transitions should be rehearsed well so that performers can anticipate and respond to the director’s cues.  At measure 44 the low brass should play in a connected, lyrical style while still allowing the horn and clarinet melody to play through.  The trumpet soloist at measure 68 needs play with a comfortable, open tone on the top of the staff F.  As for percussion, the snare part is pretty busy with sixteenth notes throughout the “A” sections of the piece.  This performer needs to make sure to push the tempo, but not to overplay
and cover up the melodic voices.  If there are only two timpani available, the timpanist will have to retune twice during the piece.

Overall, this can be a very exciting, musical experience for an advanced Grade 2
band. This piece sits closer to the Grade 3 than the Grade 1 end of the spectrum, though, and the director should be sure the performers (particularly the trumpet soloist and the percussionists) are adequate to the task before scheduling this

About the Composer

Ed Huckeby is President of Southwestern Christian University, Oklahoma. Prior to his appointment at SCU, he was a Professor of Music and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow (OK). He also served as an arts administrator for Tulsa Ballet Theatre, directing the general operations of Oklahoma's premier international ballet company. Huckeby holds the title of emeritus professor of music at Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he served for over two decades as Music Department Chairman and Dean of the Graduate School.

Prior to his appointment at Northwestern in 1976, Huckeby spent eight years teaching instrumental music in the public schools of Oklahoma. His success in the public schools led him into the college teaching ranks where he became internationally recognized as an outstanding music educator and composer of over 170 published works for band. Ed's ability to write interesting and accessible instrumental music can be attributed to his experience at a variety of levels.

Huckeby's performance background and experience is very eclectic, having been a member of a symphony orchestra (horn), a jazz band (trumpet), and a contemporary Christian quintet (bass guitar and vocals), as well as having served regularly as a church organist and pianist. His outstanding contributions to the concert and marching band literature have played an important role in the development of the contemporary band repertoire.

Ed holds a bachelor's degree in music education from East Central University, Oklahoma, a master’s degree in music education from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in administration from Oklahoma State University with additional study at the University of North Texas. He has written articles for The Instrumentalist, The American Music Teacher, and The Journal of the International Horn Society, and has held memberships in Music Educators National Conference, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, ASCAP, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Phi Beta Mu, where he served as a member of the national board of directors and state chapter president.  Huckeby was selected as an "Outstanding Young Man in America," is listed in the "International Who's Who in Music," and was inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association "Hall of Fame" in 1996. He has created over 50 commissioned works and regularly serves as a clinician, adjudicator and conductor for instrumental ensembles around the world.