Three Dances for Solo Snare Drum (1961) by Warren Benson

Players: 1

Instrumentation: Snare Drum

Duration 7 minutes

Program Note:

Warren Benson composed his Three Dances for Solo Snare Drum while in Miguel, Mexico in 1961. Each movement characterizes a different dance style and employs unique methods to achieve these effects. In the first movement, Cretan Dance, Benson requires the use of the center and edge of the snare drum head as well as stick clicks. The second movement uses the rim of the drum and a brush in the left hand to create an old-time jazz feel. The final movement utilizes a fast tempo and stick clicking patterns for an exciting finale.

Benson began his professional career as the timpanist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and shortly thereafter worked abroad on two successive Fullbright grants. As a composer, Benson is best known for his works for percussion and winds, and taught composition at Ithaca College and the Eastman School of Music.

-Christine Augspurger