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A Rowdy, Raucous Rumpus

By F. Leslie Smith

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Brass Quintet - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
Arranged by F. Leslie Smith. Children's Music, Birthday, Old-time. Score, Set of Parts. 83 pages. Published by Sweetwater Brass Press (S0.413621).

Item Number: S0.413621

    What is a Rumpus? Most definitions include words such as “noisy disturbance,” “commotion” and “uproar.” Sort of like the sounds from a group of neighborhood children in the days before play dates, private lessons and organized kids’ sports. These sounds were part and parcel of the games they played, games that originated years, even centuries, before and involved high energy levels and top-of-their-voices counting, chanting or singing (with an occasional of “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah” thrown in for good measure!). Rowdy and raucous, indeed!
    This composition is one that will entertain both adults (who, after all, are just grown-up children!) and youngsters. Like children at play, it races right along. In one 6-minute work, it incorporates tunes of eleven children’s game and campfire songs: Michael Finnegan; Ring a Ring o’ Roses; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; London Bridge; Hickory Dickory Dock; Three Blind Mice; John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt; My Pony Boy; Old MacDonald Had A Farm; The Farmer in the Dell and Bingo. And, again, like children at play, there is fun, humor and a surprise at every turn.
    A Rowdy, Raucous Rumpus is a hoot to play. At a cut-time tempo of 132 and with 14(!) changes of key, it keeps all five musicians on their toes. And busy: on the Tuba part, there are V.S. (turn the page quickly) indications on the bottoms of 6 of the 8 pages, 5 for Trombone and Horn in F; 3 for Trumpet 2; and 2 for Trumpet 1. In Bingo, the last tune, the group intermittently stops playing and claps or foot-taps loudly (which is a good spot of audience participation!). On the audio clip, this is indicated with a click (actually, a tambourine sound).
    There are a few high notes scattered throughout. Trumpet plays B above its staff once and A a number of times. Trumpet 2 has one A above its staff. Trombone has one F above its staff. Tuba has one G in the top space of its staff.
    This arrangement was completed in 2018, and performance time runs about 6 minutes, 4 seconds. The arranger, Les Smith, would be very interested in your comments; contact him at or leave a review on the SheetMusicPlus website. For more arrangements by Les, enter "Sweetwater Brass Press" (without the quotation marks) in the SheetMusicPlus search box.

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