As a former band geek, I love concert band pieces. In fact, my love for band, music, and my music teacher is what got me to volunteer for my beloved high school music teacher after I graduated, and I volunteered for a total of five years. During those five years, I was exposed to so many wonderful pieces, and one of them is John Barnes Chance’s “Variations on a Korean Folk Song“. Chance served in the US Army as a member of the Eighth US Army Band in Seoul, South Korea, and that was where he heard “Arirang“, which led him to compose this piece.
I absolutely adore this song. I remember being impressed by this work, falling for all the variations. Until hearing this piece, I never really cared for the original “Arirang”, but that changed after. This composition has the main theme and then five other variations. My favourite variations are the first and the last one, all because of the woodblocks :D Plus, the last variation culminates majestically. Seriously, that last part always gives me the shivers and goosebumps. Do give this piece a listen! It’s a fun piece with a little of everything for those who like different style of music, and it’s based on a Korean folk song, so that makes it even better :D Let me know what you all think or if you’ve heard of this piece before. Enjoy!