Basic Information

Composed by Randall Standridge
Published by Grand Mesa Music
Grade 2
Length: 3.5 minutes

Teaching Concepts

Time Signature: 4/4
Key Signature: Eb
Tempo(s): Quarter note = 154
Other Information: This piece is a nice vehicle to work with students on differentiating between accented notes and staccato notes. Also, there are many places where slurs are immediately followed by staccato notes. Afterburn also makes use of a wide range of dynamics, forte piano and subito dynamics. This piece has many ostinato lines and offers a chance to teach students how to handle ostinato parts. Finally, the flute part has section which students may find tricky, and offers an opportunity to show flute players the appropriate use of the double thumb, Bb key.

Program Notes

When watching a jet in the sky, one imagines the rush the pilot must feel when kicking in the afterburners, that sudden burst of speed. This piece seeks to capture the emotions of flight in a supercharged jet plane: excitement at takeoff, awe at the beauty of the earth, and an adrenaline burst of joy when the afterburners kick in. An exciting musical ride for young bands not to be missed!

Afterburn is the first in Standridge's "machine" series. Also in the machine series are Steel, and Adrenaline Engines.

Small School Considerations

Randall Standridge does a nice job of making sure to double most parts that a small school band might struggle to cover. The horn part is continuously doubled in either the alto sax or trumpet parts. The bass line is the same for all bass instruments (bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone and tuba). Finally, the tenor saxophone, trombone and baritone all have the same part. The only instrument whose part is not doubled somewhere else in the music is the flute/oboe part, but most bands will not struggle with this.


Bb Clarinet 1, 2
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Trumpet 1, 2
Trombone 1, 2
Low Reeds
Percussion1, 2

Percussion Requirements and Possible Substitutions

Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Suspended Cymbal
Crash Cymbals
Hi Hat
Sleigh Bells

To cover every part, Afterburn requires 5 and possibly 6 players. (The percussion 2 part can be covered by 2 players, but with middle school students it would be safer to split it between 3 players.) The timpani part is quite complicated, but Standridge offers suggestions for ways to perform the piece if your band only has two timpani and these suggestions could be used to alter the part for a younger player as well.

Link to Available Recording

A recording and sample of the score are available on Grand Mesa Music's website.


Afterburn on Randall Standridge's website:
Afterburn on Grand Mesa Music:
Afterburn at