by John Herndon
Instrumentation: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Marimba—low A*, 4 timpani, Drums (snare drum with brushes, bass drum), Cymbals (suspended cymbal, hand cymbals), Accessories (sleigh bells, slapstick, triangle, tambourine)
Toboggan is a delightful work for young percussionists depicting a short, fast ride on a small sled. The piece starts by capturing the excitement of finding new-fallen snow. The descent swishes and jingles at high speed through sudden direction changes, patches of rough snow, and the gentle rising and falling of fresh powder. Toboggan ends, as sled rides often do, with a playful crash into a snowdrift.
The piece makes for a great introduction to mallet percussion using mainly stepwise motion for the melody and supporting roles. The accompanying orchestral battery parts should fall well within the range of most beginners.
Toboggan is provided as a professionally bound folio and includes a CD-ROM containing individual parts and audio recordings.