Norwegian Folk Song Suite
by Frank Erickson


Frank William Erickson, the son of Frank O. and Myrtle (Leck) Erickson, was born in Spokane, Washington on September 1, 1923. He began studying piano at the age of eight, trumpet at ten, and wrote his first band composition when he was in high school. He received his Mus.B. in 1950 and his Mus.M. in 1951, both from the University of Southern California. Before entering college he studied privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and with Halsey Stevens and Clarence Sawhill after enrolling at USC

Erickson was a composer, conductor, arranger, and author of books on band method. He also lectured at the University of California at Los Angeles (1958) and was professor of music at San Jose State University. For a number of years he worked for a music publishing company, and later began his own company. He served with the United States Army Air Force from 1942-1946, and wrote arrangements for army bands during that time. After the war ended he worked in Los Angeles as a trumpet player and jazz arranger. He was a life member of the National Band Association, elected to the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts in 1986, and a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lamda, Phi Beta Mu, and the American Bandmasters Association.

In 1953 he married Mary Theresa McGrorty. They had three sons, William, Richard, and Christian. Erickson’s wife died in 1975, and on August 15, 1981 he married Mary Ann Smith. He died October 21, 1996.

Year of publication: 1953

Publisher: Bourne

Grade: 2

Type of composition: Suite

Style: Fast, slow, fast

Programming suggestions: Norwegian Folk Song Suite is a collection of folks arranged for an easy concert band by Frank Erickson.

Solo instruments: trumpet, horn

Anecdotal notes: Alto sax and alto clarinet save a part as well as tenor sax and treble clef euphonium. Third movement has timpani note change for one measure and reverts back to previous note a measure later. This will be extremely difficult with a young middle school band. A wide range of stylistic markings are used: tenuto, staccato, and accents.

Recording of "Norwegian Folk Song Suite"