Cardiff Castle

Kirk Vogel • GreatMusicReviewsSeptember 2022 • September 5, 2022

by Mark Williams    Grade 1 (Very Easy)

Looking for that perfect piece of music for your beginning band? You’ve already had a demonstration concert with your group and now they’re ready to go from the eight measure exercises in the method book to full sheet music. Cardiff Castle by Mark Williams is the answer for that first composition for your group. Written in Dorian mode, this piece combines simple four measure phrases with dynamic quarter note/eighth note accompaniment rhythms to combine for an exciting composition. The melody consists of quarter, half, and whole notes and every instrument group has the melody at some point. There are only repeated eighth notes in the accompaniment part. The bell part doubles flute and the remainder of the percussion section is snare drum and bass drum. The snare drum part is made more challenging by incorporating accents and flams. There is a small two measure clarinet soli and a two beat percussion soli that excite the players in both those sections. It is a big jump to go from unison lines in a method book to complete songs on sheet music (be sure to reinforce the concept of multi-measure rests). But with the help of Mark Williams’ Cardiff Castle, not only will that transition be smooth, it will be fun and exciting for both you and the students in your beginning band!  

Kirk Vogel is a composer and retired music educator from Colorado. He is a member of the Colorado Music Educators Hall of Fame and is a published composer with Alfred Music, Kjos Music, Grand Mesa Music, Keiser/Southern and his own publishing company, Wilderness Impressions Music (WI Music). Find out more about Kirk at

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