The Goldman Band was finally able to give a concert of original works for band on June 21, 1942. The program consisted of compositions by Edwin Franko Goldman, Leo Sowerby, Pedro Sanjuán, Morton Gould, Paul Creston, William Schuman, Gustav Holst, Richard Franko Goldman, Henry Cowell, Percy Grainger, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.[1] Edwin Franko Goldman continued to advocate for composers to write for bands, and from 1949 until his death, he commissioned works by Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston, Peter Mennin, Robert Russell Bennett, Vincent Persichetti, Howard Hanson, Paul Creston, and Morton Gould. After his death in 1956, his son Richard Franko Goldman took over as conductor for the Goldman Band, and Ainslee Cox led the group from 1980-1988 following Richard’s death. The group was eventually renamed the Guggenheim Band but was disbanded in 1999 due to a lack of funding[2]

The Midwest Clinic was founded in 1946 by Neil Kjos Sr., Howard Lyons, and H.E. Nutt. The initial clinic took place at a YMCA on the west side of Chicago and featured a six-hour program and new music reading session with around 120 band directors in attendance. The event expanded to two days the following year, and, in 1963, grew to four-and-a-half days. The Midwest Clinic was established to feature great performances and still strives to connect music directors with the best music and products in the world.[3]

Frederick Fennell (1914-2004) began studying at the Eastman School of Music as a percussion major in 1931. While an undergraduate student, he conducted the Eastman Symphonic Band and taught the University of Rochester marching band. He completed a master’s degree in 1939 and joined the faculty at Eastman the same year as a percussion instructor and Symphony Band conductor. He was selected as a conducting fellow at Tanglewood in 1942 and returned in 1948 as an assistant to Serge Koussevitzky. He founded the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 1952 and immediately started recording albums.[4] Fennell took his inspiration for the ensemble’s instrumentation from Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, and added a saxophone section, two euphoniums, and an alto clarinet.[5] In the summer of 1952, he sent about 400 letters to composers asking them to write works for his new wind ensemble. Percy Grainger responded and referred him to his already published works for band. Ralph Vaughan Williams also responded that he would contact Fennell if he ever wrote for winds again.[6] Although he left Eastman ten years later, his wind ensemble had already become the standard for excellence in wind music.

1943 – Sonatina No. 1 “From an Invalid’s Workshop”Richard Strauss

Strauss published Sonatina No. 1 for 16 wind instruments almost 60 years after the Suite in Bb. Strauss wrote this work while recovering from illness and nicknamed it “From an Invalid’s Workshop.” He uses the same instrumentation from his Serenade, adding a third clarinet, a basset horn, and a bass clarinet. The three movements include:

    1. Allegro Moderato
    2. Romanza und Menuetto
    3. Finale: Molto allegro[7]

1943 – Theme and Variations Op. 43aArnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) was the creator of serialism, also known as twelve-tone technique. Born in Vienna, he began violin lessons at the age of eight and went on to study composition with Alexander Zemlinsky as a teenager. In 1933 he moved to the United States and began teaching composition at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. Schoenberg, Webern and Berg, are known as the Second Viennese School.[8]

In 1943, Carl Engel, president of G. Schirmer, requested that Schoenberg compose a piece for high school bands that contained different characters and moods. Engel believed that amateur bands helped to develop music appreciation, and hoped to upgrade the band repertoire. Schoenberg’s

Theme and Variations, Op. 43a is written for full wind band and includes seven variations on the initial twenty-one-bar theme. Although the piece was originally intended for younger bands, it proved too difficult for the average high school band. In hopes of gaining more performances, Schoenberg transcribed the piece for orchestra in 1944, and it is labeled
Op. 43b.[9] Regarding Theme and Variations, Schoenberg wrote:

As everybody can see… it is not a composition with twelve tones. It is one of those compositions which one writes in order to enjoy one’s own virtuosity and, on the other hand, to give a certain group of music lovers – here it is the bands – something better to play.[10]


1943 – Athletic Festival MarchSergey Prokofiev

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953) began learning piano from his mother at four and composing soon after. In 1904 he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied composition, conducting, piano, and organ. Prokofiev left Russia for the United States shortly after the start of the revolution in 1918. Two years later he began a tour of Europe, eventually settling in Paris. In 1936 he returned to Russia, where he remained until his death on March 5, 1953.[11] Some of Prokofiev’s best-known works include Peter and the Wolf (1936) and Romeo and Juliet (1936).

The Athletic Festival March is one of four marches Prokofiev wrote for military band from 1935-1937. Originally titled March for the Spartakiad, this piece was written for the 1936 Olympics in BerlinA Spartakiad is a Russian athletic festival inspired by the warriors of ancient Sparta. Prokofiev sent a score to Edwin Franko Goldman, and Goldman’s son Richard arranged the march for standard American concert band instrumentation. Goldman’s arrangement was published in 1943.[12]

1944 – Russian Christmas MusicAlfred Reed

Alfred Reed (1921-2005) was an American composer, conductor, and teacher who began studying trumpet at the age of ten and playing in dance bands at the age of fourteen. From 1942-1946, Reed served in the 529th Army Air Force Band and composed/arranged about 100 works for the ensemble. After being discharged from the military, he studied composition with Vittorio Giannini at the Juilliard School. In 1953 he was hired as the orchestra conductor at Baylor University, where he taught and finished his bachelor’s and master of music degrees. From 1966 to 1993, he taught music theory, composition, and music education at the University of Miami. Reed is credited with more than 250 works for band, wind ensemble, orchestra, chorus, and chamber music. Some of his popular band pieces include Armenian Dances, El Camino Real, A Festival Prelude, A Jubilant Overture, and Russian Christmas Music.[13]

In 1944, Reed was asked to write a Christmas piece for a joint service band concert that included eighty-five players from five different bands. However, on December 16 of that year, the German army launched the Battle of the Bulge, and thirty-five service band members were sent to Europe. As a result, Reed was forced to revise his work for the smaller ensemble, and

Russian Christmas Music was performed and broadcast on NBC radio for Christmas day.[14]

Russian Christmas Music is based on an ancient Russian Christmas carol (Carol of the Little Russian Children) and liturgical music from the Eastern Orthodox Church. This piece is one continuous movement, but Reed subtitles the four sections: Children’s CarolAntiphonal Chant,Village Song, and Cathedral Chorus.[15]

1946 – Sonatina No. 2 “The Happy Workshop”Richard Strauss

After composing Sonatina No. 1, Strauss was inspired to write another piece for winds, which became Sonatina No. 2. Strauss nicknamed this piece “

The Happy Workshop,” and included a transcription that read “To the spirit of the divine Mozart at the end of a life full of gratitude.”[16] Strauss completed the work in 1945, and it premiered in March 1946. The movements include:
    1. Allegro con Brio
    2. Andantino
    3. Menuet
    4. Einleitung und Allegro[17]

1946 – Ballad for BandMorton Gould

Pulitzer Prize winning American composer Morton Gould (1913-1996) wrote his first composition at six and entered the Institute of Musical Arts (now the Julliard School) on scholarship at eight. In the early 1940s, Gould attended one of William Revelli’s concerts at the University of Michigan. This performance changed Gould’s opinion of what the band was capable of, and he dedicated several compositions to Revelli’s band. Some of Gould’s most well-known works include Jericho Rhapsody (1939), American Salute (1943), and Ballad for Band (1946).[18]

Ballad for Band was written for Edwin Franko Goldman and the Goldman Band and premiered June 21, 1946. While it does not quote anything directly, Gould scored Ballad to emulate African-American spirituals. The work is in one movement and incorporates an ABA form.[19]

1949 – Prelude, Fugue, and RiffsLeonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants and was originally named Louis after his grandfather. However, his parents always called him Leonard, and he legally changed his name when he was sixteen. When Leonard was ten years old, his aunt brought a piano to the Bernstein home, and he started lessons with Helen Coates when he was fourteen. He completed undergraduate studies at Harvard and went on to study conducting with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute. Bernstein became Serge Koussevitzky’s assistant in the Tanglewood conducting department in 1942 and took over as director in 1951. He was named assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1943, but left after one season as his composition and conducting career took off. He returned to the New York Philharmonic as co-conductor in 1957, and was named music director in 1958. During his tenure, the Philharmonic went on lengthy international tours, made hundreds of recordings for CBS Masterworks, and broadcasted 53 Young People’s Concerts. He was named Laureate Conductor for Life in 1969 when he stepped down from the position to focus more on composition.[20]

Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs was written in 1949 for the famous clarinetist, Woody Herman, and his Thundering Herd big band. Unfortunately, the group disbanded before the premier could take place. Bernstein rescored some of the music for his musical, Wonderful Town in 1952, and Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs premiered in 1955. Bernstein programmed the piece on one of his

Omnibus episodes titled, “What is Jazz,” and featured Benny Goodman as clarinet soloist.[21] The three movements include:
    1. Prelude for the Brass
    2. Fugue for the Saxes
    3. Riffs for Everyone

1949 – La Fiesta Mexicana H. Owen Reed

H. Owen Reed (1910-2014) initially studied at the University of Missouri before transferring to Louisiana State University, where he completed degrees in music and French. In 1939, he completed a Ph.D. at the Eastman School, where he studied with Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers. After completing his Ph.D., Reed joined the faculty at Michigan State University and remained there until his retirement in 1976. He was the recipient of several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Huntington Hartford Foundation Resident Fellowship, and the American Bandmasters Association Edwin Franko Goldman Memorial Citation.[22]

La Fiesta Mexicana was written during the winter months of 1948-1949 while Reed was in Mexico as part of his Guggenheim Fellowship. He credits the book Mexico by Stuart Chase as his inspiration for the piece. Reed incorporates folksongs he heard in Mexico, including El ToroEl Fuego, and Son de la Negra.[23] The three movements are:

    1. Prelude and Aztec Dance
    2. Mass
    3. Carnival

1949/1953 – Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra Ingolf Dahl

Ingold Dahl (1912-1970) was born in Hamburg, Germany, and received American citizenship in 1943. He studied music at the Music Academy in Cologne (1930-1932) and Zurich Conservatory (1932-1936). Dahl settled in the United States in 1938 and worked as an arranger in Hollywood. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in 1944 and was appointed professor of music at the University of Southern California in 1945.[24]

Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra was written for professional saxophonist, Sigurd Rascher (1907-2001). Rascher asked Dahl to write a work for saxophone after hearing Music for Brass Instruments. The work was intended to be premiered by William Revelli’s band at the University of Michigan, but had to be rescheduled as it was not completed in time. Dahl’s

Concerto eventually premiered May 17, 1949, at the University of Illinois, with Mark Hindsley conducting and Sigurd Rascher as soloist[25] Dahl spent the next few years revising the piece and published the score in 1953. In the revised edition, Dahl scaled down the ensemble instrumentation to match a symphony orchestra wind section in hopes that the Concerto would receive performances by bands and orchestras.[26]

1950 – George Washington Bridge William Schuman

Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Schuman (1910-1992) planned to study business administration and advertising before deciding to pursue composition. He studied harmony and counterpoint before beginning summer courses at Julliard in 1932 and completed a degree in music education at the Teachers College of Columbia University in 1935. He began teaching at Sarah Lawrence College in 1935, and left in 1945 when he took a position as director of publications at G. Schirmer, Inc. The same year he was appointed president at Julliard. He resigned from G. Schirmer, Inc. in 1952 and Julliard in 1962 when he was appointed the president of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.[27] His important works for band include George Washington Bridge (1950), Chester (1957), When Jesus Wept(1958), and Be Glad Then America (1975).

Schuman wrote George Washington Bridge while living in New Rochelle, NY, in 1950. It was commissioned by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and premiered by the Michigan All-State Band at Interlochen, MI, on July 31, 1951. Regarding the inspiration for the piece, Schuman wrote:

There are few days in the year when I do not see George Washington Bridge. I pass it on my way to work as I drive along the Henry Hudson Parkway on the New York shore. Ever since my student days when I watched the progress of its construction, this bridge has had for me an almost human personality, and this personality is astonishingly varied, assuming different moods depending on the time of day or night, the weather, the traffic and, of course, my own mood as I pass by. I have walked across it late at night when it was shrouded in fog, and during the brilliant sunshine hours of midday. I have driven over it countless times and passed under it on boats. Coming to New York City by air, sometimes I have been lucky enough to fly right over it. It is difficult to imagine a more gracious welcome or dramatic entry to the great metropolis.[28]

1951 – Symphony in B-Flat Paul Hindemith

Hindemith’s Symphony in B-Flat was written at the request of Lt. Col. Hugh Curry, leader of the United States Army Band. It premiered in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 1951, with Hindemith conducting. The three contrasting movements display Hindemith’s mature compositional style and great contrapuntal skill.[29]

    1. Moderately Fast, with Vigor
    2. Andante Grazioso
    3. Fugue (rather broad)

1953 – Psalm for Band Vincent Persichetti

Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987), an American composer and educator, began studying piano at a young age and played professionally by age eleven. He graduated from Combs College in 1936 and then studied with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute. In 1939, he was appointed the head of composition at Combs College, and took a similar position at the Philadelphia Conservatory two years later. In 1947, he joined the composition faculty at Julliard, and eventually became the department chair in 1963. Persichetti published more than 120 works and was a three-time recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship.[30]His works for band include Divertimento for Band (1949), Pageant (1953), Psalm for Band (1953), Symphony for Band (1958), Bagatelles for Band (1962), and Masquerade (1966).

Psalm for Band was commissioned by the Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Omicron at the University of Louisville and premiered on May 2, 1952. Later that year, it was featured at the College Band Directors National Association convention. In the score, Persichetti notes:

Psalm for Band is a piece constructed from a single germinating harmonic idea. There are three distinct sections — a sustained chordal mood, a forward moving chorale, followed by a paean culmination of the materials. Extensive use is made of separate choirs of instruments supported by thematic rhythms in the tenor and bass drums.[31]

1956 – Oiseaux Exotiques Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) was a French composer, organist, and teacher. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1919, where he studied organ with Maurice Emmanuel and composition with Paul Dukas. After leaving the Conservatoire in 1930, Messiaen took a position as an organist at La Trinité in Paris the following year. He began teaching at the Ecole Normale de Musique and the Schola Cantorum in 1936. He was called to military service during World War II and was captured and taken to a prisoner-of-war camp in 1940. While a prisoner at Görlitz in Silesia, he composed Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) for himself, a violinist, a cellist, and a clarinetist who were also imprisoned. After being released in the spring of 1941, he returned to his position at the Conservatoire. Messiaen had a love of birds and traveled all over France so that he could observe them in their natural habitat. The 1950s are sometimes called his “birdsong” period, as he published several works about birds: Réveil des oiseaux (1953), Oiseaux exotiques (1955–1956),Catalogue d’oiseaux (1956-1958), and Chronochromie (1959-1960).[32]

Oiseaux exotiques (Exotic birds) was commissioned by Pierre Boulez for the Domaine Musicale concert at the Petit Théâtre Marigny in Paris and premiered on March 10, 1956. This work features forty-seven birdsongs from India, China, Malaysia, and the Americas. The instrumentation calls for solo piano, piccolo, flute, Eb clarinet, two Bb clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, two horns, and five percussionists. Regarding birdsongs, Messiaen wrote:

…What is there left but to rediscover the true forgotten face of music somewhere in the woods, in the fields, in the mountains, by the sea, among the birds? There, for me, is the home of music. Free music, anonymous, improvised for pleasure, for greeting the rising sun, for luring a mate, for proclaiming your possession of a branch or a perch, for ending all dispute, dissension, rivalry, for using the surplus energy that bubbles up with love and joy, for filling time and space, …If you want symbols, … the bird is the symbol of freedom. We walk, he flies. We make war, he sings… I doubt that one can find in any human music, however inspired, melodies and rhythms that have the sovereign freedom of bird songs.[33]

Other works for winds by Messiaen include: Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (1963), Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum (1964), and La Ville d’En-haut (1987).

1956 – Fanfare and Allegro Clifton Williams

Clifton Williams (1923-1976) was the first and second winner of the American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Competition. He learned to play the horn, piano, and mellophone while a student at Little Rock High School. In 1942 Williams joined the Army Air Corps and served as drum major for the service band. He graduated from Louisiana State University in 1947 and studied with Howard Hanson at the Eastman School of Music. After completing his master’s degree in 1949, Williams joined the composition faculty at the University of Texas School of Music. In 1966 he was appointed chair of the theory and composition department at the University of Miami.[34]

Fanfare and Allegro won the ABA Ostwald Competition in 1956. The piece premiered at the Texas Music Educators Association convention and was performed by the University of Texas Symphonic Band. According to his student Francis McBeth, Williams had written Fanfare and Allegro years before, but publishers were only interested in it after it won the Ostwald Competition.[35]

1956 – Symphony No. 6 for Band, Op. 69 Vincent Persichetti

Symphony No. 6 for Band was written in the winter of 1955-1956 and premiered on April 16, 1956. The Washington University Band had commissioned Persichetti to write an eight-minute piece. However, as he began to write, he realized the work would need to be a symphony with four movements.

    1. Adagio allegro
    2. Adagio sostenuto
    3. Allegretto
    4. Vivace

Persichetti specifically chose to include “Band” in the title because, at the time, band music was associated with poor quality music, and he wanted to change the stigma. He eventually wrote fourteen works for winds and percussion, significantly impacting the band’s music.[36]

1957 – Symphonic Suite Clifton Williams

Symphonic Suite was the second winner of the ABA Ostwald Competition in 1957. It premiered the same year at the ABA Convention in Pittsburgh by the United States Air Force Band. The work is in five movements that contain a principal theme[37]:

    1. Intrada
    2. Chorale
    3. March
    4. Antique Dance
    5. Jubilee

 Williams wrote many more pieces for band, including Pastorale (1957), Symphonic Dance No. 3 (1967), The Sinfonians (1960), and Caccia and Chorale (1976).

  1. Frank L. Battisti, The New Winds of Change: The Evolution of the Contemporary American Wind Band/Ensemble and Its Music (Delray Beach, FL: Meredith Music Publications, 2018). 46-47
  2. Ibid. 48-50.
  3. Victor Zajec, “Our International Music Conference History: Midwest Band Clinic,” Midwest Clinic, accessed December 28, 2022, https://www.midwestclinic.org/about_midwest.
  4. Frank L. Battisti, The New Winds of Change. 233-234.
  5. Ibid. 69.
  6. Ibid. 74.
  7. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band (Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, 2002). 570.
  8. Larry Blocher et al., Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, vol. 3 (Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, Inc., 2000). 968.
  9. Frank L. Battisti, The New Winds of Change. 55-56.
  10. Ibid. 56.
  11. Dorothea Redepenning, "Prokofiev, Sergey." Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 27 Dec. 2022. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.lib-e2.lib.ttu.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000022402.
  12. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band. 487.
  13. Ibid. 491.
  14. Frank L. Battisti, The New Winds of Change. 57.
  15. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band. 494.
  16. Jeremy Barham, liner notes for Richard Strauss, Sonatina No 2 in E Flat Major 'Happy Workshop,' recorded September 1992, Hyperion records, 1997. CD.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Matthew, Ed. "Gould, Morton." Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 27 Dec. 2022. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.lib-e2.lib.ttu.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000011544.
  19. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band. 244.
  20. Paul Laird and David Schiff. "Bernstein, Leonard." Grove Music Online. 10 Jul. 2012; Accessed 27 Dec. 2022. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.lib-e2.lib.ttu.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-1002223796.
  21. Frank L. Battisti, The New Winds of Change. 64.
  22. Neil Butterworth, Dictionary of American Classical Composers, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Routledge, 2005). 365.
  23. Larry Blocher et al., Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. 660.
  24. Neil Butterworth, Dictionary of American Classical Composers. 105.
  25. Christopher Rettie, A Performer's and Conductor's Analysis of Ingolf Dahl's for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University, 2006).
  26. Ibid. 16.
  27. Neil Butterworth, Dictionary of American Classical Composers. 402.
  28. Larry Blocher et al., Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. 652-653.
  29. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band. 292.
  30. Neil Butterworth, Dictionary of American Classical Composers. 348-349.
  31. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band. 476.
  32. Griffiths, Paul. "Messiaen, Olivier." Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 28 Dec. 2022. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.lib-e2.lib.ttu.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000018497.
  33. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band. 429.
  34. Ibid. 644.
  35. Joe Rayford Daniel, The Band Works of James Clifton Williams (Hattiesburg, MS:  The University of Southern Mississippi, 1981). 46.
  36. Larry Blocher et al., Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. 736-737.
  37. Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band. 648.


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