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Symphony for Band

One of my favorite sets of memories is hearing the phenomenal sounds of the high school symphonic band concerts in “The Bowl” at the National Music Camp back in the mid-1960s. Especially inspiring were the remarkable transcriptions of the great orchestral works they performed. The band was huge, the players were incredibly good, and the sound was amazing.


My Symphony in Bb Minor for Symphonic Band is a large, four-movement deliberate throw-back to those monumental works created by the great masters of the Romantic period. It is big, powerful, and a total of nearly 36 minutes long.


However, each of the four movements stands well alone as a concert piece. The mp3s are the beginnings of the first and last movements.


I wrote melodic lines I would look forward to playing, employed harmonic progressions I enjoy listening to, and created a powerful piece I would love to conduct.


As an aside, comparing musical performances to literature, I think it unfortunate that while orchestral concerts tend to be presentations of two or three novels (usually an overture, a concerto, and a symphony), band concerts have settled into to being mere collections of a lot of short stories. Try to name more than one or two serious, lengthy work for band.


And yet, the medium itself can easily accommodate such pieces. I hope this is one of those.


None of the music has been recorded, and all I have is the Finale MIDI extracts to give you an idea of what the pieces sound like. And it is unfortunate that in some of the bigger, or busier sections, the program seems to drop some lines (typically low brass and some percussion); but hopefully, you can get an idea of how the piece goes from the audio links.


If you have any interest in examining the work or any of its movements, send me an email and I’ll send you a pdf of the score for you to look at.

The full symphony sells for $350.00 for the four printed scores and sets of parts;

$275.00 for emailed pdfs of the same.

1 MvtR. Volkmann
00:00 / 02:16
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4 Mvt website
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