American Civil War Fantasy

From Wind Repertory Project
Jerry H. Bilik

Jerry H. Bilik

General Info

Year: 1961
Duration: c. 8:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Peer Music Classical
Cost: Score and Parts - $125.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Cannon (optional)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A mainstay of the concert repertoire and a popular choice for contests and festivals. Featured in the medley are: Listen To The Mocking Bird; Dixieland; Camptown Races; John Brown's Body; Dixie; Battle Cry Of Freedom; Maryland, My Maryland; When Johnny Comes Marching Home; Just Before The Battle, Mother; Marching Through Georgia; The Yellow Rose Of Texas and Battle Hymn Of The Republic.

- Program Note from publisher

This tone poem portrays the mood, music, and events leading to the American Civil War. Following tunes depicting daily life in the North and South, we hear the rumblings of marching drums and the sounds of patriotic songs. After a meditative reflection, the noise of battle describes the conflict. Finally, a new hope for a perpetually united America arises from the ashes.

- Program Note by composer in Program Notes for Band

Jerry Bilik composed the American Civil War Fantasy in 1961 for a halftime show presented by the University of Michigan Marching Band under the direction of William Revelli. The production concluded with the unrolling of an American Flag that covered the entire football field. The show was so highly regarded, the music was adjusted to fit the concert stage and has since become a classic of the symphonic band repertoire.

After a brief introduction using the main themes in fragments, the work takes us to the period just before the Civil War. We hear popular tunes of the mid-nineteenth century, Listen to the Mockingbird, Dixieland, and Camptown Races From the distance come the sound of drums and the strain of John Brown’s Body, announcing the first signs of the coming war. Next, little whispers of music from both the North and the South take us toward wartime, and the two armies coming closer and closer. Finally in a shattering explosion we can hear the sounds of the battles. This eventually dies away, giving birth to The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The music then builds in grandeur, representing the spiritual hope for a peaceful and prosperous United States of America.

- Program Note from Appalachian State University Concert Band concert program, 25 April 2016


State Ratings

  • Iowa: IV
  • Kansas: V
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Massachusetts: IV
  • Michigan: Senior High A
  • Mississippi: IV-A
  • North Carolina: V
  • Oklahoma: IV-A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Texas: IV. Complete
  • Virginia: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Virginia Grand Military Band (Alexandria) (Loras J. Schissel, conductor) - 27 May 2023
  • Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla) Symphonic Band (David Samson, conductor) - 26 February 2023
  • New Jersey Wind Symphony (Ocean Grove) (Christian Wilhjelm, conductor) - 1 July 2021
  • Encore Winds (Traverse City, MI) (Timothy Topolewski, conductor) - 19 May 2019
  • Peninsula Symphonic Band (Palo Alto, Calif.) (Ted Henderson, conductor) – 19 May 2019
  • Gateway Concert Band (Enumclaw, Wash.) (John Prindle, conductor) – 11 March 2019
  • Triton College (River Grove, Ill.) Community Band (Dana Legg, conductor) – 4 March 2019
  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (Robert Calonico, conductor) - 1 July 2018
  • Lone Star Symphonic Band (Katy, Tx.) (Richard Crain, conductor) - 1 July 2018
  • George Washington High School (Charleston, West Va.) Concert Band (Mark Hardman, conductor) – 23 April 2018
  • Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, W.V.) Symphonic Band (Scott Hippensteel, conductor) – 16 February 2018
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Wind Symphony (James Batcheller, conductor) – 30 November 2017
  • Northwestern Michigan College (Traverse City) Concert Band (Patricia Brumbaugh, conductor) - 4 July 2017
  • Phoenix (NY) Community Concert Band (Ronald D. Nuzzo, conductor) – 15 May 2017
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) University Band (Onsby C. Rose, conductor) – 18 October 2016
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Summer Band (Joe Busuito, conductor) - 21 July 2016
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Concert Band (Onsby C. Rose, conductor) – 25 April 2016
  • Valley Wind Ensemble (Los Olivos, Calif.) (Sharon Jeskey, conductor) - 16 November 2014
  • Capital Wind Symphony (Washington D.C. area) (George Etheridge, conductor) - 2014
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 15 October 2005

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Bilik, J. (1961). American Civil War Fantasy [score]. Southern Music: New York.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 68