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American Patrol

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Frank W Meacham (arr. Ed Huckeby)

General Info

Year: 1885 / 1891 / 1991 / 2010
Duration: c. 2:10
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $6.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
C Treble Part 1
High Bb Part 1
High Eb Part 1
C Treble Part 2
High Bb Part 2
High Eb Part 2
F Horn Part 2
F Horn Part 3
Viola Part 3
Low Bb Part 3
Low Eb Part 3
Bass Clef Part 3
Low Bb Part 4
Low Eb Part 4
Bass Clef Part 4
Timpani (also plays Triangle)
Percussion (3 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The concert arrangement opens with a very soft and uncomplicated drum cadence, simulating the approach of a military patrol on guard duty. The first melody, which original with Meacham, begins quietly and gradually increases in intensity. It is followed by a medley of well-known patriotic songs, including Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean (1843), Yankee Doodle (1782), and Dixie (1860). The music then fades until a final burst of martial music concludes the piece.

Meacham copyrighted a piano version of American Patrol in 1885. After the band arrangement was published in 1891, the popularity of the march increased steadily for several decades. At least eight firms published vocal editions during World War II; 16 publishers published editions for piano during the same time. Numerous concert and jazz arrangements have also been published for band and orchestra, from Carl Fischer's edition in 1891 to Edwin F. Kalmus's editions 90 years later. Recordings of this perennial favorite have been made by dozens of bands (including Glenn Miller's) since it was recorded by the Sousa Band, with Arthur Prior conducting, in 1900.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Ed Huckeby's band arrangement of American Patrol has been a favorite of band directors for many years. Now he has taken that arrangement and adapted it for the Barnhouse Build-A-Band Series so that very small bands can sound great performing this timeless classic. Playable by any instrumentation as long as the five basic parts are covered, it also includes optional percussion parts to add to the fun.

- Program Note from publisher

The “patrol” format was popular in the second half of the 19th century, and other compositions bear titles such as Turkish Patrol; Ethiopian Patrol; Owl’s Patrol; Welsh Patrol and Arab Patrol. The format was intended to represent a military band approaching, passing, and fading into the distance. It typically included an introduction played p or pp, in imitation of bugle calls or drums, then themes played progressively louder until a recapitulation of the first theme(s), gradually dying away and finishing pp, ppp, or even pppp. The original piano version of “American Patrol” follows this scheme. It incorporates both original musical themes by Meacham and melodies from American patriotic songs of the era such as Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean and Dixie.

- Program Note from Clovis North Wind Ensemble concert program, 21 December 2017


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Clovis (Calif.) North Educational Center Wind Ensemble (Jose Vargas, conductor) - 21 December 2017 (2017 Midwest Clinic)
  • Bellefonte (Penn.) Community Band (Joshua E. Long, conductor) – 13 March 2016
  • Ye Olde Towne Band (Los Altos, Calif.) (John DeLoah, conductor) - 31 May 2015
  • United State Air Force Band of the Golden West (Travis AFB, Calif.) (Dustin M. Doyle, conductor) - 20 May 2015
  • Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble (Oneonta, N.Y.) (Scott Rabeler, conductor) - 16 November 2014
  • Cary Town Band (Cary, N.C.) (Bill Hiltenbrand, conductor) - 24 October 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works