Please DONATE to help with maintenance and upkeep of the Wind Repertory Project!

Ballet Sacra

From Wind Repertory Project
Jump to navigation Jump to search
David Holsinger

David Holsinger

General Info

Year: 1990
Duration: c. 15:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: TRN Music Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts - $120.00   |   Score Only - $14.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
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
Percussion (12 players), including:

  • Anvil
  • Bar Chimes
  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks (5)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ballet Sacra is intended as a concert piece based on universally known texts utilized in not only the Roman Catholic Mass, but also the Anglican Mass, the Lutheran Service, and the Methodist Communion Service. Although envisioned as a liturgical collaboration between dance company and symphonic band, Ballet Sacra can stand alone without the visual element.

Preceding the entry of the ballet corps, the composition opens with fanfares and flourishes in the brass and percussion pressing forward to culminate in large organ-like tuttis. As the tempo explodes to an ebullient Presto, the dancers are invited to enter the stage. The dance variations are presented over many meter changes and displaced accents, typical of the composer's style. As an unusual accompaniment to an art form that usually choreographs in groups of eight counts, "home meter" during this opening portion is four-five [sic].

The "B" section of the piece features dances for three individuals and couples, the "Pas de trois" and "Pas de deux". Both these dance events are performed over slow, harmonically-minimalistic music variations. This middle section features both a solo trumpet line and singing within the ensemble. Reminiscent of early liturgical chants, the composer asks the singers to intone two phrases from the Gloria of the Mass Ordinary, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" and "Quoniam tu solus sanctus" (Glory to God in the Highest / For You Alone are Holy). In the final Presto section, the entire dance company is involved as the music unfolds an agitated tapestry where bits and pieces of the first two sections reappear and reassemble into a closing recapitulation of the primary themes, with "home meter" being abridged to four-four. Great organ-like chords sound through the busyness, allusions of the opening "liturgical fanfares" climb upward, and the listener is pounded by terse spikes of sound. The ballet concludes in quiet benediction as voices intone a final prayer: Grant Us Peace ("Dona nobis pacem").

- Program Note by publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • David Holsinger website Accessed 29 August 2021
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. Volume I: A-K. Galesburg, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 152. Print.