Chorale and Shaker Dance

From Wind Repertory Project
Chorale and Shaker Dance

John Zdechlik

General Info

Year: 1972
Duration: c. 9:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Neil A. Kjos Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.00   |   Transposed Score Only (print) - $24.99


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III (6-7 Players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel (extended high range required (high E6))
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


In Parts:

  • Flute I, 8 m. before rehearsal A: Add marking "tenuto"
  • Oboe, 8 m. before rehearsal A: Add marking "tenuto"
  • Oboe, 4 m. after rehearsal G: Add an accent on the E on beat 3
  • Oboe, 5 m. after rehearsal G: Add staccatos on the B and C on the & of beat 1 and beat 2
  • Oboe, 6 m. after rehearsal G: Remove staccato on the C on beat 3
  • Oboe, 1 m. before rehearsal L: The decrescendo down to the dynamic marking "pp" should start on the fermata
  • Oboe, 3 m. after rehearsal L: The decrescendo on beat 3 should end before the preceding measure (4 m. after rehearsal L)
  • Oboe, 5 m. before rehearsal M: Add a "f" dynamic marking on beat 1
  • Oboe, 4 m. after rehearsal N: Add an accent on the F# on beat 2
  • Oboe, 5 m. before rehearsal P: "mf" dynamic marking should be "f"
  • Oboe, 3 m. before rehearsal P: Add a tenuto on the F on the & of beat 4
  • Oboe, 4 m. after rehearsal Q: E-D-C sharp-B should read D-C sharp-B-A
  • Oboe, 3 m. before rehearsal T: Add staccatos on the C and B-flat eighth notes on beat 2
  • Bassoon, 8 m. before rehearsal V: Add "Allegro"
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, 4 m. after rehearsal M, beat 2: B-flat should read B natural
  • 2nd Trombone, II, 2 m. before rehearsal . N, beat 3: hairpin crescendo should read hairpin decrescendo
  • 2nd Trombone, II, 1 m. before rehearsal N: hairpin crescendo should begin on beat 1 (not continue from the previous measure)
  • 3rd Trombone, III, 2 m. before rehearsal N, beat 3: hairpin crescendo should read hairpin decrescendo
  • Trombone III, 1 m. before rehearsal N: Hairpin crescendo should begin on beat 1 (not continue from the previous measure)
  • Percussion III, rehearsal I: missing a 2/2 time signature

- Potential errata noted by Matthew LeFebvre

Program Notes

Chorale and Shaker Dance is made up of two main ideas. The first is the simple melody found in the opening Chorale. The second melodic idea is the melody from the well-known Shaker Hymn The Gift to Be Simple.

- Program Note by composer

Chorale and Shaker Dance, written in 1972, combines a simple chorale theme, introduced by the woodwinds, with variations of the well-known Shaker hymn Simple Gifts. There is a progression of instrumental timbres and chord textures as the themes alternate and co-mingle. Brief solos for flute, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet occur at tempo changes. The brass and woodwinds exchange the themes as time signatures cause increases in both tempo and intensity. Sustained brass sections play the chorale with woodwinds performing a fiery obligato based on the Shaker hymn as the development peaks. A demanding tympani part punctuates the dramatic ending.

- Program Note by Santa Clara University (Calif.) Wind Symphony concert program, 21 May 2014

Chorale and Shaker Dance was commissioned by the Bloomington (Minn.) Jefferson High School Band. However, the community-based Medalist Concert Band, also of Bloomington, premiered the work in March 1972 at the Music Educators National Convention, with the composer conducting. The work combines an original chorale tune and the traditional Shaker song The Gift to Be Simple. Zdechlik transforms, varies, and juxtaposes both themes throughout the entire composition, incorporating intricate counterpoint and jazz-influenced syncopated rhythms. The Shaker melody does not appear in its entirety until near the end of the piece, when the trumpet section plays the tune over a flurry of activity in the upper woodwinds and a sonorous low-brass accompaniment. A short allegro section follows, and the work draws to a close with several dissonant whole notes that resolve into a brilliant D major chord.

- Program Note by Travis J. Cross for the UCLA Symphonic Band concert program, 10 March 2015


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: IV
  • Florida: V   ---   (The Florida Bandmasters Association denotes this as "significant literature.")
  • Iowa: IV
  • Minnesota: II
  • South Carolina: V
  • Texas: IV
  • Virginia: V
  • MusicFest Canada: B500


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Symphony Band (Cara Morantz, conductor) – 25 February 2024
  • Kennesaw State University (Ga.) Wind Symphony (Daniel Lee, conductor) - 21 February 2024
  • Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, IA) Symphonic Band (Joshua W. Neuenschwander, conductor) - 7 December 2023
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Concert Band (Brian Froedge, conductor) - 16 October 2023
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Matthew Morse, conductor) - 8 October 2023
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Campus Band (Michelle Bell, conductor) - 29 April 2023
  • Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) Wind Symphony (Dani'ca Richardson, conductor) - 24 April 2023
  • West Valley High School (Yakima, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Kirk Knight, conductor) - 8 March 2023
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Concert Band (Jason Reznicek, conductor) - 23 February 2023
  • Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti) Symphonic Band (J. Nick Smith, conductor) - 4 December 2022
  • Rockford (Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Ken Goodman, conductor) - 23 October 2022
  • Cleveland (Ohio) State University Alumni & Friends Band (Michael Kreuger, conductor) – 4 October 2022
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Concert Band (Travis Higa, conductor) - 4 October 2022
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Lucia Disano, conductor) - 25 August 2022
  • Strasbourg Conservatory of Music (Strasbourg, France) (Miguel Etchegoncelay, conductor) - 11 June 2022
  • University of Portland (Ore.) Wind Symphony (Patrick Murphy, conductor) - 24 April 2022
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Lauren Bobarsky, conductor) - 23 April 2022
  • North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) Concert Winds (Lawrence Van Oyen, conductor) - 12 October 2021
  • Eastwood High School Concert Band (Pemberville, Ohio) (Brian Myers, conductor) - 11 May 2021
  • Central Lakes Wind Symphony (Brainerd, Minn.) (Jonathan Laflamme, conductor) - 3 May 2021
  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) Wind Ensemble (James Popejoy, conductor) - 22 April 2021
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Symphonic Band (Cheldon Williams, conductor) - 8 April 2021
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Wind Ensemble (Justin Davis, conductor) - 7 March 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Chorale and Shaker Dance. Wikipedia. Accessed 23 June 2023
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. GIA Publications, 2010, pp. 446-458.
  • O'Toole, Anthony. Score Study Episode #1: Chorale and Shaker Dance [Video]. YouTube, June 4, 2018.
  • Thomson, John, and Matthew Baumer. "Chorale and Shaker Dance from the Composer's Perspective." The Instrumentalist. vol. 55, no. 5, December 2000, pp. 11-15.
  • Zdechlik, J. (1972) Chorale and Shaker Dance [score]. Neil A. Kjos Music: Park Ridge, Ill.
  • Zdechlik, John. "Chorale and Shaker Dance." BDGuide vol. 2, no. 4, March-April 1988, pp. 8–10. Reprinted in Performance Study Guides of Essential Works for Band, edited by Kenneth L. Neidig. Meredith Music Publications, 2009. pp. 78–80.