Circa 1600

From Wind Repertory Project
Donald Grantham

Donald Grantham

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: c. 9:40
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Hymns
Publisher: Piquant Press
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental ($300)


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

  • Bass Drum (3: small, medium and large)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum (3)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone (2)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The year 1600 was an exciting time to be a composer, and much intriguing, imaginative, and innovative music was created immediately before and after that date. My Circa 1600 is based on three chorales written about that time which I find particularly attractive. I became familiar with them in my role as choir director at St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. These tunes appear in the Episcopal hymnal, and on numerous occasions I ‘improvised’ anthems on them with my choir -- treating them canonically, providing descants and alternate harmonizations, altering the rhythm and meter, and subjecting them to various other procedures (or indignities, depending upon your viewpoint). Some of these techniques are featured in this wind ensemble version.

The three tunes are Es ist das Heil by Hans Leo Hassler, Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam by Lucas Osiander, and Allein Gott in der Hoh by Hieronymous Praetorius. I use the tunes in three distinct but connected sections and in that order. The first and third tunes are bright, radiant -- even jaunty. The second tune is much darker, more weighty, and rather foreboding. This chorale appears three times in the brass, accompanied by a fierce tarantella-style tune in the woodwinds and insistent drumming in the percussion.

Circa 1600 was commissioned by the Ronald Reagan High School Band, San Antonio, Texas, Dan Morrison, conductor, and Texas A&M University Bands, Timothy Rhea, Director of Bands. The work is dedicated to the memory of Alex Jones, a Reagan High School graduate and former Reagan Band member.

- Program Note by composer


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornett, conductor) - 28 April 2023
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Knighten, conductor) - 29 April 2022
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Anthony Marinello, III, conductor) - 15 November 2021
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor) – 6 December 2019
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 2 October 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Symphony (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) – 19 September 2019
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 10 April 2019
  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) - 2 March 2019
  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) - 14 February 2019 (2019 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Ronald Reagan High School (San Antonio, Tex.) Wind Ensemble (Dan Morrison, conductor) - 21 December 2018 (2018 Midwest Clinic) *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Donald Grantham website
  • McCallum, Wendy Zander. "Circa 1600." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 521-531. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
  • Perusal score