City Rain

From Wind Repertory Project
Judith Lang Zaimont

Judith Lang Zaimont

Subtitle: Miniature Tone Poem for Band

General Info

Year: 2001 / 2002
Duration: c. 3:30
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: American Composers Forum, through Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00   |   Score - $9.95


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (or Tam-tam)
  • Maracas
  • Marimba
  • Rain Stick (optional)
  • Sandblocks
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tom-Toms
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In City Rain, Judith Zaimont captures the spirit and vitality of a summer shower as it falls on a busy city street. Written as a miniature tone poem, the music draws a lively picture of a passing rainstorm. Rain drops dance on the sizzling pavement, metal awnings, and surprised pedestrians who run to safety. The piece continuously unfolds, unified by the jazz-like rhythmic motive based on the syncopated pattern of the title words “city rain” (sixteenth, eighth, sixteenth notes).

A tone poem is program music that creates stories or pictures through sound. In City Rain, the composer paints the image of the rain through the rhythmic motive, and the use of body percussion and alternative instruments (such as tapping patterns on band members’ music stands). As the music unfolds, each section of the band is spotlighted at different times in the piece. The instruments also join together to produce layers of sound that create interesting and complex jazz chords.

The music begins with a gentle shower based in the “city rain” motive. The rain gathers momentum and becomes a storm. Zaimont develops this image through call-and-response patterns, increased intensity in the music, variations on the original theme, hemiola sections where patterns in two are played against patterns in three, and musical lightning. The storm continues until a new theme in 3/4 announces that the sun is breaking through again. The musical storm decreases, ending with a few final drops. The city returns to work refreshed by the welcome interruption of City Rain.

- Program Note from score

City Rain was commissioned in 2002 by the American Composers Forum for their BandQuest series.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Nevada Mills, conductor) - 3 October 2023
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Gold Campus Band (Shaun Evans, conductor) – 5 March 2020
  • Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble (Oneonta, N.Y.) (Andy Pease, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • South Portland High School Wind Ensemble - 6 December 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer