Dramatic Essay

From Wind Repertory Project
Clifton Williams

Clifton Williams

General Info

Year: 1958
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Masters Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $65.00   |   Score Only - $7.00


Full Score
B-flat Solo Trumpet
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Throughout his professional career, Williams was in great demand for clinics and guest conducting appearances. He received numerous honors and awards, and his publishers were always eager for more band works. With an abundance of organizations and corporations commissioning works from him, the years beginning in 1958 were some of the busiest and most productive in his career. Three major instrument manufacturers, the Conn Corporation, the Ludwig Drum Manufacturing Company, and the Artley Corporation commissioned works for solo instrument(s) and band.

Dramatic Essay, a dramatic dialogue between the trumpet soloist and band, was composed on commission by the educational services department of the C.G. Conn Corporation and written especially for Don Jacoby, their clinician and trumpet soloist. Don "Jake" Jacoby was a noted recording artist, trumpet teacher, bandleader and author who played with Benny Goodman, Les Brown, and did session work for CBS and NBC. Jacoby spent much of his life teaching and giving clinics for the Conn Corporation. He recorded Dramatic Essay for Conn under the album title Have Conns Will Travel.

In Robert Cranston Cameron’s 1974 treatise, The Band Music of Clifton Williams, written while he was a student at the University of Miami, he quotes the composer: “Dramatic Essay was the first serious piece for solo trumpet and band. The entire scope of trumpet technique is contained in Dramatic Essay; this includes single and multiple tonguing, rapid slurs, good range, endurance, phrasing, and a wide range of dynamics.”

In a 2012 statement, Cameron concurs with Williams’ synopsis and adds: “All previous such works had been composed for cornet and band. At the time of its conception, the entire scope of trumpet technique was incorporated in Dramatic Essay, including both single and multiple tonguing, rapid intervallic slurs, upper register acrobatics, demanding endurance requirements, long expressive phrasing, and a wide range of dynamics.”

- Program Note from liner notes of The Music and Art of J. Clifton Williams CD


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Campus Band (Isaac Brinberg, conductor; Luke Yoakam, trumpet) - 29 April 2023
  • Tennessee Wind Symphony (Knoxville) (John M. Culvahouse, conductor) - 19 April 2023 (64th Annual Tennessee Music Education Conference, Nashville)
  • Strongville (Ohio) Community Band (Ken Mahelko, conductor; Jack Brndiar, trumpet) - 12 August 2022
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Symphony (Chad Shoopman, conductor; Jason Carder, trumpet) – 27 November 2018
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Symphony Band (George R. Boulden, conductor;Vincent DiMartino) – 18 November 2018
  • California State University, Fresno, Wind Orchestra (Gary P. Gilroy, conductor; Jennifer Broussard, trumpet) - 22 April 2015
  • Austin (Tex.) Community Band (Richard Floyd, conductor; Wiff Rudd, trumpet) - 22 February 2013

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 646.
  • Williams, C. (1958). Dramatic Essay for Bb Trumpet and Band [score]. Summy-Birchard: [Evanston, Ill.]
  • The Music and Art of J. Clifton Williams. Mark Records, 8514-MCD, 2014.