Festival Prelude, A

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Alfred Reed

Alfred Reed

General Info

Year: 1956 / 1962
Duration: c. 4:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Edward B. Marks through Hal Leonard Corporation
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00   |   Score Only - $7.50


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
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


In Score and Parts:

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet III, Letter E-6: Beat 4 should be D-sharp, not D-natural

In Parts:

  • B-flat Contrabass Clarinet, m. 5: Remove the trill if present
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone, Letter E: Move both the "poco allarg." and "Letter E (quarter note = 104)" left one measure each.
  • Trombone I, Letter F: Move both the "Letter F" and "Allegro non troppo" left one measure.
  • Trombone II-III, Letter C+2: 3rd beat "8th + 16th + 16th note" → "16th + 16th + 8th note"

Program Notes

This work was composed for the 25th Anniversary of the Tri-State Music Festival, located in Enid, Oklahoma. In the score, Alfred Reed wrote:

The music is built up entirely from one main theme and two fanfare-like figures that occur throughout the score. After an opening flourish developed from the first of these fanfare phrases, the main theme is presented in a sweeping unison by the woodwinds, saxophones, cornets, with brass interjections. This leads to the second of the fanfare figures, which builds up to another statement of the main theme by the full band. After a powerful climax, the main theme is once again stated, this time by a richly melodic texture of woodwinds, horns, and saxophones in a quiet, legato variation, in contrast to what has gone before. The second fanfare figure resumes, and, after building up to another climax, the main theme is presented as a processional march, with the first fanfare as a contrapuntal accompaniment. The close is a final statement of the main theme, developed in massive brass chords to a thundering conclusion.

- Program Note by composer

Written in 1956, this work was dedicated to and premiered by the Phillips University Band of Enid, Oklahoma, with the composer conducting, as part of the 25th anniversary of the Tri‐State Music Festival. Alfred Reed said, “The work was conceived specifically in terms of its title as an opening kind of piece...the music was to establish a bright and brilliant mood throughout, with no other connotation in mind.” Two fanfare‐like motifs and a main theme occur throughout the composition using the brass and woodwinds separately and combined to impart tone color and majesty. In 1991, the composer commented, “A Festival Prelude was originally written for performance by a university group of players, and I do recall there having been some difficulties with some of the more demanding textures of the work at that time, 34 years ago. I also recall not offering the work for performance for nearly four years after its first performance, despite the willingness of the publisher I was then connected with to accept it, on the ground that I did not feel there were a sufficient number of high school bands in the country who could cope with it as a whole.”

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

  • Florida: IV
  • Georgia: V
  • Maryland: IV
  • New York: V
  • Texas: III Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Avon Lake (Ohio) High School Symphonic Band (Josh Brunger, conductor) - 28 January 2024 (Severance Music Center, Cleveland)
  • California State University (Long Beach) Symphonic Band (Adam Friedrich, conductor) - 5 October 2023
  • Fresno (Calf.) State University Symphonic Band (Timothy Childs, conductor) - 24 March 2023 (2023 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Trinity University (San Antonio, Tx.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (James Worman, conductor) - 19 February 2023
  • Lakewood Ranch (Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Joe Miller, conductor) - 27 November 2022
  • Bemidji (Minn.) State University Symphonic Band (Ryan Webber, conductor) - 19 April 2022
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Jason Gardner, conductor) - 5 October 2021
  • West Chester (Penn.) University Concert Band (Adam Gumble, conductor) - 29 April 2021
  • Broward College (Weston, Fla.) Symphonic Band (Neil E. Jenkins, conductor) - 25 April 2021
  • Texas A&M University (College Station) University Band (Russell Tipton, conductor) - 25 April 2021
  • University of North Florida (Jacksonville) Concert Band (Moses Evans, conductor) - 6 April 2021
  • San Antonio (Tx.) Community Wind Ensemble (Albert Aguilar, conductor) - 13 December 2020
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando) Symphonic Band (Tremon Kizer, conductor) – 16 September 2020
  • Central Texas (Waco) Youth Wind Ensemble (David W. Montgomery, conductor) – 1 March 2020
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University University Band (Joseph Scheivert, conductor) – 24 February 2020
  • San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) Senior Honor Band (Shannon Kitelinger, conductor) – 19 February 2020
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony II (Jennifer Rubin, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • Nashville (Tenn.) Youth Wind Ensemble (Greg Snyder, conductor) – 20 November 2019
  • University of Nevada Reno Concert Winds (Reed Chamberlin, conductor) – 23 October 2019
  • Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau) Wind Symphony (Martin Reynolds, conductor) – 30 April 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 413-420.
  • Reed, A. (1962). A festival prelude [full score]. Hal Leonard Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 492.