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From the Delta

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William Grant Still

William Grant Still

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General Info

Year: 1945
Duration: c. 9:05
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


1. Work Song - 2:30
2. Spiritual - 4:30
3. Dance - 1:20


Full Score
C Piccolo
D-flat Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-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 Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet Solo-II-III-IV
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Often considered the dean of African-American composers, William Grant Still was responsible for achieving many firsts as a black classical musician during his distinguished career. Not only was he the first African-American to have a symphony played by a major orchestra (his renowned Afro-American Symphony), in 1936, but he was the first African-American to conduct a major orchestra, have an opera premiered by a major opera company (Troubled Island, 1937), and conduct an orchestra in the deep South.

From the Delta was composed in 1945 for the Goldman Band of New York City. Its three movements (Work Song; Spiritual; Dance) were meant to capture the essence of what life was like on the Mississippi Delta. Work Song illustrates a chain gang singing their way through days of hard labor. Spiritual is a more somber movement, meant to convey the pain felt by African Americans living in slavery. The final movement, Dance is the liveliest of the three movements and paints a portrait of friends coming together to celebrate one another in spite of their daily hardships.

- Program Note compiled by Garison Baker

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Illinois (Champaign) University Band (Will Sugg, conductor) – 8 December 2019
  • Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, Tenn.) Wind Symphony (Ken Parsons, conductor) – 7 April 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Marykate Kuhne, conductor) – 22 March 2019
  • Henderson State University (Arkansas) Symphony Band (Shaun R. Popp, conductor) - 10 March 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Ray Stewart, conductor) – 26 February 2019
  • Syracuse (N.Y.) University Concert Band (Samantha Ryan, graduate conductor) – 19 February 2019
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Concert Band (Eric Allen, conductor) – 23 September 2018
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Concert Band (Evan Gibson, conductor) – 28 April 2018
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson University Band (Jean Gomez, conductor) – 26 February 2018
  • Little Rock (Ark.) Wind Symphony (Israel Getzov, conductor)– 24 February 2018
  • Tennessee Governor's School Wind Ensemble (Brandon Houghtalen, conductor) - 2017

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Still, W. (1945). From the Delta [score]. Leeds Music Corp.:[s.l.].