Godzilla Eats Las Vegas

From Wind Repertory Project
Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre

General Info

Year: 1996
Duration: c. 12:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carpe Ranam, distributed by Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $175.00   |   Score - $60.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Amplified Bass
Timpani (extended range up to B3 required)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Claves
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Flexatone
  • Garbage Cans (to crush)
  • Glass (to break)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Lion's Roar
  • Low Gong
  • Marching Machine
  • Marching Whistle
  • Mark Tree
  • Ratchet
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Timbales
  • Trap Set, including:
    • Cowbell
    • Floor Toms (2)
    • Kick Drums
    • Rack Toms
    • Snare
    • Splash/Crash/Suspended Cymbals
    • Tam-Tam
    • Trash Can/Glass Effects)
  • Triangle (2)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone (2)

Players vocalizing


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

It took me seven years to get my bachelor's degree from UNLV, and by the time I graduated I was ready to eat Las Vegas.

Tom Leslie asked me to write another piece for the group as I was leaving, and I thought it would be a blast to do something completely ridiculous. The players are called upon to scream in terror, dress like Elvises (Elvi), and play in about thirty different styles from mambo to cheesy lounge music. The audience follows a 'script' that I wrote, simulating a campy, over-the-top Godzilla movie (is there any other kind?).

I wrote the bulk of the piece while in my first year at Juilliard, and no kidding, I used to act out the script every morning devouring animal crackers, wreaking havoc all over the breakfast table. The 'script' was originally twice as long, and had an entire subplot devoted to a young scientist and his love interest. As I started to finish the piece, however, it didn't seem that funny and that story (along with an extended Elvis tribute) ended up on the cutting room floor.

The idea that this piece is being played all over the world in such serious concert venues is the single funniest thing I have ever heard. It has been played on the steps of the Capitol by the United States Marine Band, by the Scottish National Wind Symphony (they play in kilts, so help me God), and I have a video of a Japanese audience visibly confused and shaken by the whole experience. Can you imagine? I'm laughing my head off even as I write this!

Godzilla Eats Las Vegas! was commissioned by the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Thomas G. Leslie, conductor, and received its premiere November 28th, 1996.

- Program Note by Eric Whitacre

Godzilla Eats Las Vegas! is presented as a soundtrack for a hypothetical script that pits the “Big Guy” against the city of Las Vegas -- a geographically unlikely locale, given this reptile’s amphibious origins. In this treatment, Godzilla’s character returns to his most malevolent. His most prominent victims are known for their music and are representative pillars of Las Vegas society. In the end, however, it is a hero long thought gone from this earth who saves the day and dispatches the beast to his demise ... or so we think.

- Program notes by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Orchestra concert program, 8 March 2013


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Dane Heuchemer, conductor) - 14 October 2023
  • Arizona State University (Tempe) Wind Ensemble (Jason Caslor, conductor) - 27 January 2023
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Concert Band (Matt Thomas, conductor; Yeon-Kyung Kim, piano) - 5 December 2022
  • Sea to Sky Wind Ensemble (North Vancouver, B.C., Can.) (Tak Maeda, conductor) - 23 October 2022
  • Tyler (Tx.) Junior College Wind Ensemble (Jeremy R. Strickland, conductor) - 14 April 2022
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Symphonic Band (Brian Youngblood, conductor) - 19 April 2022
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) University Band (Betsy McCann) - 25 October 2021
  • Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Dobbins, conductor) – 4 November 2019
  • Hope College (Holland, Mich.) Wind Ensemble (Gabe Southard, conductor) – 31 October 2019
  • Miamisburg High School (Miamisburg, Ohio) Wind Symphony (Steve Aylward, conductor) - 14 May 2019
  • North Idaho College (Coeur d'Alene) Wind Symphony (Bryan Hannaford, conductor) – 20 March 2019
  • Boston (Mass.) College Band (Sebastian Bonaiuto, conductor) – 24 February 2019
  • Central College (Pella, Iowa) Symphonic Wind Ensemble – 24 February 2019
  • Bixby (Okla.) High School Wind Ensemble (Jeremy W. Parker, conductor) - 7 May 2018
  • Hartwick College (Oneonta, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Pease, conductor) – 3 May 2018
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Concert Band (Matt Thomas, conductor) – 24 February 2018
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) University Band (Betsy McCann, conductor) – 30 October 2017
  • World Youth Wind Orchestra Project (Schladming, Aus.) (Johann Mösenbichler, conductor) – 16 July 2017
  • University of South Florida Symphonic Band (Christine Lundahl, conductor) - 25 April 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • The Seal Lullaby (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (2011/2021)
  • Sing Gently (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Mösenbichler-Bryant) (2020/2021)

All Wind Works


  • Eric Whitacre website
  • Whitacre, E. (1996). Godzilla Eats Las Vegas! : For Wind Symphony [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc.