Howls and Hymns

From Wind Repertory Project
Viet Cuong

Viet Cuong

General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 8:00
Difficulty: VI (solo); III (ensemble) (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Viet Cuong Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $130.00


Full Score
Solo Trombone
Flute I-II
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 I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-hat
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

While exploring repertoire for solo trombone and band over the past few years, a significant void became apparent. The lack of repertoire featuring a professional solo part paired with approachable — and engaging — ensemble writing for young band was curiously startling to me. Plenty of repertoire showcases the trombone with the stereotypical “schtick”, or otherwise employs simple accompaniment. The need for a work of musical substance for soloist and young ensemble, showcasing a true collaboration, became quite clear.

Having first heard Viet Cuong’s piece Moth when we shared the stage at the 2013 Midwest Clinic, I was taken by his unique voice, rhythmic drive, and the ethereal timbres his writing coaxed from the ensemble. We had casually discussed collaborating for a couple years, but this piece brought that to fruition. I trust that players and audience alike will delight in Viet’s talents showcased in this piece!

- Program Note by Tim Smith

As the title suggests, Howls and Hymns is at its core inspired by the idea of uniting things that many people might consider to be disparate. In this case, these two entities are a young wind band and a professional-caliber trombonist. When Tim [Smith] approached me to write this piece, I found the concept incredibly inspiring, as many young musicians are not often exposed to professional-caliber musicians other than their band directors. Having opportunities to perform with such musicians is even more rare, despite the fact that these can be some of the most formative and memorable experiences for students.

Whether the trombone soloist is from the local orchestra, university, or even high school, I hope that this piece will continue to make these guest artist collaborations a normal occurrence, especially with ensembles that perform at a grade 3 level. Uniting musicians of skill levels and ages can only do good for our musical and artistic communities, and I was humbled to be a part of this project. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this piece possible, including Tim Smith and the eleven bands and their directors!

- Program Note by composer

Professional trombonists and a consortium of high schools and middle schools across the United States commissioned Cuong's Howls and Hymns. [The work] begins with a mysterious c minor "hymn," which quickly gives way to an aggressive, high-energy section of "howling" between the soloist and ensemble.

- Program Note from Stephen F. Austin State University Symphonic Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Mid America Freedom Band (Kansas City, Mo.) (Lee Hartman, conductor; Nathan Brown, trombone) – 22 October 2023
  • Arizona State University (Tempe) Wind Symphony (Jamal Duncan, conductor) - 15 February 2023
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) University Band (Eric Scott, conductor; Ben McIlwain, trombone) - 24 April 2022
  • Buffalo Niagara Concert Band (Amy J. Steiner, conductor; Tim Smith, trombone) - 4 November 2018
  • Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Chris Kaatz, conductor; Deb Scott, trombone) - 16 October 2018
  • Clarence Middle School Symphonic Band (Christopher Gawlak, conductor; Tim Smith, trombone) - 27 March 2018 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Syzygy (Flex instrumentation) (2019/2020)

All Wind Works


  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 304.
  • Viet Cuong, personal correspondence, November 2018
  • Viet Cuong website Accessed 29 October 2018