Legend of the Drop Bear

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2016
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $70.00; (digital) - $70.00   |   Score Only (print) - $9.00; (digital) - $9.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Trombone I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bar Chimes (Wind Chimes)
  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • China Cymbal
  • Crash Cymbal (suspended)
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Tom-toms (2)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block (low)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The inspiration for this piece came from a trip to Australia during which I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane. Of course, I had the chance to pet kangaroos and hold a koala, but we kept joking about the legendary "drop bear." The drop bear, of course, is a complete hoax intended to amuse locals while alarming visitors to the country. In many ways, it pokes fun at how many tourists refer to the "koala bear," but in fact it is not a bear -- it is a marsupial. Another popular tourist question involves whether koalas fall out of trees when they sleep. Combine these and other myths together with the many dangerous animals that live in Australia and it is easy to see why the predatory, vicious drop bear has become so popular.

Legend of the Drop Bear was commissioned by the Ohio State University for their middle school honor band festival in February, 2016. It is dedicated to my friends and colleagues at the Queensland Conservatorium in Australia and received its Australian premiere by the Young Conservatorium Wind Orchestra on April 29, 2016.

- Program note by composer


State Ratings



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