Lost Vegas

From Wind Repertory Project
Michael Daugherty

Michael Daugherty

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: 14:30
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Michael Daugherty Music
Cost: Score & Parts - Rental.


1. Viva - 6:04
2. Mirage - 4:14
3. Fever - 5:55


Full Score
Flutes I-II-III-IV
Oboes I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV-V-VI
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat or C Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum (large)
  • Bell Tree
  • Bongos
  • Claves
  • Congas
  • Cowbell (Latin, small, medium, and large)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (medium)
  • Marimba (4.5 octaves)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks (4: very large, large, medium, small)
  • Triangle (medium and large)
  • Tubular Bells (or Chimes)
  • Vibraslap
  • Vibraphone
  • Whip (large)
  • Wind Chimes
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Lost Vegas (2011) was commissioned by the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Michael Haithcock, conductor, and the University of Miami Wind Ensemble, Gary Green, conductor. Lost Vegas is my musical homage to bygone days in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. I recall the enormous neon signs punctuating the “Strip,” promoting casinos and hotels ruled by the underworld, and the massive marquees trumpeting performances by pop music legends such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis. Performed without pause, Lost Vegas is divided into three movements.

The first movement, Viva, is inspired by the seminal book Learning from Las Vegas (1968–72), by modernist architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, who likened the symbolism of the Vegas “Strip” to the Piazza Navona in Rome. The music in Viva unfolds as catchy musical riffs are layered and phased in various polytonal guises and orchestrations.

Mirage, the second movement, was inspired by my recent drive through the forbidding desert of Death Valley. Located 88 miles west of Las Vegas, Death Valley is one of the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. A serpentine oboe solo, later doubled by trumpets with Harmon mutes, is surrounded by steamy brass chords and twisting counter-melodies played by winds and percussion keyboards. Accompanied by an ominous bass drum, the music in Mirage appears and disappears, like an optical illusion one might encounter in the scorching desert, or driving from the pitch-black darkness of Death Valley in the dead of night toward the bright lights of Las Vegas.

The final movement, Fever, is a swinging tribute to an earlier epoch, when legendary entertainers such as Elvis, Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, Stan Kenton, and Frank Sinatra’s "Rat Pack” performed in intimate and swanky showrooms of the Sands, Tropicana, and Flamingo hotels.

Torn down long ago, the original neon signs, casinos and hotels of the Vegas “Strip” have been replaced by impersonal, corporate glass towers. The cozy nightclubs, where the “Rat Pack” once performed edgy material, have been replaced by large arenas, where commercialized family entertainment is now presented. My composition for symphony band is a trip down memory lane to an adventurous and vibrant Vegas that once was and returns, if only for a moment, in Lost Vegas.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Adam Wilson, conductor) - 28 April 2023
  • Las Vegas (Nev.) Academy of the Arts Wind Ensemble (John Seaton, conductor) - 19 December 2022 (2022 Midwest Clinic)
  • Oklahoma City University Wind Ensemble (Matthew Mailman, conductor) - 16 September 2021
  • McClellan College (Waco, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Jon Conrad, conductor) - 19 November 2020
  • California All-State High School Symphonic Band (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) - 23 February 2020 (2020 CASMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • Arkansas Tech University (Russellville) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Daniel A. Belongia, conductor) – 29 September 2019
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.) Peabody Wind Ensemble (Harland D. Parker, conductor) – 27 September 2019
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Symphonic Band (Isaiah Odajima, conductor) – 26 April 2019
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornett, conductor) – 28 September 2018
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor) – 1 May 2018
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 7 February 2018
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) Wind Symphony (James Spinazzola, conductor) – 17 November 2017
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Wind Symphony (Benjamin Lorenzo, conductor) – 3 October 2017
  • CBDNA Small Band Programs Intercollegiate Band (Gary Green, conductor) – 18 March 2017 (CBDNA 2017 National Conference, Kansas City, Mo.)
  • Texas 5A Symphonic Band (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) - 11 February 2017 (2017 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • VanderCook College of Music (Chicago, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Charles Menghini, conductor) - 16 December 2016 (2016 Midwest Clinic)
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) – 15 November 2016
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Wesley Broadnax, conductor) – 19 October 2016
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 9 March 2016
  • University of Michigan Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) - 4 February 2011   *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Daugherty, M. (2001). Lost Vegas: For Symphonic Band [score]. Michael Daugherty Music: [U.S.]
  • Michael Daugherty website.
  • Schwartz, Robert M. "Lost Vegas." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 715-725. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.