Morning Alleluias for the Winter Solstice

From Wind Repertory Project
Ron Nelson

Ron Nelson

General Info

Year: 1989 / 1991
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: LudwigMusic Publications, through Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $75.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn (Oboe)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet (same as Piccolo)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
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-III-IV
String Bass
Piano I-II (Piano four hands with II doubling Celesta)
Percussion (min. 6 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Chimes
  • Bell Tree
  • Crotales
  • Cymbals (crash)
  • Marimba
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone

Players singing


In score and parts:

  • B-flat Trumpet I, next to last bar, beat 3: Bbb should be Bb.

Program Notes

Noted conductor Frederick Fennell wrote in the score:

Morning Alleluias for the Winter Solstice probably became the spirit as well as the title which Ron Nelson chose for this music when I told him of my personal experience in awakening one morning in a Hiroshima hotel room that was ablaze with brilliant morning sunlight. As I lay in bed with so many dark thoughts also crowding-in on that morning’s bright expectancies for the living day ahead, I knew that these moments could only be celebrated as the triumph of the people of Hiroshima through the creation of a musical expression. The Hiroshima morning was in late November. Ron accepted my commission a few days later in Chicago. Other work was put aside so Ron could produce the score, which he signed on 1 March 1989.

Morning Alleluias was commissioned by Frederick Fennell. It was premiered by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra on May 14, 1989 with Fennell conducting. The work begins in an ethereal mood consisting of singing, trombone glissandi, and meditative inflections (aleatoric rhythms). Above this rises a hymn-like progression in the flutes and later the clarinets. Halfway through the tempo becomes twice as fast with incessant eighth notes in the piano and percussion. The faster section contains two Japanese inspired tunes, a powerful one heard in the brass and then a more subdued one in the woodwinds.

- Program Note by Frederick Fennell


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Trinity University (San Antonio, Tx.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (James Worman, conductor) - 10 February 2023
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Clifton Croomes, conductor) – 30 November 2022
  • University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) Wind Ensemble (Michael Carrasquillo, conductor) - 30 November 2021
  • Austin (Tx.) Symphonic Band (Richard Floyd, conductor) – 12 November 2019
  • Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, Minn.) Wind Symphony (James Patrick Miller, conductor) - 16 March 2019
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Concert Band (Arris Golden, conductor) – 19 February 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Concert Band (Jacqueline Townsend, conductor) – 12 April 2017
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 10 February 2017
  • Central California (Stanislaus) Youth Wind Ensemble (Alex Arellano, conductor) – 23 December 2016
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Concert Band (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 1 December 2016
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Wesley Broadnax, conductor) – 30 November 2016
  • University of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, PEI, Can.) Wind Symphony (Karem J. Simon, conductor) - 23 November 2006
  • University of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, PEI, Can.) Wind Symphony (Karem J. Simon, conductor) - 31 March 1999
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 11 August 1991

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 502-519.
  • Nelson, R. (1991). Morning alleluias for a winter solstice [full score]. Ludwig Music Publishing, Cleveland, OH.