Noisy Wheels of Joy

From Wind Repertory Project
This work has been identified for inclusion in the Small Band Repertoire Initiative. You may find discussion of the work's challenges and merits under the Discussion tab above. You may also contribute your own thoughts and recommendations by joining the WRP.

Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre

General Info

Year: 2001
Duration: c. 3:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carpe Ranam Productions (ASCAP), distributed by Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $95.00 | Score Only - $25.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


In Score and Parts:

  • Trumpet I, reh. E: Remove mute
  • Trombone II, reh. E: Remove mute

Program Notes

Travel of any kind would be difficult without the invention of the wheel. Conceived as a raucous "opera buffo" style overture, Noisy Wheels of Joy by composer Eric Whitacre was commissioned by the Band Composers Masterworks Consortium and premiered at the 2001 American Bandmasters Association convention by the University of Nevada Las Vegas Wind Symphony.

The structure is quite formal, but the three themes (love, adventure and buffo) get thrown around the wind symphony with wild abandon.

- Program Note from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Orchestra 2007 concert program


State Ratings

  • Georgia: V
  • California: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Texas: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Missouri (Columbia) Symphonic Band (Amy M. Knopps, conductor) - 5 October 2023
  • Sacramento (Calif.) State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Matthew Morse, conductor) - 8 March 2023
  • California State University, Long Beach, Symphonic Band (Ethan Blankfeld, conductor) - 17 November 2022
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (Chip Birkner, conductor) - 2 December 2019
  • Valdosta (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (Skye Holmes, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Mo.) Wind Symphony (Brian Hopwood, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Gettysburg (Penn.) College Wind Symphony (Russell McCutcheon, conductor) – 12 April 2019
  • Edison High School (Fresno. Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Brad Feyma, conductor) - 17 March 2019 (2019 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Symphonic Band (Brian Youngblood, conductor) – 5 March 2019
  • California State University, Northridge, Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) – 27 November 2018
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 17 October 2018
  • California State University, Los Angeles, Wind Ensemble (Emily Moss, conductor) – 11 October 2018
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Concert Band (Matt Thomas, conductor) – 12 April 2018
  • Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School Symphonic Honors Band (Kevin Arnott, conductor) - 2 April 2018
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Gavin Smith, conductor) – 28 April 2017
  • University of North Texas (Denton) University Band (Ben Blasko, conductor) – 12 April 2017
  • Lemoore (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Shawn McElhaney, conductor) - 24 March 2016 (2016 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Kingsburg (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Michael Schofield, conductor) - 15 April 2016 (2016 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Kevin Gray Richardson, conductor) – 2 December 2015
  • Grand View University (Des Moines, Iowa) (Mark Doerffel, conductor) - 12 April 2015

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


  • Whitacre, E. (2001). Noisy Wheels of Joy [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc.