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James Swearingen

James Swearingen

Subtitle: Rhapsody for Band

General Info

Year: 1980
Duration: c. 5:40
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C L Barnhouse
Cost: Score & Parts - $60.00   |   Score Only - $5.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells (or Glockenspiel)
  • Chimes (or Tubular Bells)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

From the sensitive opening to the forceful climax, this composition displays the same successful qualities of previous works by this outstanding composer.

Novena was commissioned by and is dedicated to Rob Hennell and the Antwerp High School Concert Band, Antwerp, Ohio.

- Program Note from publisher

Considered by many to be Swearingen’s finest composition, Novena has enjoyed tremendous popularity among school directors and students performers throughout the world. Written and premiered in 1980, this work was commissioned by and dedicated to Rob Hennell and the Antwerp High School Concert Band, Antwerp, Ohio.

The word "novena" comes from the Roman Catholic Church and is a devotion consisting of prayers or services on nine consecutive days. The reflective adagio section, introduced by chimes, features piccolo, solo clarinet and solo alto saxophone over a sustained pedal point of concert Bb. A brief interlude in G major is introduced, followed by a return to the main theme. The percussionists provide the link to the eagerly anticipated allegro section. Powerful brass, lyrical woodwinds and driving percussion give the second half of this composition the touch of musical excitement we have come to expect from this outstanding composer.

- Program Note from The Desert Winds concert program, 17 December 2016


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class C
  • Arkansas: II
  • Georgia: III
  • Kansas: III
  • Maryland: III
  • Michigan: Senior High A
  • Minnesota: III
  • New York: Concert Band IV
  • North Carolina: III
  • South Carolina: III
  • Tennessee: IV
  • Virginia: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) County Band (Leonard Lutz, conductor) - 29 April 2018
  • The Desert Winds (Las Vegas, Nev.) (Erik Jannerse, conductor) - 17 December 2016 (2016 Midwest Clinic)
  • Pomona (Calif.) Concert Band (Kerry Kline, conductor) – 4 August 2016
  • Three Oaks Senior High (Summerside, PEI) Grade 10-12 Concert Band (David Voye, Conductor) - May 1981

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Swearingen, J. (1980). Novena: Rhapsody for Band [score]. C.L. Barnhouse: Oskaloosa, Iowa.