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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.
Carl Holmquist

Carl Holmquist

This work is the fourth movement of the composer's Symphony No. 1, New Orleans Symphony.

General Info

Year: 2008 / 2015
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C Alan/McClaren Prod.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Bongos
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-toms (4: concert)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Six minutes of pure motion. Selected as a featured piece in Volume Eight of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Play! is filled with exciting percussion with features by woodwinds and brass.

- Program Note from publisher

Play! (2008) was originally conceived as the last movement of a four-movement symphony. The composer provides the following description of the complete composition:

The whole work, Symphony No. 1: A New Orleans Symphony, is based on the city of New Orleans’ experience with Hurricane Katrina. The first movement, Jackson Square, depicts the vibrant city before the storm. The hymn tune Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is the primary melodic material for that in Play!. The second movement is Storm. It is an aggressive and violent movement that ends with a depiction of the levee breaking and the water flooding the city. The third movement, Lament, is somber and mournful. In both of the inner movements, the hymn tune is transformed to reflect these difficult emotions. The Lament fades away, like a dying heartbeat, and then Play! emerges with the clarinet. Now this gives the context for the triumphant return of Come Thou Fount. Play! is the culmination of the resurrection of the city.

- Program Note from University of North Texas University Band concert program, 22 February 2017

This is a work that seeks to capture the essence of the word “play”, both as a noun and a verb. Play, as a noun, is a state of being that blends joy, excitement, and innocence. It comes so naturally to young children, but becomes a bit elusive as the years go by. As a verb, play is an action that is completely free and whimsical. And yet at the same time it is a 100% serious outpouring of heart, soul, and imagination. When you play, you hold nothing back! Musically, this expression flows from a simple melodic idea, one that perhaps a child would create out of thin air while skipping along on a sunny day. The tune travels through the ensemble on a winding path of delicate moments and joyous outbursts, with each instrument adding its own character to the mix. The work is flavored with a bit of Cajun seasoning, as the rhythms and drum cadences are derived from the New Orleans second-line style that the brass bands play as they parade down Bourbon Street.

- Program Note from University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire University Band concert program, 26 November 2018


  • Claude T. Smith Memorial Band Composition Contest, 2007, winner


State Ratings

  • Michigan: Senior High A


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

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  • Frostburg (Md.) State University Wind Ensemble (Ashley Glenn, conductor) - 6 March 2022
  • Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisc.) Wind Orchestra (James Ripley, conductor) - 14 November 2020
  • Muskingum Valley (New Concord, Ohio) Symphonic Winds (David A. Turrell, conductor) – 16 February 2020
  • Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Wind Ensemble (Brecksville, Ohio) (Aaron Rex, conductor) – 25 January 2020 (Severance Hall, Cleveland)
  • Kent (Ohio) State University Wind Ensemble (arah K. Kois, conductor) – 27 September 2019
  • Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Brian Messier, conductor) – 10 May 2019
  • Bullard High School (Fresno, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Joseph Cargill, conductor) – 12 April 2019 (2019 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • Bullard (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Joseph Cargill, conductor) – 17 March 2019 (2019 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Marykatheryne Kuhne, conductor) – 16 February 2019
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire University Band (Emily Heidelberger, conductor) – 26 November 2018
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) North Star Campus Band (J. Nick Smith, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • Oakville High School (St. Louis, Mo.) Wind Symphony (Vance Brakefield, conductor) – 24 February 2018
  • Ohio University (Athens) Symphonic Band (Richard Suk, conductor) – 11 April 2017
  • University of North Texas (Denton) University Band (Benjamin Blasko, conductor) – 22 February 2017
  • Minnesota Symphonic Winds (Minneapolis/St. Paul) (Timothy Mahr, conductor) – 2012
  • Minnesota Winds (Edina, Minn.) (Timothy Mahr, conductor) – 19 December 2008 (2008 Midwest Clinic)

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