Postwar Prelude

From Wind Repertory Project
Clifton Williams

Clifton Williams (ed. Thomas Stone)

General Info

Year: 1943 / 2012
Duration: c. 3:50
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Maestro and Fox Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $67.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

To my friend Willard I. Shepherd.

- Program Note from score

Written in three days and completed on April 19, 1943, Postwar Prelude was the first composition that the then-Corporal James Clifton Williams scored for the 307th Army Air Corps Band, stationed at Selman Field in Monroe, La. This work became the inspiration for the first All-Williams Concert at the Selman Field Service Club on November 24, 1944.

The piece is a short lyrical tone poem, with lush harmonies and many tension-and-release moments. The title, Postwar Prelude, is both oxymoronic and hopeful. The piece is a prelude to a postwar America that is still two years away. The character of the composition is tender and reflective. The contrasting marcato middle section seems to convey the energy and tension that a war can bring to a country. The returning lyrical section provides the release of that tension by recapitulating themes presented in the opening section of the work.

In the midst of World War II in 1943, the United States was fighting wars on the Pacific and European fronts, and the outcome was still uncertain. While the piece certainly is not joyful, it is reflective and promising in the hope of peace.

- Program Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Northwest Wind Symphony (Centralia, Wash.) (Dan Schmidt, conductor) - 21 January 2023
  • New Jersey City University Symphony of Winds and Percussion (Patrick Burns, conductor) – 14 November 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Perusal score
  • Suk, Richard. "Postwar Prelude." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 206-212. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.