Simple Song, A

From Wind Repertory Project
Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (arr. Michael Sweeney)

Subtitle: From MASS

General Info

Year: 1971 / 2010
Duration: c. 3:40
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $55.00   |   Score Only - $5.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
String Bass
Harp (optional)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crotales
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This tuneful ballad has become the best-known and most often recorded song from this great masterwork. Featuring a trumpet solo as well as solo spots for trombone and baritone, this beautifully poignant setting has been authentically and skillfully transcribed from the original.

- Program Note from publisher

MASS (formally, "MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers") is a musical theatre work composed by Leonard Bernstein with text by Bernstein and additional text and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy, it premiered on September 8, 1971, conducted by Maurice Peress. The performance was part of the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Originally, Bernstein had intended to compose a traditional Mass, but instead decided on a more innovative form. The work is based on the Tridentine Mass of the Roman Catholic Church. Although the liturgical passages are sung in Latin, Mass also includes additional texts in English written by Bernstein, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, and Paul Simon (who wrote the first quatrain of the trope "Half of the People"). The work is intended to be staged theatrically, but it has also been performed in a standard concert setting.

Initial critical reception, including a review in the New York Times, was largely negative, but the Columbia Records recording of the work enjoyed excellent sales.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: VI
  • South Carolina: III
  • Texas: IV. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Metropolitan Winds of Toronto (Ont., Can.) (Travis Grubissi, conductor) - 27 May 2023
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Clifton Croomes, conductor) – 29 April 2022
  • Brock University (St. Catherines, Ont. Can.) Wind Ensemble (Zoltan Kalman, conductor) - 7 December 2021
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Symphonic Band (Jay Drury, conductor) – 27 February 2020
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) Symphonic Band (Erin Colleen Cooper, conductor) – 28 April 2019
  • University of Texas (Austin) Orange Concert Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 3 March 2019
  • Mid America Freedom Band (Kansas City, Mo.) (Lee Hartman, conductor) – 15 December 2018
  • Winds of Wisconsin (Madison) (Scott Teeple, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • Texas Woman's University (Denton) Pioneer Honor Band (Kevin Kessler, conductor) – 10 November 2018
  • Prairie Wind Ensemble (East Peoria, Ill.) (Jim Tallman, conductor) – 21 October 2018
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 3 June 2018
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Gold Band (Cory Near, conductor; Judy Gaunt, trumpet; Marco Samperio, trombone) – 30 April 2018
  • Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College Wind Ensemble (Jared Staub, conductor) - 10 April 2018
  • Fresno Pacific University (Calif.) Symphonic Band (Erik Leung, conductor) -17 March 2018 (2018 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Brevard (N.C.) College Wind Ensemble (Eric Peterson, conductor) – 15 March 2018
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Symphonic Band (Brian Youngblood, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • Norwalk (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Doris Doyon, conductor) – 23 February 2018
  • Sierra Nevada Winds (Yuba City, Calif.) (Robert Halseth, conductor) – 18 November 2017
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Wind Symphony (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) – 28 September 2017
  • Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band (New York City) (Kelly Watkins, conductor) – 9 April 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Cool (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Murtha) (1957/2018)
  • West Side Story (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Sweeney) (1957/2015)

All Wind Works


  • Bernstein, L.; Sweeney, M. (2010). A Simple Song: From Mass [score]. Leonard Bernstein Music: [United States].
  • Mass (Bernstein), Wikipedia