Songs from the Catskills

From Wind Repertory Project
Johan de Meij

Johan de Meij

General Info

Year: 2012
Duration: c. 8:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Amstel Music, through Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $99.00   |   Score Only - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
English Horn
Bassoon I-II-III
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
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-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Coconut Shells (empty)
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Glockenspiel
  • Jaw Harp
  • Long Chain
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-tom
  • Xylophone



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Catskill Mountains is a beautifully preserved region in Upstate New York, flanked to the east by the Hudson River. From the moment my wife and I settled in 2008 in Saugerties, a quaint Hudson Valley town 100 miles north of Manhattan, I started immersing myself into the area's rich musical history. Discovering a fascinating mix of American, Irish and Scottish folk music, ultimately, it was not easy to choose from such abundance. I ended up using the following six songs:

  • The Foggy Dew - is of Irish origin, but was adopted with another text into the local folk song repertoire;
  • Last Winter was a Hard One - tells the story of two Irish immigrant women who complain that their husbands can not find work, and that ‘Those Italians’ steal their jobs;
  • A Poor and Foreign Stranger - a gorgeous, heart-breaking ballad;
  • The Bluestone Quarries - describes the hard work in the nineteenth-century stone quarries. This song is very similar to When Johnny Comes Marching Home;
  • The Arkansas Traveler - made famous by folk singer Pete Seeger (If I Had a Hammer) The music makes a side trip to The Old Tobacco Box before coming to a festive conclusion.

Songs from the Catskills was commissioned by Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and Scott A. Jones, Director of Bands, for its 2011 Honor Band Weekend. In April 2011, the work was premiered during this event, conducted by the composer.

The work is dedicated to Marilyn and Travis Rothlein, our dear friends and neighbors in the Catskills.

- Program note by composer

This is a delightful collection of six contrasting folksongs associated with the region. It is written in one continuous movement connected by short transitions. The colorful assortment includes The Foggy Dew, The Winter Was a Hard One, A Poor and Foreign Stranger, The Bluestone Quarries, The Arkansas Traveler, and The Old Tobacco Box. The otherwise standard instrumentation includes English horn, E clarinet, string bass, banjo, harp and piano. This is a significant new work by the well-known composer of Symphony No. 1, “The Lord of the Rings".

- Program note from The Instrumentalist (J.T.) - February 2013


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Metropolitan Winds (Dallas, Tx.) (Frank Felice, conductor) - 8 July 2023
  • Oneonta (N.Y.) Community Concert Band (Andy Pease, conductor) - 5 September 2021
  • Allegheny College (Pa.) Band Camp for Adult Musicians (Timothy Foley, conductor) - 13 June 2014
  • Rio Bravo Wind Ensemble (Allen Clark, conductor) - 7 November 2012

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • De Meij, J. (2012). Song from the Catskills: For Wind Orchestra [score]. Amstel Music: Amsterdam, Neth.