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Star-Spangled Banner, The

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John Stafford Smith

John Stafford Smith (arr Jack Stamp)

Subtitle: A Love Song to Our Country

General Info

Year: 1814 / 2002
Duration: c. 1:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Song
Publisher: Neil A. Kjos Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $80.00   |   Score Only - $6.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Crash Cymbals


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 1986, while a graduate student with Gene Corporon at Michigan State, I did an arrangement of The Star-Spangled Banner for wind ensemble to be performed at the WASBE Conference in Boston. The arrangement treats the work as a hymn/ballad with lots of suspensions and some substitute chords (but not in a pop style) rather than the ”drinking song” style of the tune’s origins.

On Friday, September 14 (three days after the brutal attack on the World Trade Center), Ken Ayoob of Humbolt State and a former classmate of mine, called to see if I still had that arrangement. I found it, though it was in manuscript form, and some of the parts were missing. That weekend I put the arrangement on computer and “tweaked” it (since I know a little more about composition fifteen years later).

George Naff, former marching band director at East Carolina University, said that a national anthem should be a citizen’s “love song to their country." It is in the spirit that I revised this arrangement as my part to support those brave souls, living and dead, who continue to support freedom in our country. I would suggest that before performing this arrangement you read the fourth verse of The Star-Spangled Banner to the audience. It is patriotic poetry that could have been written on September 11, 2001.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto — “in God is our trust:’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

- Program Note by arranger

Set in a symphonic style rather than a march style, with some surprising and effective harmonic twists, this is a very refreshing treatment of our National Anthem!

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Gambol (Flex instrumentation) (2020)

All Wind Works


  • Stamp, J.; Smith, J. (2002). The Star-Spangled Banner: A Love Song to Our Country [score]. La Jolla Music Company: San Diego, Calif.