Symphonic Songs for Band

From Wind Repertory Project
Robert Russell Bennett

Robert Russell Bennett (ed. George Ferencz)

General Info

Year: 1958 / 1984
Duration: c. 14:05
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


1. Serenade – 4:25
2. Spiritual – 4:55
3. Celebration – 4:40


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II (II doubling English Horn)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Timpani (optional 5th drum as tom-tom)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Bird Whistle
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Slide Whistle
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-tom
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

To most music fans, Robert Russell Bennett remains best known for his musical theater scoring and arranging. For decades, Bennett was Broadway’s pre-eminent orchestrator, scoring all or part of nearly 300 musicals, including Anything Goes, Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, and other immortal works. Bennett’s second work for band, the Symphonic Songs, is in three movements, each depicting a song form and presented in Bennett’s typical charming Americana style.

- Program Note by San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra concert program, 14 May 2011

Symphonic Songs was commissioned by the Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity and premiered by the National Intercollegiate Band at the 1957 national convention in Salt Lake City. The work is as much a suite of dances or scenes as songs, deriving their names from the tendency of the principal parts to sing out a fairly diatonic tune against whatever rhythm develops in the middle instruments. The Serenade has the feeling of strumming, from which the title is obtained. Otherwise it bears little resemblance to the serenades of Mozart. The Spiritual might possibly strike the listener as being unsophisticated enough to justify its title, but in performance this movement sounds far simpler than it really is. The Celebration recalls an old-time county fair with cheering throngs (in the woodwinds), a circus act or two, and the inevitable mule race.

- Program Note by Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • San Francisco (Calif.) Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (Pete Nowlen, conductor) - 30 September 2023
  • The Allentown (Penn.) Band (Ronald Demkee, conductor) - 2 July 2023
  • Contra Costa Wind Symphony (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (Brad Hogarth, conductor) - 23 October 2022
  • Ringgold Band (Reading, Penn.) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) - 16 October 2022
  • University of Central Arkansas (Conway) Symphonic Band (Brantley Douglas III, conductor) - 26 April 2022
  • Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond) Wind Symphony (Robert M. Schwartz, conductor) - 7 March 2022
  • Wind Symphony of Clovis (Calif.) (Gary P. Gilroy, conductor) - 28 November 2021
  • Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, Tenn.) Wind Symphony (Doug Penner, conductor) – 15 February 2020
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Symphonic Band (Anthony Falcone, conductor) – 10 December 2019
  • Southwest Civic Winds (Durango, Colo.) (Thomas O'Neal, conductor) – 10 November 2019
  • California State University, Stanislaus, Wind Ensemble (Stuart Sims, conductor) – 5 December 2019
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) Wind Ensemble (Fred Harris, Jr.) – 25 October 2019
  • Treasure Coast Wind Ensemble (Vero Beach, Fla.) (Colbert Page Howell, conductor) – 7 June 2019
  • California State University, Los Angeles Wind Ensemble (Emily Moss, conductor) – 8 May 2019
  • Brock University (St. Catharines, Ont.) Wind Ensemble (Zoltan Kalman , conductor) – 4 December 2018
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Symphonic Band (Archie G. Birkner IV, conductor) – 29 November 2018
  • Virginia Grand Military Band (Alexandria) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) – 17 November 2018
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside Wind Ensemble (Laura Rexroth, conductor) – 26 April 2018
  • Davis (Calif.) High School Symphonic Band (Thomas Slabaugh II, conductor) – 16 March 2018
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Symphonic Band (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 28 February 2018
  • Dallas (Tex.) Wind Symphony (Howard Dunn, conductor) - 18 August 1985 *Inaugural Concert*

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Bennett, R. (1958). Symphonic Songs: For Band [score]. Chappell: New York.
  • Bennett, R.; Ferencz, G. (1984. Symphonic Songs: For Band [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc..
  • Miles, Richard B. 2000. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 3. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 427-434.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 54