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Symphonic Variations on "Amazing Grace"

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Claude T. Smith

Claude T. Smith

General Info

Year: 1835 / 1987
Duration: c. 5:45
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Hymn
Publisher: Claude T. Smith Publications, through C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto 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
  • Bell Tree
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In the style for which he has become so famous, Claude Smith has created a marvelous, truly significant setting of this favorite folk hymn.

- Program Note from publisher

This work was commissioned in 1987 by the board of directors of the Dixie Band Camp at Arkansas State University in honor of its 50th anniversary, and was premiered that summer at the camp.

As the title indicates, this is a set of variations on the well-known spiritual Amazing Grace. Throughout the several settings of the melody, all the instruments of the band have an opportunity to be heard performing the melody. This compositional trait is found in many works by Claude T. Smith. To him, it was important that all members of the ensemble have the opportunity to perform the melody. Another trademark element, the 7/8 measure, is used in several places in the work to provide a rhythmic lift to the flow of the work in order to engage both the musicians and the audience. With Smith's passing in December of 1987, this was one of the final works he produced at the end of his career.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: IV
  • Kansas: IV
  • North Carolina: V
  • Tennessee: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Riverside High School (Painesville, Ohio) Wind Ensemble (David A. Schwartz, conductor) - 14 May 2021
  • Messiah University (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) Symphonic Winds (Travis Weller, conductor) - 26 February 2021
  • Kansas City (Prairie Village) Wind Symphony (Langston Hemenway, conductor) – 8 March 2020
  • University of Maine at Presque Isle Community Band (Jon Simonoff, conductor) – 24 April 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Claude T. Smith website Accessed 2 April 2020
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble: Volume 2 L-Z. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 278. Print.
  • Perusal score
  • Smith, C. (1987). Symphonic Variations on Amazing Grace [score]. Jenson: New Berlin, Wisc.