Symphony for Band (McGinnis)

From Wind Repertory Project
Donald E. McGinnis

Donald McGinnis

General Info

Date: 1953, revised c. 1964, published 1977
Duration: c. 17:00; c. 20:00 with unpublished movement
Rating: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Cara Press; "Solemn Tune" in manuscript only
Cost: Score and Parts - $65.00   |   Score Only - $8.00


1. March and Chorale
2. Variations on Three Notes
3. Waltz
(4. Solemn Tune)
5. Finale


  • Instruments in [square brackets] appear only in the unpublished "Solemn Tune."

Full Score
Flutes I-II
Oboes I-II
English Horn
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Clarinets I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contrabass [sic] Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
Bassoons I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophones I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpets I-II
Trombones I-II-III
Baritone T.C.
Baritone B.C.
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanets
  • Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (Tam-Tam)
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells (Chimes)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


Program Notes

Dr. Donald McGinnis (1917-2016) served on the faculty of The Ohio State University as conductor and professor of woodwinds from 1941 until his retirement in 1979.

The Symphony for Band was McGinnis' doctoral dissertation at the University of Iowa in 1953, and was composed under the supervision of Phillip Greely Clapp (1888-1954). McGinnis was, in part, responding to the trend at the time for composing and commissioning large-scale works for the concert band. The language of the piece is a synthesis of twentieth-century techniques, including a partial use of 12-tone serialism in the outer movements. The piece is at turns colorful, highly technical and lyrical, and at an early performance, Percy Aldridge Grainger commented on the high quality of the work. McGinnis originally composed his Symphony for Band in five movements, but dropped the fourth movement, Solemn Tune, in a revision of the piece in the mid-1960s, and when the piece was published in 1977, this movement was left out. Research by Matthew Saunders brought this missing movement to light, and Dr. Saunders made score and parts for this movement available to any interested performing groups.

- Program Note by Matthew Saunders


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ohio State University (Columbus) Wind Symphony (Russel C. Mikkelson, conductor) – 2 November 2017
  • The Ohio State University Wind Symphony (Russel Mikkelson, conductor) - 27 October 2005
  • University of Iowa Concert Band (Myron Welch, conductor) - October 2006

Works for Winds by This Composer