Themes from "Victory at Sea"

From Wind Repertory Project
Robert Russell Bennett
Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett (arr. Richard E Maltby Sr)

General Info

Year: 1953 / 1975
Duration: c 6:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Chappell
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The documentary television series about naval warfare during World War II entitled Victory at Sea was originally broadcast by NBC in the United States in 1952 and 1953. It was condensed into a film in 1954. Excerpts from the music soundtrack, by Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett, were re-recorded and sold as record albums. The series, which won an Emmy award in 1954 as "best public affairs program," played an important part in establishing historic "compilation" documentaries as a viable television genre.

The New Yorker Magazine describes the music as "a seemingly endless creation, now martial, now tremendously moving." The symphonic sweep of Rodgers's score captures the moods and variations of the panoramic war at sea in all its terror and beauty, and adds an elusive emotional dimension which neither camera nor words quite convey.

Rodgers's music is greatly enhanced by the comprehensive arrangement of his long-time collaborator, Robert Russell Bennett. Bennett transformed 12 of Rodgers's 24 "themes" — Song of the High Seas (main theme), Submarines in a Calm Sea, Beneath the Southern Cross, The Guadalcanal March, The Sunny Pacific Islands, The Approaching Enemy, Death and Debris, The Hymn of Victory, Big Wave -- into today's symphonic scenario. Bennett also composed much more original material than Rodgers had, for which he received little credit.

- Program Note adapted from Wikipedia and Program Notes for Band

This medley for younger bands includes Song of the High Sea, Sunny Pacific Islands, Guadalcanal March, Beneath the Southern Cross, The Approaching Enemy, The Attack, Death and Debris, and Hymn of victory.

- Program Note from score


None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Karl L. King Municipal Band (Fort Dodge, Iowa) (Jerrold Jimmerson, conductor) - 12 June 2022

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Rodgers, R.; Maltby, R. (1953/1975). Themes from Victory at Sea [score]. Williamson Music: Bryn Mahr, Penn.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002) Program Notes for Band. GIA Publications: Chicago, page 512.
  • Victory at Sea. Wikipedia. Accessed 6 August 2023