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Wrangler, The

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Carter Pann

Carter Pann

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Subtitle: Cowboy Dances for Wind Symphony

General Info

Year: 2006 / 2016
Duration: c. 7:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Theodore Presser Co
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III-IV-V-VI (I doubling Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II-III
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV-V-VI
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (or Contrabassoon)
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV-V-VI
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Wrangler: Cowboy Dances is a work from which even the title portrays an unabashed vision of the American West. Unlike the Coplandic fifths that seem eponymous with "cowboy" music, Carter Pann's sonic world begins with a thunderclap and the dissonant forboding of low brass and percussion. Although the tone quickly transformed into a heroic chorale, Pann's orchestrational technique still belies a tradition unfamiliar within the genre, using broad instrumental palettes that are reminiscent more of the tone poems of Strauss and Ravel than of lean American music. As scene after scene connects the work together, it becomes apparent that Pann is painting a poetic vision of the cowboy as iconic figure, rather than presenting a programmatic story. He says of his hero:

There are no outlaw characters in The Wranger ... inbstead, the hero is a good man, a free man. Very confident with his stallion and lasso. After a serene/chorale-like introduction he is set in motion to a constant gallop across the landscape. In his journey he encounters gorgeous and treacherous terrain, stumbling upon a saloon where the patrons are engaged in a drunken dance. He manages to evade locals looking for a fight which catching the eyes of many a beautiful woman. Our man in the proto-typical cowboy moving his way across the mountainous, sun-drenched West -- a man who know the as the coyotes know the moon.

- Program Note from University of Georgia Wind Ensemble concert program, 26 March 2009

The Wrangler was written for the James Logan High School Wind Ensemble in 2006, and is reminiscent of film scores of old Westerns. While sharing a syntax with Aaron Copland's ballets Billy the Kid and Rodeo, it manages to remain completely original in melody. "The hero is a good man, a free man -- very confident and very competent with his stallion and lasso," says the composer, and The Wrangler describes our hero galloping across the breathtaking landscape, encountering a drunken dance at a saloon, avoiding a fight, and more, all packed within an eight-minute envelope.

This work was premiered in Carnegie Hall in May of 2006.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor) – 15 February 2018
  • University of Colorado Boulder Symphonic Band (Matthew Roeder, conductor) – 15 November 2017
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Symphonic Band (Anthony Falcone, conductor) – 10 October 2017
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Wind Ensemble (Greg Gausline, conductor) – 26 March 2009 (CBDNA 2009 National Conference, Austin, Tx.)

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Carter Pann website Accessed 10 October 2017
  • Pann, C. (2009). The wrangler: Cowboy Dances for Wind Symphony [score]. Theodore Presser: King of Prussia, Penn.