From Wind Repertory Project
John Mackey

John Mackey

General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 5:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Osti Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $140.00   |   Score - $25.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
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
Bass Trombone
Euphonium (2 players)
Tuba (2 players)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Plate (on brake drum)
  • China Cymbal (large and small)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tams (small and large)
  • Tom-tom (large)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Xerxes is a concert march. Xerxes, for those who haven’t seen 300, was King of Persia from 485 BC until his assassination by stabbing in 465 BC. Midlothian High School, in Texas, commissioned the piece.

I’d originally thought I’d write a march along the lines of the Ives Country Band March, but the more I worked on that idea, the more I felt like I was just trying to reinvent the Ives march, which is already a sort of reinvention of a march. My version sounded like bad Ives, and although it’s a great, crazy piece, I wouldn’t describe the Ives as sounding “good” to begin with.

So many concert marches blur together in my head, all of them in some peppy major key, falling into either the chipper patriotic American sound or the more prim British sound. Since I don’t really do prim, or patriotic, I went with ... angry. The plan was, “This is going to be a march about somebody who is bad news.” It’s just a fairly straightforward concert march, only a little nastier. I don’t expect it’ll be played at a lot of July 4th parades. (Well, maybe somewhere like NYC.)

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Minnesota: I


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Culver-Stockton College (Canton, Mo.) Wind Ensemble (Trent Hollinger, conductor) - 25 March 2023
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Concert Band (Scott Rikkers, conductor) - 27 February 2023
  • National Youth Band of Canada (Toronto, Ont.) (Darrin Oehlerking, conductor) - 13 May 2022
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Alumni Band (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) - 1 May 2022
  • California State University Northridge Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) - 28 April 2022
  • Stuttgart (Germany) Symphonic Youth Wind Orchestra (Alexander Beer, conductor) – 20 November 2021
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Symphonic Band (Cheldon Williams, conductor) - 8 April 2021
  • San Antonio (Tx.) Community Wind Ensemble (Albert Aguilar, conductor) - 13 December 2020
  • Sierra Pacific High School (Hanford, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Jeff Detlefsen, conductor) -15 March 2019 (2019 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • University of North Texas (Denton) University Band (Brent Penshorn, conductor) – 20 February 2019
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) Symphony Band (Chad Reep, conductor) – 3 December 2018
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Maroon Campus Band (Cassandra Bechard, conductor) – 29 October 2018
  • Boston University (Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Jennifer Bill, conductor) – 19 October 2018
  • Western Michigan (Muskegon) Concert Winds (Gail A. Brechting, conductor) – 2 May 2018 (ACB 2018 Annual Convention (Buffalo, N.Y.))
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte Wind Ensemble (Shawn Smith, conductor) - 30 April 2018
  • Corvallis (Ore.) High School Wind Ensemble (Lia Poole, conductor) – 27 February 2018
  • Arizona State University (Tempe) Wind Ensemble – 19 September 2017
  • Melbourne (Fla.) Municipal Band (Staci Cleveland, conductor) – 5 May 2017 (ACB 2017 Annual Convention (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.))
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Kevin Richardson, conductor) – 30 April 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works