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John Mackey

John Mackey

General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 5:20
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
Bb Bass Clarinet I-II
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
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)
  • Cymbals (crash, suspended crash, small and large china)
  • Crotales
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Kevin Richardson, conductor) – 30 April 2017
  • Dallas (Tex.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 11 April 2017
  • Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) Concert Band (Jeff Gershman, conductor) - 11 February 2017 (2017 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Capitol Symphonic Winds (West Hartford, Conn.) (Gary Partridge, conductor) – 30 November 2016
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Concert Band (Randall O. Coleman, conductor) – 6 November 2016
  • Bixby High School Wind Ensemble (Jeremy W. Parker, conductor) - 11 May 2015
  • University of Michigan Campus and University Band (Andrea Brown, conductor) - 12 April 2015
  • San Francisco (Calif.) State University Wind Ensemble (Troy Davis, conductor) - 19 March 2015
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor) - 8 March 2015
  • Indiana University Concert Band (David C. Woodley, conductor) - 18 November 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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