From Wind Repertory Project
Frank Ticheli

Frank Ticheli

General Info

Year: 2005
Duration: c. 5:15
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $125.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
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
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Slapstick
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle
  • Vibra-slap
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Abracadabra was composed in the summer of 2004, and was orchestrated the following November during a residency at the MacDowell Colony. Abracadabra was commissioned by the Driscoll Middle School Band in San Antonio Texas under the direction of Richard Gonzales.

The piece is dedicated to my son, and is at once playful and serious, innocent, and mischievous. A sense of mystery pervades as the dark key of G minor is balanced by sudden shifts to bright and sunny major keys. Throughout the composition I was thinking about magic, not in an evil or frightening sense, but as a source of fun and fantasy. My wonderfully playful, sometimes mischievous young son was always in the back of mind, as were images of Halloween with its costumes and jack-o’-lanterns. As the piece nears its conclusion, the music rushes toward what seems to be an explosive finish. But the woodwinds interrupt, fanning out to a questioning whole-tone cluster. They are answered by a puff of sound, a final disappearing act.

In strictly musical terms, the piece is as clear an example of musical economy as anything I’ve composed. Almost everything is derived from the opening bars of the main theme. Indeed, virtually every note can be traced to the main melody or its accompaniment. Because of this heightened sense of unity, I had to choose other ways to achieve musical variety. The most important solution was through the sudden and frequent shifts of mood, mode, and tonality.

- Program note by composer


State Ratings

  • Texas: III. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Pittsburg (Kan.) State University Symphonic Band (Johnathan De Soto Jr., conductor) - 3 March 2023
  • Sequim (Wash.) City Band (Tyler Benedict, conductor) - 29 October 2022
  • Valencia College (Orlando, Fla.) Symphonic Band (Jon Territo, conductor) - 28 October 2021
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Maroon Concert Band (John Leonard) - 25 October 2021
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) University Band (Jacqueline Dawson, conductor) – 17 November 2020
  • Wheaton (Ill.) North High School Concert Band (Kent Krause, conductor) - 29 October 2019
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Concert Band (Lauren Wood, conductor) – 23 April 2019
  • Randolph (N.J.) High School Concert Band (Michael Lichtenfeld, conductor) – 6 March 2019
  • Genesee Wind Ensemble (Oakfield, Mich.) (Philip J. Briatico, conductor) - 18 November 2018
  • Charlottetown Rural High School (Prince Edward Island, Canada) Grade 11-12 Concert Band (Mark Parsons, conductor) - May 2018
  • Illinois State University (Normal) University Band (Zachary A. Taylor, conductor) – 26 April 2018
  • Yosemite High School (Oakhurst, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Francisco Marquez, conductor) -16 March 2018 (2018 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) Band (Daniel Melby, conductor) – 12 November 2017
  • Augustana University (Sioux Falls, S.D.) Blue Band (Larry Peterson, conductor) – 11 November 2017
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) University Band (James Batcheller, conductor) – 27 April 2017
  • Edison High School (Fresno, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Robert Madrid, conductor) - 25 March 2017 (2017 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • University of Louisville Concert Band (Jason Cumberledge, conductor) - 21 February 2016
  • Illinois State University (Normal) University Band (Johannes Krohn, conductor) – 6 October 2016
  • Glenn Westlake Middle School (Lombard, Ill.) (Nicholas Martin, conductor) – 28 April 2016
  • Los Alamos (N.M.) Community Winds Band Festival Honor Band (Frank Ticheli, conductor) – 19 March 2016
  • Madera (Calif.) South High School Wind Ensemble (Jay Rosette, conductor) - 11 March 2016 (2016 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.))

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Frank Ticheli website Accessed 6 July 2020
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2007. Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6 Volume 6. Chicago: GIA, pp. 158-166.
  • Ticheli, F. (2005). Abracadabra: For Concert Band [score]. Manhattan Beach Music: Brooklyn.