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American Guernica

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Adolphus Hailstork

Adolphus Hailstork

General Info

Year: 1982 / 2008
Duration: c. 6:55
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: MMB Music Inc., through Southern Music
Cost: Score and Parts – Rental


Full Score
C Piccolo (2 players)
Flute I-II-III
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
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
String Bass
Percussion I-VI

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Claves
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Siren
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tams (medium and large)
  • Tenor Drum
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

American Guernica was written in remembrance of the September 15, 1963, fire-bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, a racially motivated bombing that killed four young girls attending Sunday school (Carol Robertson, 14, Addie Mae Collins, 14, Cynthia Wesley, 14, and Denise McNair, 11), and injured twenty-two others. The elegy for this tragedy was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King.

The work’s title refers to the famous mural by painter Pablo Picasso, which depicts the bombing of the Basque village Guernica by Nazi German and Fascist Italian warplanes on April 26, 1937, a tragic slaughter of mainly women and children. Hailstork’s score employs spatial notation and extended techniques to recount the bombing, outrage, and aftermath of the American tragedy.

- Program Note from University of Maryland Wind Orchestra concert program, March 10, 2017


  • Virginia College Band Directors National Contest, 1983, First Prize

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Media Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Winds (Kelvin Jones, conductor) – 3 March 2020
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Wind Ensemble (Scott Teeple, conductor) – 16 February 2020
  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Symphonic Band (Marc S. Sosnowchek, conductor) – 26 November 2019
  • State University of New York Potsdam Symphonic Band (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 10 October 2019
  • Santa Clara (Calif.) University Wind Ensemble (Anthony Rivera, conductor) – 23 May 2019
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor) – 16 February 2019
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 28 April 2018
  • Nevada Wind Ensemble (Reno) (Reed Chamberlin, conductor) – 23 March 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Western/Northwestern Conference, Rohnert Park, Calif.)
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Concert Band (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • Miami University (Miami, Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Gary A. Speck, conductor) – 23 February 2018 (CBDNA 2018 North Central Conference, Kalamazoo, Mich.)
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Nicholas E. Williams, conductor) – 22 February 2018
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Robert Taylor, conductor) – 18 November 2017
  • University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Ensemble (Joseph P. Scott, conductor) – 10 March 2017
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston-Turner, conductor) – 20 January 2017
  • Northshore Concert Band (Chicago, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 17 April 2016
  • Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Kyle Prescott, conductor) – 18 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Southern Division Conference, Charleston, S.C.)

Works for Winds by this Composer