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Barnum and Bailey's Favorite

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Karl King

Karl King (arr. Glenn Bainum)

General Info

Year: 1913 / 1972
Duration: c. 2:25
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse Company
Cost: Score & Parts - $60.00    |   Score Only - $6.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals (crash)
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite was written for Ned Brill, conductor of the Barnum and Bailey’s Circus Band. King was twenty-two at the time he composed this work for the thirty-two piece band. He had just been accepted as a new euphonium player for the Barnum and Bailey’s Circus Band and decided to write a circus march to honor the ensemble and conductor. This march, along with The Big Cage, The Melody Shop, and The Trombone King, takes its place among his most popular marches.

- Program Note by Dominic Talanca for the Lone Star Wind Symphony

King wrote this march for the 32-piece Barnum and Bailey Circus Band in 1913 at the request of its director, the noted minstrel show cornetist, Ned Brill. King was 22 at the time and was preparing to join the band as a euphonium player. The euphonium part in this march (and in most of his other marches) shows his love for that instrument -- he liked to hear the countermelody part "romping around." His use of the word "favorite" in the title was a good choice. In a 1980 international Music survey, Barnum and Bailey's Favorite ranked fourth in the top 140 marches.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band



Sample download; ensemble and conductor unknown

State Ratings

  • Kansas: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Greater Hartford (Conn.) Youth Wind Ensemble (Glen Adsit, conductor) – 12 May 2019
  • Amador Valley High School (Pleasanton, Calif.) Wind Ensemble I (Jonathan Grantham, conductor) - 17 February 2018 (2018 CASMEC Conference, San Jose)
  • Concordia University (Seward, Neb.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Schultz, conductor) – 17 October 2017
  • Aragon High School (San Mateo, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Troy Davis, conductor) - 11 April 2015
  • Mississippi Community (Jackson) Symphonic Band (David P. Miller, conductor) - 18 October 2014
  • Lone Star Symphonic Band (Katy, Tex.) (Bob Bryant, conductor) - 12 October 2014
  • San Jose Wind Symphony (Edward C. Harris, conductor) - 19 May 2013
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 3 August 1975

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Coast Guards (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Clark) (1942/2009)

All Wind Works


  • King, K.; Bainum, C. (1972). Barnum & Bailey's Favorite: March [score]. C.L. Barnhouse: Oskaloosa, Iowa.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 344.