Dam Busters, The
Duration: c. 3:30
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.
For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion (3 players), including:
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Orchestra Bells
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
None discovered thus far.
The Dam Busters (1955) is a British Second World War war film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd. It was directed by Michael Anderson. The film recreates the true story of Operation Chastise when in 1943 the RAF's 617 Squadron attacked the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany with Barnes Wallis's bouncing bomb.
The Dam Busters March is the theme to the film. The musical composition, by Eric Coates, has achieved the distinction of becoming synonymous with both the film and the real Operation Chastise.
Coates' son, Austin Coates, recounted in a BBC radio interview that the march was not actually written for the The Dam Busters. It just so happened his father had been carrying out an exercise in composing a march that emulated the musical forms of Edward Elgar, such as in the Pomp and Circumstance marches. It was only a few days after completing the composition that Coates was contacted by the film's producers.
However, Coates had a profound dislike of writing film music and turned down their numerous requests. It was not until they told him that this was "a film of national importance" that he agreed. On hearing more about the film, he came to the conclusion that the piece he had just finished would be perfect overture. The march was performed for the film by The Associated British Studio Orchestra.
The march is now the musical setting for the hymn God is Our Strength and Refuge, based on Psalm 46.
- Program Note from Wikipedia
- Audio CD: U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West – 2008
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Allan Hancock College (Santa Maria, Calif.) Concert Band (Greg Stoll, conductor) – 5 November 2016
- Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor) - 10 May 2014
- Hertford College (Oxford, UK) Wind Band (Tom Sears, conductor) – March 2012
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Arrival of the Princess
- Calling All Workers
- By the Sleepy Lagoon (arr. Godfrey) (1930)
- The Dam Busters March (arr. Wagner) (1954/2004)
- The Dam Busters (arr. Duthoit) (1955)
- Eighth Army March
- Footlights (arr. Duthoit) (1940)
- Four Ways Suite (arr. Godfrey and Leidzen) (1928)
- High Flight (Coates)
- Knightsbridge March. See: London Suite
- London Bridge
- London Suite
- London Suite (arr. Williams) (1934)
- The Merrymakers (arr Godfrey) (1923)
- Over to You
- Oxford Street (arr. Wagner) (1936/2009)
- Salute the Soldier
- The Seven Seas (arr. Duthoit) (1940)
- Sound and Vision
- Sweet Seventeen (arr. Duthoit) (1955)
- The Three Bears (arr. Godfrey (1928)
- The Three Elizabeths (arr. Duthoit) (1946)
- To-Day Is Ours (arr. Duthoit) (1940)
- Coates, E.; Duthoit, W. (1955).Dam Busters: March [score]. Studio Music: London.
- The Dam Busters (film), Wikipedia Accessed 6 November 2016
- The Dam Busters March, Wikipedia Accessed 6 November 2016
- Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. Volume I: A-K. Galesburg, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 62. Print.
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Eric Coates." Accessed 6 November 2016
- Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 130-131.