Deo Gracias

From Wind Repertory Project
Guy Woolfenden

Guy Woolfenden

The title of this work translates from the Latin as God Be Thanked.

General Info

Year: 1986
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G & M Brand
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $70.00


1. Coronation March
2. Canon
3. The King's March


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto 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 I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Side Drum
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The suite in three connected movements is based on music first written for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The musical motif which holds the work together, also inspired its title: Deo Gracias ("God be thanked"). The words come from an anonymous poem celebrating the British victory over the French at the Battle of Agincourt on October 25th 1415.

As Head of music to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Guy Woolfenden has composed music for 150 productions, and Deo Gracias, like his first major work for band-, Gallimaufry, is based on music first written for the R.S.C.

In 1975, Terry Hands, (Artistic director of the RSC with Trevor Nunn) directed Henry V, starring Alan Howard, to celebrate the centenary of the Stratford Theatre. The productions was tremendous successes, playing to capacity audiences, including on one memorable occasion, Her Majesty, The Queen.

Henry V's 'Coronation March rightly belongs at the end of Shakespeare's Henry IV plays. - In 'Terry Hands' production, the King, dressed from head to foot in gold, processed the full depth of an all-white stage while every lamp was raised to full power. The music reflects this stage picture with a broad flowing melody, sinister and heraldic by turns. Interestingly, it is in a minor key.

The Canon which follows , gives scope for the woodwind, horns and glockenspiel to play solo in multiple canon and imitation. In the play, this music supported the famous final speech of the character known as 'Chorus' who sums up the harmonious peace, achieved both by the victory of Agincourt and the betrothal of King Henry and Princess Katharine of France.

For the final movement, the canon theme is reworked as The Kings March , which, with its optimistic rhythm and jaunty melody almost demands to be whistled.

Deo Gracias was commissioned by R. Smith & Co. as an award to the highest placed band at the 1985 British National Wind Band Festival, which was Bolton Youth Concert Band, conducted by Nigel Taylor, who gave the first performance on March 31st 1986.

- Program Note by World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE)



State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer