Elegy (Chance)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Barnes Chance

John Barnes Chance

General Info

Year: 1972
Duration: c. 8:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - $99.19   |   Score Only - $11.37


Full Score
Flute I-II (both div. a2)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Clarinet I-II-III (I and II div. a2)
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet (div. a2)
E-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III (I and II div. a2)
Horn in FI-II (both div. a2)
Trombone I-II-III (I div. a2)
Percussion (2 players), including:

  • Chimes
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam (notated as "Gong")
  • Vibraphone


In Parts:

  • Clarinet I, m.19: Printed A-flat should be A natural.
  • Tuba. m.21: Printed E natural should be E-flat.

Complete errata list in "Errata Corner" in Resources, below.

Program Notes

Elegy is playable by a wide variety of ensembles, from high school through university levels. The challenges of this piece are not technical; rather, the ability to sustain harmonies, many of which contain dissonant elements, will be required by all performers. This is an excellent piece for sensitizing an ensemble to subtle variations in dynamics over extended periods of time. The work's majestic climax and thoughtful closing ensure a rewarding musical experience that would fit well in the middle portion of a concert program.

- Program Note from Great Music for Wind Band

A rather sustained and lyrically styled piece which successfully displays the sonority of the band. It contains many deep, rich sounds which at times introduce an element of mournfulness.

- Program Note from publisher

When a member of the West Genesee Senior High School Band died, Elegy was commissioned in his memory. It is a single-movement, solemn work based on a five-note motif stated initially in the low woodwinds. The piece builds to a bold statement in the horns, which grows to a dramatic climax. A brass fanfare played with the theme in the woodwinds again ends abruptly, after which the piece closes in a fragmented echo of the beginning. The music symbolizes the tragedy of a life cut short, seemingly unfinished, as a portion of the original motif is left hanging while each instrument dies away.

Sadly, Chance wrote Elegy only months before his own sudden and tragic death [by accidental electrocution]. The piece stands as an emotional monument to this composer’s unfinished career.

- Program Note from Kennesaw State University Wind Symphony concert program, 26 September 2016


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class A
  • Arkansas: V
  • California: V Class A
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: V
  • Iowa: IV
  • Louisiana: V
  • Michigan: AA
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: IV
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Concert Band (Emilie Bertram, conductor) - 16 November 2023
  • University of New Mexico (Albuquerque) Symphonic Band (Brett Penshorn, conductor) - 9 December 2022
  • California State Polytechnic University Humboldt Wind Ensemble (Paul Cummings, conductor) - 4 December 2022
  • Little Rock (Ark.) Winds (Israel Getzov, conductor) - 15 March 2022
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Concert Band (Lindsay Sandberg, conductor) - 18 November 2021
  • University of Texas at Arlington Symphonic Winds (Christopher Evans, conductor) - 14 March 2021
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Symphonic Band (Jacquie Dawson, conductor) - 12 October 2020
  • Central Kentucky (Lexington) Concert Band (Les Anderson, conductor) – 1 March 2020
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Lindsay Bronnenkant, conductor) – 17 February 2020
  • Penn State University (University Park) Symphonic Band (Dennis Glocke, conductor) – 12 December 2019
  • University of Nebraska Omaha Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Cassandra Rathman, conductor) – 6 December 2019
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Josh Neuenschwander, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • California State University Northridge Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Cook, conductor) – 13 November 2019
  • Caltech-Occidental Wind Orchestra (Pasadena, Calif.) (Glenn Price, conductor) – 9 November 2019
  • Bridge City (Tx.) High School Wind Ensemble (Tami Goss, conductor) – 18 April 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Ray Stewart, conductor) – 18 April 2019
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Symphony (Chad Shoopman, conductor) – 21 March 2019
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 3 August 1975

Works for Winds by This Composer