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Elegy (Chance)

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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)
F Horn I-II (both div. a2)
Trombone I-II-III (I div. a2)
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Percussion (2 players), including:

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


In Parts:

  • Tuba. m. 21: Printed E natural should be E-flat

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

Commercial Discography

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 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
  • Ohlone Wind Orchestra (Fremont, Calif.) (Tony Clements, conductor) – 10 March 2019
  • Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Chris Moix, conductor) – 12 November 2018
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Wind Ensemble (John Stanley Ross, conductor) – 4 October 2018
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Symphony Band (James Batcheller, conductor) – 19 April 2018
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band (Shawn Davern, conductor) – 8 December 2017
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Concert Band and Campus Band (Simon Holoweiko, conductor) - 29 November 2017
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 3 August 1975

Works for Winds by this Composer