From Wind Repertory Project
Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre

General Info

Year: 2000
Duration: c. 9:40
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: BCM International, distributed by Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $195.00   |   Score Only - $55.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III (III doubling Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass 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
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Optional SSA chorus


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

At the Midwest Band and Orchestra convention in 1996, Gary Green approached me about a possible commission for his wind ensemble at the University of Miami. I accepted, and the commission formally began July 1st, 1997. Two years later I still couldn’t show him a single note. That’s not to say I hadn’t written anything. On the contrary, I had about 100 pages of material for three different pieces, but I wanted to give Gary something very special and just couldn’t find that perfect spark.

Around this time my great friend and fellow Juilliard composer Steven Bryant was visiting me in Los Angeles, and as I had just bought a new computer I was throwing out old sequencer files, most of them sketches and improvisational ideas. As I played one section Steve dashed into the room and the following conversation ensued:

Steve: "What the hell was that!?!"

Me: "Just an old idea I’m about to trash."

Steve: "Mark my words, If you don’t use that I’m stealing it."

The gauntlet had been thrown.

That was the spark, but it took me a full eight months to write the piece. There are a LOT of notes, and I put every one on paper (with pencil). I wanted to write a moto perpetuo, a piece that starts running and never stops (equus is the Latin word for horse) and would also be a virtuosic show piece for winds. The final result is something that I call “dynamic minimalism,” which basically means that I love to employ repetitive patterns as long as they don’t get boring. We finally premiered the piece in March 2000, nearly three years after the original commission date, and the University of Miami Wind Ensemble played the bejeezus out of it.

Equus is dedicated to my friend Gary Green, the most passionate and patient conductor I know.

- Program Note by Eric Whitacre


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

  • Texas: V
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Australian Wind Symphony (Canberra) (Geoff Grey, conductor) - 23 September 2023
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) - 19 April 2023
  • Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, O.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Richard Edwards, conductor) - 14 April 2022
  • The Naperville (Ill.) Winds (Sean Kelley, conductor) - 7 October 2021
  • Whitworth University (Spokane, Wash.) Wind Symphony (Richard Strauch, conductor) - 9 May 2021
  • University of Tulsa (Okla.) Symphonic Winds (Richard Wagner, conductor) – 10 March 2020
  • University of Tulsa (Okla.) Wind Ensemble (Richard Wagner, conductor) – 2 March 2020
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem) Wind Ensemble (Mark Norman, conductor; Cantata Singers) – 8 November 2019
  • University of Wyoming (Laramie) Wind Symphony (Robert Belser, conductor) – 7 November 2019
  • Ohio University (Athens) Wind Symphony (Brooke Woods, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Idaho State University (Pocatello) Wind Ensemble (Patrick Brooks, conductor) – 19 April 2019
  • Grand Street (New York) Community Band (Brian Worsdale, conductor) – 23 March 2019
  • Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Lexington, Mass). (Louis J. Buckley, conductor) – 4 November 2018
  • Mercyhurst University (Erie, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Scott Meier, conductor) - 5 May 2018
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Wind Ensemble (John R. Locke, conductor) – 22 April 2018
  • Bullard High School (Fresno, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Carroll, conductor) - 13 April 2018 (2018 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • Bullard High School (Fresno, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Matt Carroll, conductor) -16 March 2018 (2018 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Southeast Iowa Band (Mount Pleasant) (Robert McConnell, conductor) – 4 March 2018
  • Tarleton State University (Stephenson, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Gary Westbrook, conductor) – 9 October 2017
  • San Francisco Wind Ensemble (Troy Davis, conductor) – 26 August 2017 2017
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Concert Band (Michael Schaff, conductor) – 18 April 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • The Seal Lullaby (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (2011/2021)
  • Sing Gently (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Mösenbichler-Bryant) (2020/2021)

All Wind Works