Fiesta del Pacifico

From Wind Repertory Project
Roger Nixon

Roger Nixon

This work bears the designation QMB Journal 348.

General Info

Year: 1966
Duration: c. 8:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $135.00   |   Score Only - $25.50


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanet
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A versatile piece for high school bands, community bands, or symphonic bands at the university level, Fiesta del Pacifico is a time-tested standard of the wind repertoire that provides strong educational opportunities for students. Soloistic fragments abound, allowing plentiful opportunities to feature key players. The brisk tempo and numerous meter changes provide forward momentum and keep audiences engaged throughout. Fiesta del Pacifico is a substantive, well-crafted piece that will undoubtedly continue to receive frequent performances.

- Program Note from Great Music for Wind Band

Fiesta del Pacifico is one of several festivals held annually in various communities in California which celebrate the old Spanish days of the state. This particular festival is held in San Diego for 12 days in the summer and features a play on the history of the area with a cast of over 1,000, a parade, a rodeo, and street dances.

- Program Note from publisher

Fiesta del Pacifico is Roger Nixon’s most popular and oft-performed work and has become a standard work for wind ensemble. It was composed in 1958 and 1959 while Nixon was on the faculty at Modesto Junior College. Taking inspiration from his former teacher Roger Sessions, he chose to write a work using the concept that a composition was not geared to practical goals but rather to an ideal representing concepts about which he firmly believed. Nixon says:

Fiesta del Pacifico is held in San Diego each summer and features a play on the history of the area, a parade, a rodeo, and street dances. It is one of several festivals held annually in various communities in California which celebrate the old Spanish days of the state, and I chose its name as representative of the spirit of these occasions. The music embodies a good deal of imagery related to these festivals, and in a sense the work might be considered a tonal fresco. The concept is similar to that of the tone poem, or that of the music drama, in that some of the musical ideas have extra-musical connotations. It is impressionistic in that the aim is to create descriptive impressions rather than to tell a story.

Even with this very direct intent to invoke California imagery, Nixon does not use actual folk materials to bring his view of California forward. All of the various melodies are original. The form of Fiesta del Pacifico is episodic, a variant of a rondo. The various sections, or episodes, are clearly defined, and many return, although sometimes in a varied way. Although not indicated in the score, each episode is associated with a particular image. The large formal construction as well as Nixon’s manipulation of particular motives within represents a central feature of the piece.

- Program Note by William Berz for the Eastern Wind Symphony concert program, 18 December 2015


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • California: VI Class AA
  • Florida: VI
  • Iowa: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Minnesota: Category I
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • North Carolina: Masterworks
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Lander University (Greenwood, S.C.) Wind Ensemble (Reed Gallo, conductor) - 3 October 2023
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor) - 6 February 2023
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Concert Band (Jason H. Nam, conductor) – 4 October 2022
  • Kennesaw (Ga. ) State University Wind Symphony (Debra Traficante, conductor) – 5 March 2020
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Symphonic Band (Matthew O. Smith, conductor) – 2 March 2020
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (David Baker, conductor) – 4 December 2019
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra (Dallas, TX) (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) – 24 March 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 5 March 2019
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Wind Symphony (John Cody Birdwell, conductor) – 2 February 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Nicholas E. Williams, conductor) – 29 November 2018
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor) – 8 November 2018
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Ryan Kelly, conductor) – 2 May 2018
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Symphonic Band (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) – 16 April 2018
  • Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (William Berz, conductor) – 24 February 2018
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Ensemble (Martin I. Gaines, conductor) – 30 November 2017
  • Kutztown (Penn.) University Wind Ensemble (Dan Neuenschwander, conductor) – 7 October 2017
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Paul, conductor) – 29 April 2017
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (David Rackley, conductor) – 25 March 2017
  • Contra Costa Wind Symphony (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (Brad Hogarth, conductor) – 5 March 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer