Folk Suite for Band

From Wind Repertory Project
William Grant Still

William Grant Still

General Info

Year: 1966
Duration: c. 9:45
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bourne Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $57.50   |   Score Only (print) - $10.25


1. Get on Board, Little Children - 1:20
2. Deep River - 3:30
3. Medley (The Old Ark's a-Moverin' and Sinner, Please Don't Let This Harvest Pass) - 4:30


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
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-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Crash Cymbals
  • Sandpaper Blocks
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The major part of William Grant Still's creative work has been in the field of original compositions, yet in his Folk Suite for Band, he has made one of his rare excursions into the realm of traditional American melodies, this time in building several of the most widely loved and often sung negro spirituals into a larger work. Wherever American music is known, Get On Board, Little Children, Deep River, The Old Ark's a Moverin', and Sinner, Please don't Let This Harvest Pass are favorites.

The Suite was first performed in Los Angeles on August 18, 1963, by one of the Bureau of Music's symphonic bands, Dale Eymann conducting.

- Program Note from score

William Grant Still (1895-1978) is known for his settings of traditional spirituals. Folk Suite for Band (1963), is one of the latter . Each movement features creative, solo-filled arrangements of traditional spirituals in which the music almost paints an aural image of each spiritual’s context. The first tune, Get on Board, Little Children, is accompanied by incessant rhythmic passages imitating the rattling of a train in motion. The second movement, Deep River, includes a vocal-like, sustained accompaniment with written stylistic breaths imitating a vocalist. The final movement features two spirituals: The Old Ark’s a Moverin’ and Sinner, Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass. Multiple soloists interrupt sections of ensemble playing in an almost preacher-like fashion. The contrasting moods of the spirituals, joyful and pensive, are reflected in the accompaniment and the work comes to a celebratory, almost dance-like finish.

- Program Note adapted from Florida State University Wind Ensemble concert program, 22 February 2022


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

State Ratings

  • California: IV Class B
  • Virginia: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Gold Campus Band (Seth Davis, conductor) - 19 October 2023
  • Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla) University Wind Symphony (David Samson, conductor) - 1 October 2023
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Jason Gardner, conductor) - 22 September 2023
  • Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, Iowa) Symphonic Band (Joshua W. Neuenschwander, conductor) - 29 April 2023
  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Symphonic Band (Tina DiMeglio, conductor) - 22 September 2022
  • Tufts University (Medford, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (John McCann, conductor) - 11 April 2022
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Boswell, conductor) - 22 February 2022
  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (Robert Calonico, conductor) - 1 August 2021
  • Brandeis University Wind Ensemble/Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Thomas A. Souza, conductor) - July 2021 (Virtual)
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Symphonic Band (Anthony Falcone, conductor) - 28 April 2021
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Symphonic Band (Jay Watkins, conductor) - 11 April 2021
  • Racine (Wisc.) Concert Band (Mark Eichner, conductor) - 1 July 2018
  • California State Northridge Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) - 7 March 2013
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 30 January 2005

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Still, W. (1966). Folk Suite for Band [score]. Bourne: New York.