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George Washington Bridge

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William Schuman

William Schuman

Subtitle: An Impression for Band

General Info

Year: 1950
Duration: 8:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $110.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
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 Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Wood Block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

There are few days in the year when I do not see George Washington Bridge. I pass it on my way to work as I drive along the Henry Hudson Parkway on the New York shore. Ever since my student days when I watched the progress of its construction, this bridge has had for me an almost human personality, and this personality is astonishingly varied, assuming different moods depending on the time of day or night, the weather, the traffic and, of course, my own mood as I pass by.

I have walked across it late at night when it was shrouded in fog, and during the brilliant sunshine hours of midday. I have driven over it countless times and passed under it on boats. Coming to New York City by air, sometimes I have been lucky enough to fly right over it. It is difficult to imagine a more gracious welcome or dramatic entry to the great metropolis.

- Program Note by William Schuman

George Washington Bridge is often recognized for its innovative use of bitonality. Schuman’s tendency to retain the independence of instrumental families and to contrast broad statements with aggressively rhythmic motives bears close relation to other composers of the 1950s and 1960s, including Vincent Persichetti and Aaron Copland. The piece has clear formal dimensions, and the recurrence of the opening material at the end of the piece will promote cohesiveness for listeners. Pervasive bitonal sonorities make for excellent learning opportunities with high school and university ensembles, as players must aurally seek out triadic relationships with the dissonances to establish intonation and balance.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

Commercial Discography

Media Links

State Ratings

  • Florida: VI --- (The Florida Bandmasters Association denotes this as "significant literature.")
  • New York: VI
  • Virginia: VI
  • Texas: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Oklahoma: V
  • North Carolina: VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Arkansas: V
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Maine: V
  • Iowa: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Lindsay Bronnenkant, conductor) – 27 January 2020
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Wind Ensemble (Christopher Hughes, conductor) – 12 December 2019
  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Symphonic Winds (J. Steven Moore, conductor) – 20 November 2019
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Symphony (Jaclyn Hartenberger, conductor) – 13 November 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Cook, conductor) – 13 November 2019
  • University of South Carolina (Columbia) Wind Ensemble (Cormac Cannon, conductor) – 27 October 2019
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Concert Band (Scott Teeple, conductor) – 22 October 2019
  • Grand Valley State University Wind Symphony (Kevin Tutt, conductor) – 13 October 2019
  • McLennan College (Waco, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Jon Conrad, conductor) 10 October 2019
  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (Robert Calonico, conductor) – 26 May 2019
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Symphonic Band (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 16 April 2019
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.) Peabody Wind Ensemble (Harland D. Parker, conductor) – 30 March 2019
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Jeff Osarczuk, conductor) – 26 March 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Anthony Marinello, III, conductor) – 22 March 2019
  • Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble (Pittsburgh, Penn.) (George Vosburgh, conductor) – 9 February 2019
  • Belmont University (Nashville, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (Barry Kraus, conductor) – 8 February 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 5 February 2019
  • The University of Texas at Tyler Wind Ensemble (Jeffrey Emge, conductor) – 6 December 2018
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) – 6 August 1977

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Brown, Michael Ray. (1989) “The band music of William Schuman: A study of form, content and style.” Ed.D. dissertation. Athens: University of Georgia. pp. 78-98. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts International (1990, March) 50(9), 2692-A.
  • Brown, Michael Ray. (1993, November) “Enduring wisdom from William Schuman.” The Instrumentalist 48, 26-36.
  • Fennell, Frederick. (1993, March-April) “William Schuman: George Washington Bridge: An impression for band.” BDGuide 7, 28-36. Reprinted in A Conductor’s Interpretive Analysis of Masterworks for Band. Galesville, Md.: Meredith Music Publications, 2008. pp. 40–47.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 651-658.
  • Nicholson, Chad. (2009). ‘’Great Music for Wind Band: A Guide to the Top 100 Works in Grades IV, V, VI.’’ Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications. pp 91-92.
  • Rhodes, Stephen. “A comparative analysis of the band compositions of William Schuman.” Dissertation. Greeley: University of Northern Colorado. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts International (1988, January) 48(7), 1579-A.