Godzilla Eats Las Vegas
Soprano Clarinet in Bb I-II-III
Bass Clarinet I-II
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- Bass Drum
- Concert Tom (1)
- Cymbals (crash, splash, and suspended)
- Glass/Garbage Cans
- Lion's Roar
- Marching Machine
- Marching Whistle
- Mark Tree
- Snare Drum
Percussion Breakdown by Part:
Percussion 1: Claves, Low Gong, Chimes, Timbales, Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Finger Cymbals, Triangle, Crash Cymbals
Percussion 2: Bongos, Xylophone, Bass Drum (with bamboo sticks), "breaking glass", "crazy Latin stuff", Snare Drum, Lions Roar, Tambourine, Mark Tree, Tam Tam
Percussion 3: Glockenspiel, Low Gong, Suspended Cymbal, Xylophone, Tam Tam, Flexitone, Ratchet, Crash Cymbals, Lions Roar, Bongos, Garbage Cans, Marching Machine
Percussion 4: Drum Kit, Cowbell, Splash Cymbal
Mallet Percussion: Xylophone, Vibraphone (with motor), Glockenspiel, Triangle, Low Gong, Crash Cymbals, "Scream"
None discovered thus far.
It took me seven years to get my bachelor's degree from UNLV, and by the time I graduated I was ready to eat Las Vegas.
Tom Leslie asked me to write another piece for the group as I was leaving, and I thought it would be a blast to do something completely ridiculous. The players are called upon to scream in terror, dress like Elvises (Elvi), and play in about thirty different styles from mambo to cheesy lounge music. The audience follows a 'script' that I wrote, simulating a campy, over-the-top Godzilla movie (is there any other kind?).
I wrote the bulk of the piece while in my first year at Juilliard, and no kidding, I used to act out the script every morning devouring animal crackers, wreaking havoc all over the breakfast table. The 'script' was originally twice as long, and had an entire subplot devoted to a young scientist and his love interest. As I started to finish the piece, however, it didn't seem that funny and that story (along with an extended Elvis tribute) ended up on the cutting room floor.
The idea that this piece is being played all over the world in such serious concert venues is the single funniest thing I have ever heard. It has been played on the steps of the Capitol by the United States Marine Band, by the Scottish National Wind Symphony (they play in kilts, so help me God), and I have a video of a Japanese audience visibly confused and shaken by the whole experience. Can you imagine? I'm laughing my head off even as I write this!
Godzilla Eats Las Vegas! was commissioned by the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Thomas G. Leslie, conductor, and received its premiere November 28th, 1996.
- Program Note by Eric Whitacre
Godzilla Eats Las Vegas! is presented as a soundtrack for a hypothetical script that pits the “Big Guy” against the city of Las Vegas -- a geographically unlikely locale, given this reptile’s amphibious origins. In this treatment, Godzilla’s character returns to his most malevolent. His most prominent victims are known for their music and are representative pillars of Las Vegas society. In the end, however, it is a hero long thought gone from this earth who saves the day and dispatches the beast to his demise ... or so we think.
- Program notes by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Orchestra concert program, 8 March 2013
- Audio CD: Rutgers Wind Ensemble - 2011
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Dobbins, conductor) – 4 November 2019
- Hope College (Holland, Mich.) Wind Ensemble (Gabe Southard, conductor) – 31 October 2019
- Miamisburg High School (Miamisburg, Ohio) Wind Symphony (Steve Aylward, conductor) - 14 May 2019
- North Idaho College (Coeur d'Alene) Wind Symphony (Bryan Hannaford, conductor) – 20 March 2019
- Boston (Mass.) College Band (Sebastian Bonaiuto, conductor) – 24 February 2019
- Central College (Pella, Iowa) Symphonic Wind Ensemble – 24 February 2019
- Bixby (Okla.) High School Wind Ensemble (Jeremy W. Parker, conductor) - 7 May 2018
- Hartwick College (Oneonta, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Pease, conductor) – 3 May 2018
- Western Illinois University (Macomb) Concert Band (Matt Thomas, conductor) – 24 February 2018
- University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) University Band (Betsy McCann, conductor) – 30 October 2017
- World Youth Wind Orchestra Project (Schladming, Aus.) (Johann Mösenbichler, conductor) – 16 July 2017
- University of South Florida Symphonic Band (Christine Lundahl, conductor) - 25 April 2017
- Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Lexington, Mass.) (Lewis J. Buckley, conductor) – 5 March 2017
- Dallas (Texas) Winds (Eric Whitacre, conductor) – 22 March 2016
- Los Alamos Community Winds (T. Edward Vives, conductor) - 18 October 2014
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Orchestra (Christopher J. Woodruff, conductor) - 8 March 2013
- United States Navy Band (Captain Brian O. Walden, conductor) - February 2013 West Coast Tour
- Seaford High School Symphonic Band (Anthony M. Romeo II, conductor) - May 2011
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Cloudburst (1991/ tr. 2001)
- Deep Field (2015/2016)
- Equus (2000)
- Fly to Paradise
- Ghost Train (1995)
- Godzilla Eats Las Vegas (1996)
- Goodnight Moon
- Lux Aurumque (2005)
- Noisy Wheels of Joy (2002)
- October (2000)
- October (arr. Miller) (2000)
- The Seal Lullaby (2011)
- Sleep (2000)
- Sleep (arr. Nowlin) (2000/2016)
- Sleep, My Child (arr. Gershman) (2013)
- Star-Spangled Banner (as arranger) (1814/2018)
- Eric Whitacre website
- Whitacre, E. (1996). Godzilla Eats Las Vegas! : For Wind Symphony [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc.