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Governor's Own (arr. Clague)

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Alton A. Adams

Alton Adams (ed. Mark Clague)

General Info

Year: 1921 /
Duration: c. 2:35
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Star Spangled Music
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) – Free from Mark Clague   |   Score Only (digital) – Free download


Full Score
C Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
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
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Based on the bugle call to attention, the trumpets’ snappy opening four-note motif announces the beginning of The Governor’s Own march and serves to call listeners in preparation for the arrival of the Virgin Islands’ governor. The principal theme of the march was inspired by its original dedicatee, Admiral Joseph Wallace Oman, naval governor of the Virgin Islands from 1919 to 1921. The melody seems to depict the governor who Adams described as a “short, jaunty, snappy sort of fellow” while it similarly echoes the energetic themes of Sousa’s King Cotton or Manhattan Beach March. Adams felt that Sousa’s music perfectly captured the “spirit of militant vigor and courage” emblematic of the march.

As a boy, Adams had imagined himself conducting Sousa’s band while listening secretly to phonograph records outside a neighbor’s home. He studied composition and orchestration in part by copying the individual parts to Sousa’s marches into full score. (At the time, conductor’s scores were provided only in abbreviated short score formats.) Originally known as Governor Oman, the march was renamed The Governor’s Own in time for its initial publication with Carl Fisher in 1922. Acknowledged as one of Adams’s best compositions, The Governor’s Own was among the top four best-selling marches for Carl Fisher in 1924 and became the official commencement march of Howard University. In 1963, Adams rededicated the march to the people of the Virgin Islands and its status as music for government occasions on the islands was recognized by the legislature. It is the official march of the islands’ governors, akin to Hail to the Chief for the U.S. president, although Adams’s piece may be freely performed on occasions when the governor is not present.

- Program Note by Mark Clague


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

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • The Horizon Leans Forward..., compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 235.
  • Perusal score