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Guadalcanal March

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Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers (arr. Robert Russell Bennett)

General Info

Year: 1952 / 1978
Duration: c. 2:45
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Williamson Music

Availability separate from Victory at Sea not found.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Piano (Conductor condensed score)
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 Cornet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass drum
  • Bells (low)
  • Crash cymbals
  • Gong (large)
  • Military drum
  • Orchestra bells
  • Oriental drum
  • Snare drum
  • Suspended cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This march was taken from the score of Victory at Sea, a 1952 television series which was based on naval battles during World War II. The volcanic island of Guadalcanal, in the South Pacific, was the scene of the first large-scale U.S. invasion of a Japanese-held island.

The music was originally published for piano in 1952 by Williamson Music, Inc. (co-owned by Rodgers) and was arranged for band by Eric Leidzén in 1955. Rodgers's score for Victory at Sea was the first instrumental score conceived for television; having won the U.S. Naval Distinguished Public Service Award and a 1953 Emmy Award, it is still considered one of the best. With a performance time of 13 hours required for the entire series, it is also the longest, as noted in the Guinness 1984 Book of World Records. A nine-movement orchestral suite, arranged by Robert Russell Bennett, demonstrated that the score had both artistic and commercial merit - record albums of the suite have produced over one million dollars in sales.

-Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Virginia Grand Military Band (Alexandria) (Arnald Gabriel, conductor) - 5 November 2022
  • Kearsarge Community Band (New London, N.H.) (Aarne Vesiland, conductor) – 28 February 2016
  • Cary Town Band (Cary, N.C.) (Paul Bowman, conductor) - 24 October 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 512.
  • Rodgers, R.; Bennett, R. (1978). Victory at Sea: Guadalcanal March [score]. Williamson Music: [New York].