Hounds of Spring, The

From Wind Repertory Project
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Alfred Reed

Alfred Reed

Subtitle: A Concert Overture for Winds

General Info

Year: 1981
Duration: c. 8:45
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Edward B. Marks
Cost: Score and Parts - $80.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III (III doubling C Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
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
B-flat Cornet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


In parts:

  • Oboe I, m.58, beat 3: Delete staccato dot
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet, m.30, beat 1: E should read D
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet, m.129, beat 3: E should read D
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, m.33, beat 3: F-sharp should read F-natural
  • Horns in F III-IV, m.173: add 6/8 meter signature
  • String Bass, m.85: Fill blanks with quarter note rests
  • Timpani, m. 28, beat 4: remove staccato dot
  • Percussion I, m.185, beat 4: add a duration dot
  • Percussion III, m.181: delete "to Vibes."
  • Percussion III, m.187: Vibes. should read Xyl.
  • Percussion III, m.191: delete "to Xyl." [These corrections indicated in the condensed score.]

In score:

  • Oboe I, m.272, beat four: Begin the slur on this note
  • B-flat Trumpet I, m.74, beat 1: add a duration dot
  • B-flat Cornet II, m.190, beat 3: add a staccato dot
  • Vibraphone, m.187-191: Vibes. in left margin should read Xyl.

See also Topolewski in Resources, below.

Program Notes

According to Alfred Reed, When the hounds of spring are in winter's traces, a magical picture of young love in springtime, forms the basis for the present purely musical setting, in traditional three-part overture form, of this lovely paean... an attempt to capture the twin elements of the poem, exuberant youthful gaiety and the sweetness of tender love, in an appropriate musical texture.

The Hounds of Spring was commissioned by, and dedicated to, the John L. Forster Secondary School Concert Band of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and its director, Gerald A. N. Brown. The world premiere was in Windsor on May 8, 1980, conducted by the composer.

- Program notes from Wikipedia and the composer

This exciting, rhythmic overture for band is in the fast-slow-fast format of the early 18th-century Italian opera overtures. The composer's purpose was to capture the twin elements (exuberant, youthful gaiety and the sweetness of tender love) found in the following excerpt from Atlanta in Calydon, written in 1865 by the English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909).

When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces,
The mother of months in meadow or plain
Fills the shadows and windy places
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain; Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her,
Fold our hands round her knees and cling?
O that man's heart were as fire and could spring to her,
Fire, or the strength of the streams that spring!
And soft as lips that laugh and hide
The laughing leaves of the trees divide,
And screen from seeing and leave in sight
The god pursuing, the maiden hin.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • California: V Class A
  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: IV
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Michigan: AA
  • Minnesota: Category 1
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • New York: 2005 CONCERT BAND LEVEL 5
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: IV. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Valley Wind Ensemble (Harrisonburg, Va.) (Stephen P. Bolstad, conductor) - 15 May 2023
  • University of Mississippi (Oxford) Symphonic Band (Mel Morse, conductor) - 2 May 2023
  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor) - 25 April 2023
  • Dr. Lawrence R. Sutherland Wind Festival Orchestra (Fresno, Calif.) (Myra Rhoden, conductor) - 26 March 2023 (2023 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Dublin (Ohio) Wind Symphony (Jeff Chesser, conductor) - 12 March 2023
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts (Michigan) Adult Band Camp (Thomas Riccobono, conductor) - 14 August 2022
  • Whitworth University (Spokane, Wash.) Wind Symphony (Richard Strauch, conductor) - 9 May 2021
  • Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Concert Band (Steve Dailey, conductor) - 2 May 2021
  • Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Mich.) Wind Symphony (Byron Graves, conductor) - 24 April 2021
  • Grace College (Winona Lake, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Eric Criss, conductor) - 16 April 2021
  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Symphonic Band (Russell Tipton, conductor) - 6 December 2020
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 9 March 2020
  • Kansas City (Prairie Village) Wind Symphony (Pat Setser, conductor) – 8 March 2020
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando) Concert Band (David Schreier, conductor) – 23 February 2020
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Kevin Gray Richardson, conductor) – 23 February 2020
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Cook, conductor) – 18 February 2020
  • State University of New York Oswego Wind Ensemble (Trevor Jorgensen, conductor) – 5 December 2019
  • College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) Community Concert Band (Terry Redford, conductor) - 15 October 2019
  • John L. Forster Secondary School Concert Band (Windsor, Ont., Can.) (Alfred Reed, conductor) - 8 May 1980 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works