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J'ai été au bal

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Donald Grantham

Donald Grantham

The title translates from the French as "I Went to the Ball."

General Info

Year: 1999
Duration: c. 9:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Piquant Press
Cost: Score and Parts Rental - Score only $60.00


Flute I-III (III doubling Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet I-IV
Horn I-IV
Trombone I-IV
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongo Drums
  • Brake Drums (4)
  • Chinese Cymbal
  • Conga Drums
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Drum Set
  • Guiro
  • Maracas (2 pair)
  • Mark Tree
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Spoons
  • Suspended Cymbal (2)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle (2)
  • Vibraphone
  • Washboard
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Integrating Cajun folk song and New Orleans jazz styles, J'ai été au bal engages audiences and challenges the finest university and professional performers. Grantham's soloistic writing gives individual players significant musical responsibilities; rhythmic and stylistic demands are particularly high. This well-crafted piece fits in a variety of concert programs and appeals to a broad spectrum of audiences.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

J’ai été au bal is a celebration of some of the popular/folk music styles of Louisiana, in particular Cajun music and the brass band tradition of New Orleans. The dance flavor of much of the music is suggested by the title (“I went to the dance”), and two traditional Cajun dance tunes are employed. The first appears near the beginning and later at the end. “Allons danser, Colinda” ('lets go dancing, Colinda') is a boy’s attempt to coax Colinda into going dancing, and part of his argument is “it’s not everyone who knows how to dance the two-beat waltzes." The touching little tune does work better in a syncopated two, but is usually represented in the notation as 3+3+2. The second Cajun song is “Les flames d’enfer” ('the flames of hell'), most often performed as a heavily-accented two-step. My version is much faster and lighter, and is introduced by a country-fiddle style tune. The brass band begins with solo tuba, followed by a duet with the euphonium, and culminating in a full brass presentation.

- Program notes by composer

Commissioned by The University of Texas at Austin Wind Ensemble.


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Florida: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Texas: V. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (Scott Hanna, conductor) – 23 February 2020
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Joseph Hermann, conductor) – 24 November 2019
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Dennis Llinás, conductor) – 25 October 2019
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor) – 10 September 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Anthony C. Marinello, conductor) – 27 April 2019
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Symphony Band (David Thornton, conductor) – 23 April 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Nicholas E. Williams, conductor) – 19 February 2019
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 21 September 2018
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Knighten, conductor) – 23 April 2018
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 12 April 2018
  • University of Evansville (Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Steinsultz, conductor) – 26 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Division Conference, Ames, Iowa)
  • Northern Symphonic Winds (Potsdam, N.Y.) (Brian K. Doyle, conductor)– 2 February 2018
  • Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Blue Tie Wind Ensemble (Kawasaki, Japan) (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) - 1 December 2017
  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) – 1 December 2017
  • California State University, Fullerton, Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornet, conductor; David Holben, tuba) – 9 October 2016
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Symphony Band (John T. Madden, conductor) – 27 September 2016
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Symphony (Jaclyn Hartenberger, conductor) – 25 April 2016
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra (Dallas, Texas) (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) – 3 April 2016
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor) – 18 January 2015
  • Flower Mound (Tx.) High School Wind Symphony (Mike Brown, conductor) – 19 December 2003 (2003 Midwest Clinic)
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 24 February 1999 (CBDNA 1999 National Conference, Austin, Tx.) *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer