From Wind Repertory Project
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W. Francis McBeth

W. Francis McBeth

This work bears the designation Opus 57.

General Info

Year: 1976
Duration: c. 6:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00   |   Score Only - $8.75


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
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
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
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 (all div. a2)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tubular Bells


See: Topolewski, in Resources, below.

Program Notes

Kaddish was commissioned by and dedicated to Howard Dunn and the Richardson High School Band of Richardson, Texas. The premiere of the Kaddish was in March of 1976 with the Richardson High School Band, the composer conducting.

The Kaddish is the Jewish prayer for the dead. It is said by the bereaved each morning and evening for eleven months and on the anniversary of the death thereafter. The composition was written as a memorial for Clifton Williams, teacher of the composer of this work. The "heartbeat" that runs throughout the piece in the percussion is a rhythmic quote from Williams' Caccia and Chorale.

- Program Note from the printed score

Kaddish (rhymes with Schottische) is an ancient Jewish doxological prayer for the dead. It is said by the bereaved each morning and evening for eleven months, then on the anniversary of the death thereafter. To it is ascribed the power of redeeming the departed soul from any suffering and the efficacy of invalidating an evil decree.

The composition was written as a memorial to J. Clifton Williams, noted composer and former teacher of McBeth at the University of Texas.

This work is a combination of all emotions that surround the death of a friend - cries, shouts, resignation and sorrow - but the work should end as an alleluia, an affirmation of life. The constant background heartbeat in the bass drum and timpani reinforces this feeling of life.

Howard Dunn and the Richardson (Texas) High School Band commissioned Kaddish, premiering it in March of 1976, with the composer conducting.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class A
  • Arkansas: IV
  • California: V Class A
  • Florida: IV
  • Georgia: V
  • Iowa: IV
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Michigan: Senior High B
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • North Carolina: V
  • Oklahoma: IV-A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Texas: IV. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • East Tennessee State University (Johnson City) Concert Band (Reilly Fox, conductor) - 15 November 2022
  • Harlan High School (San Antonio, Tx.) Band (Andrew Tucker, conductor) – 11 February 2022 (2022 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Concert Band (Robert Truan, conductor) - 16 April 2021
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Tuesday University Band (Darin Olson, conductor) – 8 December 2019
  • Virginia Wind Symphony (Virginia Beach) (Dennis J. Ziesler, conductor) – 10 November 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 15 September 2019
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Cody Lassinger, conductor) – 24 April 2019
  • Texas Woman’s University (Denton) Pioneer White Honor Band (Carter Biggers, conductor) – 10 November 2018
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony II (Sara Wilson, conductor) – 1 May 2018
  • West Chester University (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Matthew D. Ceresini, conductor) – 25 April 2018
  • DuPage (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) Community Concert Band (Terry Redford, conductor) - 12 March 2018
  • Northern Symphonic Winds (Potsdam, N.Y.) (Brian K. Doyle, conductor)– 2 February 2018
  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 23 April 2017
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) University Concert Band – 14 March 2017
  • Grand View University (Des Moines, IA) Wind Ensemble (Mark A. Doerffel, conductor) - 26 February 2017
  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) Symphonic Winds (Ryan Scherber, conductor) – 26 February 2017
  • Callanwode Concert Band (Atlanta, Ga.) (Glenn Moore , conductor) – 18 September 2015
  • Tallahassee (Fla.) Winds (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) – 26 April 2016
  • SUNY Potsdam Symphonic Band (Bryan Doyle, conductor) – 21 April 2016
  • United States Army Field Band (Ft. Meade, Md.) (Thomas H. Palmatier, conductor) - 4 March 2016 (81st Annual ABA National Convention)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Battaglia (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Barber) (1967/2021)

All Wind Works


  • Topolewski, Timothy. Errata Studies for the Wind Band Conductor Vol. 2. DeBiencourt, Montreal, Que., Can., Plein la Vue, 2003.