Overture for Winds (Carter)

From Wind Repertory Project
Charles Carter

Charles Carter

General Info

Year: 1959
Duration: c. 4:30
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bourne
Cost: Score and Parts - $69.60   |   Score Only - $15.25


Full Score
C Piccolo
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 I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Overture for Winds was given its title by the publishers. This three-part overture has remained Carter’s most popular composition for band. The opening section has a theme which is robust and rhythmic in character. The second theme, slightly slower and expressive, is a free form based on the original idea. The last section is a repetition of the opening thematic ideas, building to a final climax.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

During his residency at Florida State University, Charles Carter composed Overture for Winds in the year 1959. This piece provides great challenges to both the performer and the audience members. The performers must execute tempo, dynamic and articulation changes without “giving away” abrupt shifts to the audience. For the audience, the piece can seem like a roller coaster ride of changes, shifting between fast and slow, yet seamlessly regaining strength and driving toward a brilliant close. This work is underplayed in wind band/ensemble programs, which is quite a shame given the strength and focus required to accomplish such a feat. Mr. Carter created a masterpiece of academic and entertainment value.

- Program Note from Illinois State University University Band concert program, 5 October 2017


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

State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class B
  • Arkansas: III
  • Florida: III
  • Georgia: IV
  • Iowa: III
  • Louisiana: III
  • Massachusetts: III
  • Michigan: Senior High C
  • Minnesota: III
  • Mississippi: I-A, II-A, III-A
  • New York: Concert Band III
  • North Carolina: IV
  • Oklahoma: III-A
  • South Carolina: IV
  • Tennessee: IV
  • Texas: III. Complete
  • Virginia: IV
  • Wisconsin: Event 3000 Concert Band.Class B Std Rep


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Collegiate Winds (Nathan Irby, conductor) - 5 December 2023
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Concert Band (Victor Ruiz, conductor) - 19 October 2023
  • Bowling Green (Ohio) State University University Band (Jonathan Waters, conductor) - 1 October 2023
  • Bemidji (Minn.) Area Community Band (Ryan Webber, conductor) - 2 July 2023
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) University Band (Christian M. Noon, conductor) - 23 February 2023
  • Oakland (Calif.) Municipal Band (Catherine De Vos, conductor) - 31 July 2022
  • Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) Symphony Band (Julia Baumanis, conductor) - 14 October 2021
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Symphony (Caroline Hand, conductor) - 20 April 2021
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Symphonic Band (Cheldon Williams, conductor) - 8 April 2021
  • Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Symphonic Band (Tiffany Engle, conductor) - 12 March 2021
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David Kehler, conductor) - 17 February 2021
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) University Band (Jacqueline Dawson, conductor) – 17 November 2020
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Concert Band (Michael Hudson, conductor) - 17 November 2020
  • Andrews University (Berrien Spring, Mich.) Wind Symphony (Byron Graves, conductor) - 24 October 2020
  • Orange High School (Pepper Pike, Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Brandon DuVall, conductor) – 28 February 2020
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Concert Band (Adam Freidrich, conductor) – 26 February 2020
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Maroon Campus Band (Lance Sample, conductor) – 2 December 2019
  • University of South Alabama (Mobile) Symphony Band (Jason Rinehart, conductor) – 25 November 2019
  • The College of New Jersey (Ewing) Concert Band (Eric Laprade, conductor) – 18 October 2019
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Symphonic Band (Trisha Balsco, conductor) - 25 April 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Carter, Charles (1959). Overture for Winds [score]. Bourne Co.: New York.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 350-358.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 110.