Porgy and Bess: Selections

From Wind Repertory Project
George Gershwin

George Gershwin (arr. Robert Russell Bennett)

General Info

Year: 1934 / 1942
Duration: c. 11:45
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
Condensed 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 Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornets Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Trumpets I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Snare drum
  • Bass drum
  • Crash cymbals
  • Orchestra bells
  • Xylophone



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Gershwin’s folk opera Porgy and Bess climaxed his brief but spectacular career as both a popular and serious work. He had read DuBose Heyward’s Porgy in 1926 and was immediately interested in transforming the novel into an opera, but it was almost eight years before arrangements were completed for Gershwin to begin writing the music. It was performed by the Theatre Guild in Boston and New York in 1935 by an all-negro cast, with Todd Duncan as Porgy and Anne Brown as Bess. The opera ran 124 performances New York, a flop by Broadway standards. However, it revived in 1942, almost five years after Gershwin’s death, and the show had the longest run of any revival in Broadway musical history.

Between 1952 and 1956, Porgy and Bess toured the major cities around the globe, including behind the Iron Curtain, and in 1959 was made into a movie starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sammy Davis, Jr. During all of the presentations for its 40 years of existence the show was never given in its entirety. Finally, in 1975, it was presented completely in a concert format in Cleveland, and the following year was given its first complete stage presentation by the Houston Opera Company.

Gershwin’s folk opera has been criticized as being between serious opera and musical comedy, but the beauty of the music and the expressive content, which are so right for the occasion, create an immediate rapport between the composer and the audience, a rapport which overshadows the criticism.

This arrangement by R. R. Bennett includes Summertime, A Woman Is a Sometime Thing, I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin, Bess, You Is My Woman, It Ain't Necessarily So, Picnic Parade, and Oh Lawd I'm on My Way.

- Notes from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Darren Lin, conductor) - 26 July 2023
  • Bemidji (Minn.) State Symphonic Band (Ryan Webber, conductor) - 25 April 2023
  • SimfoVents Palma (Spain) (Francisco Valero-Terribas, conductor) - 24 March 2023
  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (German Gonzalez, conductor) - 3 July 2022
  • Boston (Mass.) College Symphonic Band (David P. Healey, conductor) - 13 November 2021
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Symphonic Band (Kirt Saville, conductor; Jason Bergman, trumpet) - 24 February 2021
  • Lakewood Ranch (Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Joseph Miller, Conductor) – 15 March 2020
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Richard Mark Heidel, conductor) – 28 April 2019
  • San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) Band (Leonard Lutz, conductor)– 18 November 2018
  • Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) (Lewis J. Buckley, conductor) - 26 July 2018
  • Ohlone Wind Ensemble (Fremont, Calif.) (Tony Clements, conductor) – 25 March 2018
  • Woodside Village Band (Palo Alto, Calif.) (Robin Crest, conductor) – 10 June 2017
  • Lone Star Symphonic Band (Katy, Tex.) (Bob Bryant, conductor) - 7 May 2017
  • Northwestern Michigan College (Traverse City) Concert Band (Patricia Brumbaugh, conductor) - 30 October 2015
  • San Jose (Calif.) Wind Symphony (Edward C. Harris, conductor) – 4 July 2015
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Summer Band (Linda Moorhouse and Jeananne Nichols, conductors) - 18 July 2013
  • The Shippenburg Band (Carl Sponenberg, conductor) - 4 November 2012
  • Concord Band (James O’Dell, conductor) - 5 March 2011
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Randy Brion, conductor) - 28 January 2006
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 10 April 2005

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Gershwin, G.; Bennett, R. (1942). Porgy and Bess : Selections [score]. Gershwin Pub.: New York
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 226-227.