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Psalm for Band

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Vincent Persichetti

Vincent Persichetti

This work bears the designation Opus 53.

General Info

Year: 1954
Duration: c. 8:05
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Elkan Vogel, Inc. (Theodore Presser)
Cost: Score and Parts - $125.00   |   Oversize Full Score Only - $45.00   |   Condensed Score Only - $4.50


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
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tenor Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Psalm for Band is a piece constructed from a single germinating harmonic idea. There are three distinct sections -- a sustained chordal mood, a forward moving chorale, followed by a paean culmination of the materials. Extensive use is made of separate choirs of instruments supported by thematic rhythms in the tenor and bass drums.

Psalm was selected for performance at the CBDNA Convention in December 1952 as one of the eight most outstanding compositions for band written in the previous several years.

- Program Note by Vincent Persichetti

Persichetti's Psalm, while challenging, provides strong high school and collegiate ensembles with an introduction to the composer's influential style. As with many Persichetti works, Psalm is scored in a manner that maintains the integrity of instrumental families: woodwind, brass, and percussion sections are treated as separate choirs. As a result, there is a moderate degree of sectional exposure, and performers must have excellent blend and intonation skills. Additionally, the composer introduces rhythmic motives that are passed around the ensemble and require a consistent approach to style and articulation. The educational rewards are numerous in this well-known composition.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

Psalm for Band was commissioned by the Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Omicron National Band Fraternity at the University of Louisville, and was premiered in 1952 by the University of Louisville Concert Band with the composer conducting. In the title, Persichetti refers to a poem of worship that was, in ancient times, sung or accompanied by harp. Using a single musical idea as a foundation for the entire piece, Persichetti explores different facets of the psalm -- worship, reflection and celebration.

- Program Note by University of Missouri Wind Ensemble concert program, 15 October 2015

Persichetti composed Psalm for Band in 1952. It is both a reflective and fervent work, and it highlights the warmer, deeper sonorities of the band – doing so primarily through a hymn-like setting. Psalm begins solemnly, and this opening is followed by a chorale-style section leading into a joyful allegro vivace. After an exhilarating development section, the work concludes with a return to the chorale-style material.

- Program Note from State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band concert program, 27 September 2018

Commercial Discography


Winds of the London Symphony orchestra (David Amos, conductor)

State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • California: VI Class AA
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: V
  • Iowa: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Massachusetts: V
  • Michigan: Senior High A
  • Minnesota: I
  • Mississippi: VI-A, V-A, VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band V
  • North Carolina: V
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Tennessee: V
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • East Tennessee State University (Johnson City) Wind Ensemble (Reilly Fox, conductor) - 6 May 2021
  • North Dakota State University (Fargo) Wind Symphony (Warren Olfert, conductor) - 1 May 2021
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David T. Kehler, conductor) – 19 February 2020
  • Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Glen Schneider, conductor) – 9 November 2019
  • Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (David Holsinger, conductor) – 8 October 2019
  • Treasure Coast Wind Ensemble (Vero Beach, Fla.) (Colbert Page Howell, conductor) – 7 June 2019
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Concert Band (Mike Leckrone, conductor) – 17 February 2019
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Wind Symphony (Jake Hille, conductor) – 19 November 2018
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Concert Band (Jochen McEvoy, conductor) – 14 November 2018
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 12 November 2018
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Susan Evans, conductor) – 8 November 2018
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (David Jacobs, conductor) – 26 October 2018
  • Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro) Symphonic Band (Denny Hawkins, conductor) - 11 October 2018
  • The University of Texas at Tyler Wind Ensemble (Jeffrey Emge, conductor) – 25 April 2018
  • Watchung Hills Regional High School Wind Ensemble (Paul McCullen, conductor) – 7 December 2017
  • University of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, PEI) Wind Symphony (Karen J. Simon, Conductor) - 25 November 2017
  • Iowa State University (Ames) Symphonic Band (Steven Smyth, conductor) – 19 April 2017
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Symphonic Band (Stuart Sims, conductor) – 17 February 2017
  • University of Colorado Boulder Concert Band (Brittan Braddock, conductor) – 17 October 2016
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 18 July 1976<! -- keep -->

Works for Winds by This Composer