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Rosie the Riveter

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Felicia Sandler

Felicia Sandler

General Info

Year: 2001 / 2009
Duration: c. 9:35
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Felicia Sandler
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Full Score
C Piccolo
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
C Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong, large
  • Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, nearly all able-bodied men were drafted into active duty. The production of weapons, aircraft, ships and the like had to be accomplished by someone, and so the War Department launched a propaganda campaign to enlist women into the workforce as welders, riveters, electrical workers, machine operators, and so forth. “Rosie the Riveter” was the name the War Department chose as the epitome of the patriotic woman. Roughly eighteen million women were employed in the workforce in World War II, with six million employed for the first time. Twelve million, then, had been previously employed, but predominantly in menial jobs, domestic work, laundering, pottery, and so forth. Though the propaganda targeted middle class, married, white women whose husbands were overseas, a full two thirds of the force came from single, widowed, or divorced women, including women of color, all needing work. Defense offered most of these women wages on which they could survive for the first time in their lives. As “Rosie” Margie Salazar McSweyn noted: “There wasn’t that much money working as an [telephone] operator and I could see that I wasn’t going to make it. The money was in defense.”

Working in the public sector offered a sense of pride and self-esteem that many felt for the first time in their lives, as well. As welder Lola Weixel remembers: “We believed that the economy was going to burgeon. It would be splendid. We would rebuild the cities. We would do all these things because before the war we didn’t have all these skilled people. But now we had. It would be time to do all the good and beautiful things for America because fascism was destroyed.” Any post-war rebuilding was not to include Weixel nor the majority of her co-workers. There was little effort by the government to plan for a re-conversion to a peacetime economy that would include the newly developed skills of the female workforce. Though some women were pleased to return to domestic life, most were not. The majority of women were dismissed from their jobs at the end of the war, barraged with a new propaganda that sought to lure them back into the private sector with new shiny kitchen appliances and reminders of their “proper” place. Rosie the Riveter is a tribute to the pioneering women of the World War II era.

The term "Rosie the Riveter" was first used in 1942 in a song of the same name written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb:

All the day long, whether rain or shine She's a part of the assembly line She's making history, working for victory – Rosie, brrrrrr, the riveter.
Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage Sitting up there on the fuselage. That little frail can do more than a male can do – Rosie, brrrrrr, the riveter.

Rosie's got a boyfriend, Charlie.
Charlie, he's a Marine.
Rosie is protecting Charlie, workin' overtime on the riveting machine.

When they gave her a production "E," she was as proud as a girl could be!

There's something true about – red, white, and blue about – Rosie, brrrr, the riveter.

Rosie the Riveter was commissioned by H Robert Reynolds for the University of Michigan Symphonic Wind Ensemble in 2000. It is my dissertation, and still one of my favorites.

- Program Note by composer

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II, many of whom produced munitions and war supplies. These women sometimes took entirely new jobs, replacing the male workers who joined the military. Rosie the Riveter is used as a symbol of feminism and women's economic power. Similar images of women war workers appeared in other countries such as Britain and Australia.

Images of women workers were widespread in the media as government posters, and commercial advertising was heavily used by the government to encourage women to volunteer for wartime service in factories. Rosie the Riveter became the subject and title of a song and a Hollywood movie during WWII.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 8 December 2021
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 11 March 2020
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 25 October 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer