Rumble on the High Plains

From Wind Repertory Project
Michael Sweeney

Michael Sweeney

General Info

Year: 2005
Duration: c.7:08
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00   |   Score Only - $10 .00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass 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
Trombone I-II
Tuba/String Bass
Percussion (9 players), including:

  • Bass Drums (2: second optional)
  • Bells
  • Brake Drums (2)
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Mark Tree
  • Rainstick
  • Shakers
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Timbales
  • Tom-toms (2)
  • Trash Can (metal)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Commissioned by the Pratt, Kansas High School Band, the composition explores that state's tumultuous storms across the plains, as well as emotional and civil storms from the early days of statehood. Filled with bold statements and unparalleled rhythmic vitality (including a percussion “duel”), the final dramatic and uplifting segment is a tribute to the perseverance and triumph of the human spirit.

- Program Note from publisher

Rumble on the High Plains draws its inspiration from events and characteristics related to the state of Kansas, both past and present. Commissioned by the Pratt High School Band, directed by Don Buhler, descriptive scenarios were suggested by students in the band. These along with ideas from the composer are listed below and offer a wide variety of possible correlations to the work "rumble" as it related to this piece of music.

  • Approach and passing of a thunderous storm on the plains
  • Thunder of buffalo herds in early times
  • Covered wagons cross the prairie landscape
  • Civil and political unrest dividing the state in the 1800s
  • Expansion of the railroads rumbling westward
  • Low roar of B-29 war planes serviced in Pratt during WWII
  • Distant rumble of combines and trucks as fields of wheat are harvested
  • Underlying pioneer spirit of perseverance, triumph and celebration

However, the music itself stans on its own and does not seek to portray any specific setting or event. The vibrant and exhilarating nature of the composition is sure to evoke images and emotions, but the specifics are purposely left to the imagination of the listener.

- Program note from Carmel High School Wind Symphony I concert program, 14 December 2005

Commissioned by the Pratt (KS.) H.S. Band, Don Buhler, Director.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Sweeney, M. (2005). Rumble on the High Plains [score]. Musicworks: Milwaukee, Wisc.