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Shepherd's Hey

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger

Subtitle: For Military Band

General Info

Year: 1918 / 1948
Duration: c. 2:25
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00   |   Score Only - $10.50


Full Score
Oboe I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
Bb Soprano Saxophone (with substitute Alto Saxophone part)
Eb Alto Saxophone
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Piano (ad lib.)
Percussion (mallet part and miscellaneous part), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash and Suspended Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


  • 1st B-flat Clarinet. meas. 76, beat 1&: quarter note F-sharp should read eighth note; meas. 76, beat 2: eighth note C should read quarter note.

Program Notes

Although Shepherd's Hey is paired with Irish Tune from County Derry in many editions, conductors should not infer that one piece must be performed with the other. Shepherd's Hey works very well on its own as a concert closer or opener; additionally, it could follow a heavier work to balance the program. Moderate technical facility is necessary to perform this reel with clarity, and there are several flourishes (particularly in the final measures) that performers must approach with maturity and control. A strong performance of Shepherd's Hey is rousing fun for players and audiences alike.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

In some agricultural districts in England, teams of “Morris Men”, decked out with jingling bells and clicking sticks, can still be seen dancing to such traditional tunes as Shepherd's Hey, which are usually played on a fiddle or a combination of fife and drum. This is one of the many wonderful renditions of English folksongs transcribed by Grainger. Originally penned for an ensemble of 12 instruments in 1911, the band version was transcribed by the composer in 1948.

- Program Note from Lee University Wind Ensemble concert program, 23 November 2015

Shepherd's Hey was scored for wind band in 1918. The word 'Hey' denotes a particular figure in Morris Dancing. Morris Dances are still danced by teams of "Morris Men" decked out with bells and quaint ornaments to the music of the fiddle or 'the pipe and tabor' (a sort of drum and fife) in several agricultural districts in England. The ‘hey’ involves the interweaving of generally two lines of dancers, which may be symbolized by Grainger's use of two parallel lines of music at the opening of the composition, rather than a simple statement of a theme that then moves into variants.

- Program Note from

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

Ensemble and conductor unknown

State Ratings

  • Alabama: A
  • Indiana: Senior Band Group I
  • Minnesota: Category 2
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • Oklahoma: IV-A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Texas: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 9 May 2019
  • Los Banos High School Concert Band (Danielle Cavazos, conductor) - 16 March 2019 (2019 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 4 March 2019
  • Kishwaukee Concert Band (Dekalb,Ill.) (Ronnie Wooten, conductor) – 14 October 2018
  • Granite Ridge Intermediate School (Fresno, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Jose Vargas, conductor) - 13 April 2018 (2018 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • Los Alamos (N.M.) Community Winds (Ted Vives, conductor) – 24 February 2018
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (John Stanley Ross, conductor) – 22 February 2018
  • Duxbury (Mass.) High School Wind Ensemble (Ric Madru, conductor) – 8 February 2018 (Carnegie Hall, N.Y.)
  • Raystown Wind Orchestra (Alexandria, Penn.) (James Everett Latten, conductor) – 28 January 2018
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Symphony Band (Caroline Hand, conductor) - 1 December 2017
  • Kansas Wesleyan University (Salina) Wind Ensemble (Carl T. Rowles, conductor) - 21 November 2017
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Symphonic Winds (Christopher Evans, conductor) – 30 April 2017
  • Dr. Lawrence R. Sutherland High School Honor Band (Fresno, Calif.) (Michael Colburn, conductor) - 26 March 2017 (2017 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Symphonic Band (Jerry Luckhardt, conductor) – 8 March 2017
  • Encore Winds (Traverse City, MI) (Timothy Topolewski, conductor) - 12 February 2017
  • Dallas (Tex.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 13 September 2016
  • Evanston (Ill.) Township High School (Matthew Bufis, conductor) – 28 April 2016
  • Ventura County (Calif.) Concert Band (Julie Budd, conductor) - 17 April 2016
  • Gettysburg College (Penn.) Symphony Band (Christopher Heffner, conductor) – 10 April 2016
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David T. Kehler, conductor) – 17 March 2016
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony II (Jocelyn Prendergast, conductor) – 2 March 2016
  • Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo) Symphonic Band (Scott Boerma, conductor) – 27 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Division Conference, Ames, Iowa)

Works for Winds by this Composer