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Star-Spangled Banner, The (arr Balmages)

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John Stafford Smith

John Stafford Smith (arr Brian Balmages)

General Info

Year: 1814 / 2014
Duration: c. 2:45
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Song
Publisher: FJH Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $70.00   |   Score Only - $5.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Premiered by the Ohio All-State Band, this stunning and emotional arrangement pays homage to the amazing performance by Bruce Hornsby and Branford Marsalis at the 1991 NBA All-Star Game. That performance visibly affected many in the audience in a deep way, and this arrangement is designed to evoke those same emotions. The arrangement is true to the original, yet with a contemporary spin that does not go too far.

- Program Note by publisher

When I was asked to conduct the Ohio All-State Band, I was told that they always start the program off with The Star-Spangled Banner. I had recently revisited one of the most stunning arrangements I can recall -- a performance by Bruce Hornsby and Branford Marsalis at the 1991 NBA All-Star Game. The arrangement visibly stunned the audience, many with tears in their eyes by the end. It truly struck me as well and I wanted to write a version that stayed true in form (and time signature) to the original, yet brought a more intense emotional element. This version is the result. It begins in a soft and unassuming manner and steadily builds, rises and falls throughout. Just as it hits its peak, the music returns to the opening textures and concludes in a very heartwarming, compassionate way.

Except for a short eight-measure introduction, the arrangement follows the exact form of the original version. It is perfectly appropriate for audience members to stand if desired. At the premiere, I did not mention anything to the audience. They sat until measure 9, when the melody began. Then, without saying a word, the entire audience stood together. After the piece was over, everyone just stood in silence for a minute before applauding. It was magical, and I thank the Ohio All-State Band for their wonderful performance at the premiere.

- Program Note by arranger

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Links

State Ratings

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Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.