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Starry Crown

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Donald Grantham

Donald Grantham

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General Info

Year: 2007
Duration: c. 14:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Piquant Press
Cost: Score and Parts (Rental) - $300.00    |   Score (Purchase) - $45.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion I–II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbal (crash and suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (Tam-tam)
  • Snare Drum (2)
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells (Chimes)
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes (metal)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Grantham provides the following notes about Starry Crown in the work’s preface:

Starry Crown is based on gospel music of the 1920s and 1930s from the Deep South -- a style sometimes referred to as ‘gutbucket’ gospel because of its raw, earthy and primitive character.  Three authentic tunes are used in this work: Some of These Days, Oh Rocks, Don’t Fall on Me!, and When I Went Down in the Valley.  The title of this work was derived from a textual reference in the latter song:

When I went down to the valley to pray,
Studyin’ about that good ol’ way
And who will wear that starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way

These songs are used at the beginning and end of the piece.  The middle of the work recreates the atmosphere of the call-and-response sermons typical of this period. The preacher (represented by three trombones, then the rest of the brass section) make declamatory statements that the rest of the congregation (represented by the rest of the ensemble) responds to.  The exchanges become quicker and quicker until finally all join together in a very fast and exuberant chorus.

- Program Note from State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Symphony concert program, 23 February 2017

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Wind Ensemble (Damon Talley, conductor) – 29 September 2019
  • Oklahoma State University (Stillwater) Wind Ensemble (Joseph Missal, conductor) – 8 November 2018
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 1 December 2017
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Symphony (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 23 February 2017
  • University of Michigan Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 7 October 2015

Works for Winds by this Composer