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Symphonic Overture (Carter)

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Charles Carter

Charles Carter

General Info

Year: 1963
Duration: c. 4:25
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion (2 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Symphonic Overture is a contemporary-sounding overture of medium difficulty so scored that it can be performed with equal success by large and small groups alike. Employing the familiar three-part form (A-B-A), the opening section has a theme that is robust in character and with considerable rhythmic interest. The second theme, slow and expressive in character, is a free form based on the opening idea introduced by the first flute. At the return of the first section, the first theme is treated as a fugue subject, building to great heights as all four entrances are achieved. As the "exposition" concludes, the contrapunctal texture gives way to a homophonic quality which closes the piece. The coda, as is characteristic, utilizes material from the first theme.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class B
  • Arkansas: III
  • Florida: IV
  • Georgia: IV
  • Iowa: II
  • Kansas: IV
  • Louisiana: II
  • Maryland: IV
  • Michigan: Junior High AA
  • Michigan: Senior High B
  • Minnesota: III
  • New York: Concert Band IV
  • North Carolina: IV
  • Oklahoma: III-A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Tennessee: IV
  • Texas: III. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Nebraska Kearney Symphonic Band (Brian Alber, conductor) - 21 April 2022
  • LaVilla School of the Performing Arts (Jacksonville, Fla.) Band (Ann Adams, conductor) – 20 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southern Division Conference, Natchitoches, La.)
  • Pima Community College (Tucson, Ariz.) Wind Ensemble (Mark Nelson, conductor) – 17 October 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) University Band (Marykatheryne E. Kuhne, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Virginia Tech University (Blacksburg, Va.) Campus Band (Chad Reep, conductor) – 29 April 2018
  • Wheaton North High School Concert Band (Kent Krause, conductor) - 28 February 2017
  • New England Conservatory (Boston) Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble Concert Band (Alfred Dentino, conductor) – 20 December 2016
  • Potsdam (N.Y.) Community Band (Theresa Witmer, conductor) - 11 January 2015
  • The Eagles Band (Pittsfield, Mass.) (Carl Jenkins, conductor) - 8 November 2014
  • Montgomery High School (Skillman, N.J.) (Adam Warshafsky, conductor) - 8 January 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Carter, C. (1963). Symphonic Overture [score]. C. Fischer: New York.
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. Volume I: A-K. Galesburg, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 58. Print.
  • Moss, Bruce. "Symphonic Overture." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 321-327. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.