Symphony No 3 (Sleeper)

From Wind Repertory Project
Thomas Sleeper

Thomas Sleeper

Subtitle: ex nihilo

General Info

Year: 2013
Duration: c. 13:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Uroboros Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $600.00; (digital) - $250.00


Single movement


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II (II doubling English Horn)
Bassoon 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-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion (4-6 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Maracas
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tenor Drum
  • Tom-Toms
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Symphony No. 3, subtitled ex nihilo was written for Captain Brian O. Walden and the U.S. Navy Band.

While a traditional symphony has four movements – fast, slow, dance movement and finale, Symphony No. 3 alludes to these four parts yet is complete in a single movement. The work explores multiple tonal worlds that appear individually, overlapping in conflict and in consort. Various themes associated with each area interact as individuals in a drama. The final section of the work propels it to a powerful resolution in B major followed by silence and the reflective echoes of previous tonalities and themes like ghostly remnants of a dream.

The work is dedicated to William Hipp, musician, educator and mentor.

- Program Note from publisher

The powerful music of composer and conductor Thomas Sleeper makes its return to Gusman Hall with the sounds of Symphony No. 3; Ex Nihilo. Described by the Miami Herald “as a conductor of persuasive fluency and fiery conviction”, Maestro Sleeper has enjoyed a robust career as a both distinguished conductor and a composer of great skill whose music has been lauded as “hauntingly mysterious” and “richly lyrical”. Perhaps most notably, Maestro Sleeper was a dedicated teacher whose steadfast commitment to his students was at the forefront of his long tenure as the conductor of the Frost Symphony Orchestra at the University of Miami, where he remains Professor Emeritus.

Symphony No. 3, written for the United States Navy Band in 2013, opens with dramatic and violent chords ringing forth from the entire ensemble. The work immediately recedes from this opening turmoil and finds its footing on more intimate ground marked by rhythmic gestures in the flutes and woodwinds. Shortly after, a chorale theme based on three successive chords emerges quietly in the low brass. This theme is manipulated over the course of the symphony as the music journeys through a variety of styles and attitudes during which the vivid colors of the wind ensemble are on full display. The music builds to a dramatic conclusion during which the chorale theme merges with the violent chords of the opening in a stunning fashion. Though just as quickly as the triumph arrives, it dissipates to a quiet and reflective conclusion.

- Program Note by Jack Hontz for the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble concert program, 11 September 2022


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Miami (Coral Gables) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnochan, conductor) – 11 September 2022

Works for Winds by this Composer