Themes from "An Outdoor Overture"

From Wind Repertory Project
Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland (arr. James Curnow)

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General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $75.00; (digital) - $75.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
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 Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A marvelous adaption of the landmark original work for concert band. Featuring the primary themes in a concise, yet bold and appealing format, it's a great example of Copland in his prime with its buoyant themes and sense of optimism and joy.

- Program Note from publisher

While An Outdoor Overture may be considered more audience-friendly than Copland's Emblems, the former exhibits several of the same characteristics of the latter: open harmonic structures, a contrast of broad statements with intricate rhythmic motives, and disjunct melodic lines. A strong cornet soloist is recommended, as the introductory solo calls for flexibility and nuance.

- Program Note from Great Music for Wind Band

Aaron Copland composed An Outdoor Overture for an entirely indoor occasion: a concert by the orchestra of the High School of Music and Art in New York City on December 16, 1938. The school's conductor, Alexander Richter, was in the process of launching a campaign to foster the writing of "American music for American youth," and the composer found the invitation to write such a work "irresistible" (all the more, perhaps, because his music was undergoing a stylistic change). An Outdoor Overture was a milestone in confirming this change, since it was written for young people to play, and the vague criterion of accessibility therefore mattered more to Copland than it had before. This change proved crucial, of course, as the works of this period, including Appalachian Spring and Rodeo, and culminating in the Third Symphony of 1946, have remained his best-loved, most-performed scores.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Marple Newtown Community Band (Media, Penn.) (Kevin Sparks, conductor) - 20 May 2023
  • Atlantic Wind Ensemble (Ocean Grove, N.J.) (Dennis T. Eschbach, conductor) – 25 May 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer