They Hung Their Harps in the Willows

From Wind Repertory Project
W. Francis McBeth

Francis McBeth

This work bears the designation Opus 77.

General Info

Year: 1988
Duration: c. 7:15
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts - $80.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III
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
B-flat Contrabass 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
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (or Tam-Tam)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tom-Toms
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

They Hung Their Harps in the Willows was commissioned by and dedicated to the Plano East Senior High Band of Plano, Texas, Larry Tucker and Robin Owens, conductors. It was premiered on February 16, 1989, at Plano East High School with the composer conducting.

The work was written in memory of Claude T Smith and the title is taken from Psalm 137. "By the rivers of Babylon, there they sat down and wept. Upon the willows in the midst of it, we hung our harps." This Biblical reference is to the Babylonian captivity.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class BB
  • Arkansas: IV
  • Florida: IV
  • Iowa: IV
  • North Carolina: IV
  • South Carolina: V
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 2 October 2019
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.) Wind Symphony (Daniel Kiser, conductor) – 26 April 2019
  • Los Angeles (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Stephen Piazza, conductor) – 2 December 2018
  • Valdosta (Ga.) State University Concert Band (Benjamin Harper, conductor) - 25 April 2018
  • Los Angeles Pierce Symphonic Winds (Nathan Brown, conductor) - 3 March 2013
  • CBDNA Small College Intercollegiate Band (Lowell Graham, conductor) – 26 March 2011 (CBDNA 2011 National Conference, Seattle, Wash.)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Battaglia (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Barber) (1967/2021)

All Wind Works


  • McBeth, W. (1989). They Hang Their Harps in the Willows [score]. Southern Music: San Antonio, Tx.