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They Hung Their Harps in the Willows

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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
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbal (crash and suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (Tam-Tam)
  • 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 the Score

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Links

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 Intercollegiate Band (Lowell Graham, conductor) - 26 March 2011

Works for Winds by this Composer


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