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Victory at Sea

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Robert Russell Bennett
Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett

Subtitle: Symphonic Scenario

General Info

Year: 1955
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Williamson Music, exclusively distributed by Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $85.00   |   Score Only - $7.50


Piano (Conductor Condensed Score)
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Bb Cornet Solo-I-II-III
Bb Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Snare drum
  • Oriental drum
  • Military drum
  • Bass drum
  • Crash cymbals
  • Suspended cymbal
  • Large gong
  • Tambourine
  • Low bells
  • Orchestra bells
  • Xylophone


1st Horn in F. meas. 108, beat 4-6: the rhythm should read: eighth rest - eighth note - eighth note
1st Horn in F. meas. 243, beat 1: add quarter rest
1st Horn in F. meas. 278, beat 1&: C should read B
1st Horn in F. meas. 282, beat 1&: G natural should read G sharp
2nd Horn in F. meas. 23: delete smudge at top of measure
2nd Horn in F. meas. 80: remove rehearsal "81"
2nd Horn in F. meas. 81: add rehearsal "81"
2nd Horn in F. meas. 158: add B-flat key signature
Baritone T.C. meas. 160, beat 6: add eighth rest
Basses. meas. 253, beat 2: lower voice A should read G
Percussion. meas. 22: add rehearsal figure "22"
Percussion. meas. 27: change rehearsal figure "22" to "27"

Program Notes

The documentary television series about naval warfare during World War II entitled Victory at Sea was originally broadcast by NBC in the United States in 1952 and 1953. It was condensed into a film in 1954. Excerpts from the music soundtrack, by Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett, were re-recorded and sold as record albums. The series, which won an Emmy award in 1954 as "best public affairs program," played an important part in establishing historic "compilation" documentaries as a viable television genre.

The New Yorker Magazine describes the music as "a seemingly endless creation, now martial, now tremendously moving." The symphonic sweep of Rodgers's score captures the moods and variations of the panoramic war at sea in all its terror and beauty, and adds an elusive emotional dimension which neither camera nor words quite convey.

Rodgers's music is greatly enhanced by the comprehensive arrangement of his long-time collaborator, Robert Russell Bennett. Bennett transformed 12 of Rodgers's 24 "themes" — Song of the High Seas (main theme), Submarines in a Calm Sea, Beneath the Southern Cross, The Guadalcanal March, The Sunny Pacific Islands, The Approaching Enemy, Death and Debris, The Hymn of Victory, Big Wave -- into today's symphonic scenario. Bennett also composed much more original material than Rodgers had, for which he received little credit.

- Program Note adapted from Wikipedia and Program Notes for Band

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Andrews University (Berrien Spring, Mich.) Wind Symphony (Byron Graves, conductor) - 24 October 2020
  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Paul Bryan, conductor) – 26 October 2019
  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London Conn.) (Lewis J. Buckley, conductor) – 13 October 2019
  • Cary (N.C.) Town Band (Stuart Holoman, conductor) – 15 June 2019
  • Kenosha (Wisc.) Pops Concert Band (Craig Gall, conductor)– 12 June 2019
  • Lodi (Calif.) Community Band (Art Holton, conductor) – 8 June 2018 (Golden Gate Park, San Francisco)
  • Gottschalk Music Center Concert Band (Modesto, Calif.) (Matthew Cover, conductor) – 8 June 2018 (Golden Gate Park, San Francisco)
  • Hopatcong (N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Kurt Zimmerman, conductor) – 16 May 2019
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, Penn.) Symphony Band (Jason Worzbyt, conductor) – 10 November 2018
  • Encore Concert Band (Mokena, Ill.) (Bill Schuetter, conductor) - 4 July 2018
  • Le Mars (Iowa) Municipal Band (Jerry Bertrand, conductor) - 27 June 2018
  • Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Gary Willems, conductor) – 19 June 2018
  • California State University, Northridge, Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) – 3 May 2018
  • Healdsburg (Calif.) Community Band (Randy Masselink, conductor) - 6 May 2018
  • Charlotte (N.C.) Concert Band (Drew Carter, conductor) – 23 April 2017
  • Burbank (Calif.) Community Band (Paulette Westphal, conductor) – 25 February 2017
  • Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Randy Schwalbe, conductor) – 30 October 2016
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 25 September 2016
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor) - 25 September 2016

Works for Winds by these Composers

Richard Rodgers Adaptable Music

All Wind Works

Robert Russell Bennett


  • Ferencz, George J. (1999) The Broadway Sound: The Autobiography and Selected Essays of Robert Russell Bennett. Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press.
  • Ferencz, George J. (1990) Robert Russell Bennett: A Bio-Bibliography. New York.: Greenwood Press.
  • Rodgers, R.; Bennett, R. (1954). Victory at Sea: Symphonic Scenario [score]. Williamson Music: New York.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002) Program Notes for Band. GIA Publications: Chicago, page 512.
  • Victory at Sea, Wikipedia