Wild Blue Yonder, The

From Wind Repertory Project
James Barnes

James Barnes

Subtitle: A Supersonic Scherzo for the Air Force Band, Op. 125

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 8:25
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $195.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn (doubling Oboe III)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto 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
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Harp (optional)
Percussion, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Castanet
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Crotales
  • Flexatone
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Sandpaper Block
  • Snare Drum (2, metal shell)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Triangle (2)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Wood Block
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 459 head-spinning, heart-racing measures, Wild Blue Yonder takes us for a truly breathtaking ride. In the words of the composer, "When composing Wild Blue Yonder my interest was to write a true scherzo -- a lightning-paced piece describing what a thrill it must be to fly a fighter plane, zooming through the sky and clouds at twice the speed of sound. This must be the ultimate rush."

A whirling dervish of melodic material, the work is a veritable concert band tour de force, combining the fast-paced technical passages of the woodwinds with the soaring power of the brass to create an "edge-of-your-seat" musical thriller. Mr. Barnes paints an image of flight so real that one is challenged to imagine something other than being in the cockpit of a Air Force fighter plane. The piece concludes with a brief quote from our Air Force Song -- a fitting tribute to the men and women who pilot these magnificent machines in defense of our great nation.

- Program Note from liner notes of Air Force Band CD Wild Blue Yonder

This work was composed for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Barnes, J. (2008). Wild Blue Yonder : A Supersonic Scherzo for the Air Force Band, Op. 125 [score]. Southern Music: San Antonio, Texas.