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Holidays: July 4 music with band


Original post:

I'm looking for pieces appropriate to July 4 accompanied by band or
I'm looking for:
- really wonderful but fairly straightforward arrangements for chorus
- and band/orch of things like America the Beautiful, etc.
- arrangements/medleys of Americana - could be almost anything
appropriate to July 4. When Johnny Comes Marching Home? Yankee Doodle?
- composed pieces that would fit, like "Testament of Freedom."
- PS - There is a thread on Choralnet under "American Patriotic Songs"

Here is Part 1 of the responses. Part II will be a compilation of emails
with additional info.

Apologies for the lack of organization below. Some of the responses are not
with band or orchestra, some are not SATB. Some of the pieces are available
in choral versions but it's not clear whether the band accompaniments are
still available from publishers. I believe all the pieces below that state
band or orch are also possible with piano.

This list is not comprehensive, only what I know! As you will see, there's
way too much material here to deal with!

Thanks SO much to all who took the time to help out!

David Janower
Albany Pro Musica
518/356-9155; 518/442-4167 (w)

Larger pieces:

Randall Thompson, Testament of Freedom - ECSchirmer - SATB or TTBB, band or
orch - 20-22 min

Howard Hanson - Song of Democracy - Carl Fischer - SATB or TTBB, band or
orch - 12 min

Libby Larson - Eleanor Roosevelt - Oxford - 33 min

Captain K. R. Force, USMS - Inauguration Cantata 1789 - Music of George
Washinton's inaugural period, SATB and band - Savoy Music House,

Ernst Bloch - American Symphony - instrumental?


Jack Gottlieb - Presidential Suite - 7 pieces SATB a cappella - Boosey

The Star-Spangled Banner
arr. John Clayton - SATB, SAB, two-part, band, show, trax strings
arr. Robert Russell Bennett - Lawson-Gould - piano/orch?
arr. Smith/Talley - SATB, SSAA, TTBB a cappella
arr. Clayton - SATB, SAB, 2pt - band/string set (Whitney Houston version)
arr. Pfautsch - SATB divisi - a cappella?
arr. Higgins - band/show band/strings/tape (Sandi Patti version)
arr. Naylor - Jackman Music - piano
The Star-Spangled Banner Though History - L Van Camp - Roger Dean Music -
arr. McKelvy - Mark Foster Music - a cappella SATB, SSA, TTBB
arr. Nina Gilbert - Santa Barbara - a cappella SATB, SSAA
arr. Frank Sargent - SATB - Oxford
arr. Vance George - SSATTTBB - Hinshaw
arr. Spevacek - SATB - Shawnee
arr. Kirby Shaw -
arr Boyd Bacon - SATB - Shawnee
arr. Edgerton - Coronet/Presser
arr. Igor Stravinsky - Mercury Music - a cappellaMarch 28, 2002
John Howell - self-published

America the Beautiful - Samuel Ward

arr. Mulholland (Roosevelt Camerata Singers CD) - Plymouth - brass/band
arr. Carmen Dragon - Dragon Music/Sam Fox - available? - band
arr. Robert Russell Bennett - available?
arr. Harry Robert Wilson - Hall & McCreary - orch/band - available?
arr. Effinger - G. Schirmer/HL - organ/piano or brass
arr. Fissinger - Jensonn - a cappella
arr. David Brunner - "For Spacious Skies " - Boosey -orch - traditional
tune and a new one -
arr. Rob Landes - Hinshaw - piano
arr. M. Gaspard - SATB, TTBB - Shawnee - piano
arr. Nina Gilbert - Santa Barbara - a cappella
arr. Roger Folstrom - Mark Foster - a cappella or brass
arr. Hayes - SATB, SAB, tape/instruments
arr. Barker - 2pt/SAB - band
arr. Althouse - Shawnee - "instrumental accompaniment"

America - arr. Hunter - Carl Fischer - piano/organ/orch

God Bless America - Irving Berlin

arr. Christopher/band by Moss - Hal Leonard - SATB, SAB, 2 pt -
arr. Robert Russell Bennett - available?
arr. Erik Leidzen - band (unison chor?)
arr. Ringwald - SATB, SSA, 2pt, TTBB - band/orch - Shawnee
arr. Healy - SATB/SAB/SSA - orch/show trax
arr. Boutelle - Irving Berlin Music Inc - piano

Battle Hymn of the Republic - Howe/Steffe
arr. Fissinger - Plymouth - a cappella
arr. Wilhousky - - Carl Fischer - band/orch
arr. Ringwald - Words and Music Inc - four-hand piano
arr. Alice Parker - Lawson-Gould - trumpets, drum, organ, optional guitars
arr. Rutter - Hinshaw - two pianos, or band/orch
arr. Shaw - Hal Leonard - a cappella?
arr. Dragon - SATB/SAB/2pt - CD

Armed Forces Medleys
see Robert Russell Bennett below
Joyce Eilers - Armed Forces Salute - Hal Leonard - SATB, 3-part, 2-part -
band, orch, show-trax
arr. J. Mann - SATB orch/tape

This is My Country - Al Jacobs
arr. Ringwald - Shawnee, SAB, SSA, SA, TTBB, piano or band
arr. Tom Scott - Words and Music Ind

Robert Russell Bennett - old Shaw recording titled "Battle Cry of Freedom"
Service Songs (armed forces) Medley - available?
Revolutionary Etude - Yankee Doodle/Chester - Lawson-Gould - TTBB, orch
Civil War Medleys - one north (Northern Lights), one south (Southern
Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean

Holst - I Vow to thee, My Country - G Schirmer/Hal Leonard - unison + orch

John Williams - America, The Dream Goes On - Warner Brothers - SATB -

Irving Berlin, A Choral Portrait - arr. Hawley Ades - Shawnee - SATB, band
or orch (titled Irving Berlin, a Symphonic Portrait)

Sousa - El Capitan Spectacular - chorus and band

Americana - Luigi Zaninelli (American folk songs) - band and chorus

On the Mall - Edwin Goldwin - audience participation - chorus and band -

Twentiana - H. Ades - roraing ‘20 medley, band and chorus

Albrecht - Patriotic Slaute (Cohan) - SAB, 2pt - band

A Cohan Salute - arr. Besig/Ades - SATB/2pt - piano/band - Shawnee

John Howell - Salute to the Flag; Irving Berlin Patriotic Medley'; What is
America...see post #2

>From Hal Leonard:

An American Celebration (Lojeski)

An American Salute (Emerson)

Beneath All the Stars and Stripes: An American Cantata (Yeston)

The Blue and the Gray (Choral Suite) Emerson/Jacobson

Celebrate America! (Shaw)

Festival of Freedom (Crocker)

Irvin Berlin's America (Emerson)

Let Freedom Ring (Christopher)

Our Land, Our Home (O'Neill)

Power of the Dream (Krogstad)

Song of America (Huff)

>From Warner Brothers:

America Our Home (Poorman & Poorman)

God Bless the USA (Schmutte)

David Griggs-Janower
228 Placid Drive
Schenectady, NY 12303-5118
518/356-9155 (h); 442-4167 (w)

Albany Pro Musica
PO Box 3850
Albany, NY 12203-0850
Ph (518)438-6548
Fax: (518)273-6510

Univ. at Albany Music Department
Music Department fax: 518/442-4182

Here are the email responses with ore information.

Linda Spevacek's "A Patriotic Salute" is a great medley of several patriotic
songs including the armed forces songs. I think there is also a set of
instrumental parts available for it. Ruth Elaine Schram's "America the
Beautiful" and "We the People" are good but are arranged for developing
voices. Pete Schmutte has a good arrangement of "God Bless the U.S.A." There
is a nice version of "Star-Spangled Banner" by Boyd Bacon that is arranged
for any combination of voices.
May I suggest the John Ness Beck arrangement of "America the Beautiful,"
published by Beckenhorst Press. It's beautifully and lyrically harmonized;
contains some doubling of treble voices for climactic effect; very dramatic;
lovely accompaniment.

What about "Hymn to Freedom" I can't remember the composer, but he was a
jazz artist. Oscar Peterson - Walton music - SATB piano

When every man joins every man
and together sings in harmony
that's when we'll be free......

It is a great piece

I realise that thse ideas are not specifically patriotic, but they are
American through-and-through. How about Persichetti's "Celebrations" for
chorus and symphonic band, with words by Walt Whitman? You could do an Ives
set, perhaps: Ives' Circus Band, William Will (a piece he wrote for a
candidate's campaign)

. There is a great medley A Cohan Salute! arranged by Don Besig and
published by Shawnee Press (A-1698). It contains Give My Regards to
Broadway, Mary's A Grand Old Name, Harrigan, The Yankee Doodle Boy, and
You're a Grand Old Flag. It runs for about 6:35 and is a real crowd pleaser.
Each choir member had a small American flag which they kept concealed until
the very end and then waved it through the closing phrase. You can get the
band arrangement from the publisher as well.
There is a medley An American Tribute arranged by Robert Cundick, formerly
an organist withe the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He did it for the Tab Choir
and the Air Force Band. It contains This Land Is Your Land, Shenandoah,
Dixie, Down in the Valley, and This Is My Country--it runs about 4:40. I
still have it in manuscript, but it has been published by TRO and Ludlow
Music, Inc., New York. If you are interested in this, but have difficulty
locating it, let me know and I will check for more information. I might even
be able to send you a copy for your perusal. Would need your mailing
Then, there is an exciting piece So Many Voices Sing America's Song by
Robert Brunner, a composer/conductor on the staff of Walt Disney Studios for
over 17 years. This piece was officially recognized by The Commission on the
Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. It is a thrilling piece,
involves a baritone soloist, and runs for 3:10--a great closer. It is
published by the composer, Brunner Music Pub. Co., and if your local dealer
doesn't find it I can put you in touch with Mr. Brunner in California. There
are arrangements for band, orchestra, and brass ensemble. Here, again, I
could send you a copy if you are interested. Here are three shorter pieces
which you might want to consider. America . . . The Dream Goes On, music by
John Williams (BostonPops conductor and Olympic composer), published by
Warner Bros. (406-01014). Runs 3:15 and the band arr. is 257-01010. There
also is a TraxCassette 408-01027. God Bless The U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood and
published by MCA (Hal Leonard) 08637721. Full concert band (04027796).
Instrumental Pak for Combo (08637727) and ShowTrax Cassette (08637728). Runs
310. America a stunning arrangement by Robert Hunter, published by Carl
Fischer CM7947. Baritone or Alto solo optional on 2nd verse. Runs 3:40. Bob
Hunter, accompanist for Paul Salamunovich, dedicated this arrangement to
"America, One and Many" by William Copper is for chorus and strings,
about 3 minutes, with the full text and sample score at .

This the kind of song that would go well with band too, so I could do a
special arrangement for you -- and would be interested in doing so for
the future possibilities it would open up.

Try Verdi's Hymn to the Nations. It's wild.

I'm doing a 2 part (for elem.) "Of thee I sing" by Mary Donnelly and George
Strid. It partners an original melody with the pledge of allegiance (sp?)
with America the Beautiful. It's quite simple, effective, and moving.

For maybe 10 years the Community Band I play in has been doing
similar 7/4 programs, usually with a thrown-together chorus, and for the
past 2 years with the addition of a string orchestra. Over that time I've
written a number of arrangements, including some medleys that are a bit
more than just a few tunes strung together. I'll be arranging one or two
more for this year, time permitting. Some of these were adapted from
patriotic closing medleys I arranged for my college show ensemble, The New
Virginians, and they've all been proven under battlefield conditions!

If any of that sounds interesting, please let me know and I'll start
searching for the disks that have those files on them, and send you
descriptions of what I find. They will all be for band and chorus,
sometimes with vocal soloists, sometimes with a narrator, and sometimes
with added (but optional in most cases) strings. Nothing for full

Hope I can be of help. No charge, of course, except for expenses. My
files are all in Mosaic format (Composer's Mosaic from Mark of the
Unicorn), and are incompatible with Finale format. If you happened to have
access to Mosaic, I could send the files electronically. Otherwise I can
print master pages and send them snailmail.


Howard Hanson - *Song of Human Rights* (C. Fischer)

Also, Gregg Smith has an *America the Beautiful* arrangement for big forces
as you describe--I think it's only available from him.

Finally--one of my favortite things to do under these circumstances is
*Anthem* from *Chess* if you can get hold of it. . .

Copland's Canticle of Freedom (commissioned by Robert Shaw) Canticle of
Freedom was commissioned by the Massachusetts institute of
Technology for the dedication of its newly built Kresge Auditorium in
Cambridge, Massachusetts. (I assume one of those is true!)

Halsey Steven's "BALLAD OF WILLIAM SYCAMORE" might be a bit big for your
immediate needs, but I thought you should know about it if you didn't
already. Isn't there
something by Howard Hanson? IF you wanted a 6:30 piece for the orchestra
please consider "SOUSAPHERNALIA" by John Biggs in our orchestral catalog.
future "patriotic" things, please consider "PAUL REVERE'S RIDE" by the same
composer. This has just come out on a brand new CD called "A Choral
Bouquet". You
may see it at:

Then, there's Linda Spevacek's Patriotic Salute, which has all the service
hymns, When Johnny comes Marching, starts with a solo trumpet playing
"Taps"--Yankee Doodle Dandy, You're a Grand Old Flag, etc. My high schoolers
are loving it--comes in various voicings.

"America, The Dream Goes On", by John Rutter.

David Diamond and William Schuman each have worthwhile patriotic pieces
for chorus and large orchestra. I believe Judith Shatin has a setting of
the Gettysburg Address, for chorus and....brass?

1. "Irving Berlin Patriotic Medley"

Scored for chorus, optional solists (generally in all these arrangements
sections marked solo can be sung by sections and vice versa), and expanded
rhythm section (Piano, 2 Synthesizers, Guitar, Electric Bass, Drum Set).
(I'm puzzled by the lack of band accompaniment, and not sure who I wrote it
for! It could be expanded to full band, which would be fine if I have the
time.) A pretty straightforward medley, no narration, nice emotionally.

"This Is a Great Country"
"This Is the Army"
"Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning"
"Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor"
"God Bless America" Finale

There is some duplication among these arrangements, because I wrote them at
different times and recycled some music. "Got Bless America" is actually a
segue to the end of one of the arrangements below, where it is an alternate
ending replacing "God Bless the U.S.A." Possible audience singalong on the


2. "A Salute to the Flag!"

Intended as a big production number, but written so that any of the four
sections may be omitted if desired. Scored for chorus, no soloists
(although soloists may be assigned to certain lines if desired), narrator,
and full concert band.

PART I: The Star Spangled Banner

After an extended fanfare introduction the chorus enters singing the Star
Spangled Banner as it appeared in the original 1814 publication. Between
choral phrases the band responds with brief quotations of tunes that
comment on the text just sung by the chorus: "Yankee Doodle," "Three
Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Over
There," "God Bless America," and "Taps."

PART II: Narration

The narrator speaks about the origin, history, and development of our flag
as the band plays quiet underscoring, again keyed to the various time
periods the narrator is speaking about: "America," "Chester," "And the
Rockets' Red Glare" from the Star Spangled Banner, "Tenting Tonight," and
"America the Beautiful." A copy of the Narration script is attached as a
Microsoft Word document.

PART III: Battlecry of Freedom

The full chorus and band in a rousing, march-time salute to the flag.

PART IV: George & Irving

The music of George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin: "Grand Old Flag," "Yankee
Doodle Dandy," and "This Is a Great Country."

PART V: God Bless the U.S.A. Finale

Based on the arrangement written for the Reagan Innauguration in 1985. The
choral director should note that the voicing is contempoarary and carries
the men well into their upper ranges.


3. "What Is America?"

Again, written and revised several times to serve as a big production
number and finale. Scored for chorus, soloists (again optional but
desireable if possible), two narrators (male and female if possible), and
full concert band. A copy of the Narration script is attached as a
Microsoft Word file. Note that the first 2 paragraphs are customized for
the event it was last used for, but can easily be adapted. The Narration
combines historical quotations and commentary about America's growth.


Band introduction
"America" quotation in chorus
Narration over band underscore
Narration over "Amazing Grace" in chorus, then band

PART II: THE VARIED CAROLS (some are brief quotations)

"Oh Susanna!" optional baritone solo and chorus
"Camptown Races" optional alto solo and chorus (set as Blues)
"Sweet Betsy from Pike" optional tenor solo and chorus
"My Darlin' Clementine" chorus
"Buffalo Gals, Woncha Come Out Tonight" all men
"Down In the Valley" all men
"Careless Love" all women
"I Never Shall Marry" all women


"Amazing Grace" optional alto solo--strong belt voice
Narration as band continues under
"Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" with "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"
Best with 3 powerful soloists, bass-baritone, tenor, alto
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" segue, chorus with soloist commentary
Narration as band continues under


"Coming to America" chorus with optional soloists and spoken lines
for narrators or soloists punctuating the ending.


If any of these sound or look interesting, I could snail-mail you copies of
the vocal scores. Just let me know.

John Howell John Howell [John.Howell(a)]

This is Warren Avery, Linda Spevacek's husband, I showed you email to
(actually I followed her around the house as she is getting ready for a
voice lesson this afternoon).... She indicated that three of her songs
would be especially appropriate.

Patriotic Salute - Honoring the Army, Navy and Marine Corps(*), these
ageless tunes remind us of the debt we owe to the men and women in uniform.
Begins with a haunting solo 'Taps' and trumpet call leading us eventually to
a Yankee Doodle Dandy and a collage of Patriotic salutes for a dynamite
ending. A can't miss for Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, July 4th or general
patriotic programming at any time of the year. (*)The copyright owner of
the Air Force song would not give permission to include "Off We Go Into The
Wild Blue Yonder" in the medley, however Linda's piece is arranged to
accommodate the Air Force song at measure 67 right after Anchors Aweigh, you
will need to find an SATB/Unison for the words, this is a real crowd
pleaser. Heritage Music Press SATB 15/1606H

Stars and Stripes - Get out the flags, hats and marching shoes for this new
patriotic salute! Linda has written a new text to this favorite Sousa
March. When combined with the clever part writing and wonderful, fun
accompaniment this makes for the patriotic winner of the year. Dynamite!
Heritage Music Press SATB 15/1556H

America The Beautiful - This expressive and sensitive arrangement includes
passages for both treble and male solos (or sections) accompanied by the
SATB voices. From the quiet splendor of the opening, this piece builds to a
strong and dramatic conclusion. The availability of additional voicing in
the same key makes this an excellent choice for combined choir
erformances - Heritage Music Press SATB 15/1359H
3 Part PDF is

We sent you SATB and divisi back in July, we have since made CD's from the
various publishers promotional CD that are sent to us, if you like, we would
like to send you the CD's.

Paul Revere's Ride (See ad in this month's Choral Journal p. 142)
American Folksong Suite
The Blue Tail Fly

Paul Mark

"America, the Dream Goes On" by John Williams. I think it was
originally published by Jensen, probably over 10 years ago. The original
written for orchestra and chorus. However, the band arrangement is quite
accessible and effective.

David Griggs-Janower
228 Placid Drive
Schenectady, NY 12303-5118
518/356-9155 (h); 442-4167 (w)

Albany Pro Musica
PO Box 3850
Albany, NY 12203-0850
Ph (518)438-6548
Fax: (518)273-6510

Univ. at Albany Music Department
Music Department fax: 518/442-4182

on June 6, 2007 10:00pm