Anthem for Winds & Percussion

Claude T. Smith
Jenson Publications, 1978


After a majestic three measure introduction, Anthem for Winds and Percussion (1978) launches into a light eighth note accompaniment preceding a flowing, lyrical melody marked by a quarter note triplet figure and an interesting use of Db concert.  Measure 38 provides a brief interlude from this melody s the brass and woodwinds trade some eighth note figures back and forth for eight measures.  The melody reasserts itself in the low brass at measure 46.  Eventually the piece slows down into an Andante chorale section at measure 65 where the band moves into a generally unison dotted quarter/eighth chorale tune.  At measure 81 the piece returns to the allegro melody, but in a brief flirtation with the key of G Major where the clarinet, horn, baritone, and tuba take melodic responsibility.  We return to Eb Major at measure 95 and remain there until ending the piece with the “A” theme.

Performance Notes

The melodic line should be expressive at all times. Do not rush the chorale at measure 65.  At measure 85, the eighth note figure should be very light and the accompanying counter-melody should be even lighter.  At measure 121, the timpani must have a strong, forceful sound.

This composition is dedicated to friend and teacher, Harold Arehart.

Musical Challenges

Rhythmically, Anthem for Winds and Percussionprovides several challenges just in the melodic “A” theme.  The mix of quarter note triplet plus dotted-quarter/eighth rhythm could be tricky if not drilled thoroughly. Fortunately, every instrument in the wind section eventually gets to play this melody, so working with the entire band will be possible and recommended! There are also several 7/8 figures interspersed through the piece.  Emphasize that the eighth note remains constant throughout.  It will also be very easy for the accompanying eighth note voices to play too powerfully for the flowing, lyrical melodic line to be heard.  Balance is definitely a vital part to the successful execution of this piece.

While the key of Eb Major should not be too difficult (watch out for the frequent use of Db concert!), the brief twelve measure flirtation with the key of G Major could make or break this piece, especially given that this will feature the melody in horn, tuba, and baritone saxophone, some instrument areas in which many Grade 3 bands may be weak!  During this same section, cup mute is required in trumpet 1 and trombone 1, likely causing them to push the pitch sharp while you’re dealing with key signature issues already.

Finally, though the piece will require six percussionists to cover all parts written, there is really very little for them to do for most of the piece.  Keeping them engaged may be a challenge in the rehearsal process.  Overall, this is a very interesting piece, but make sure your band has the necessary pieces o make it work!

About the Composer

Claude T. Smith was born in Monroe City, Missouri. He received his undergraduate training at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri and at the University of Kansas. He composed extensively in the areas of instrumental and choral music and his compositions have been performed by leading musical organizations throughout the world. Having over 110 band works, 12 orchestra works and 15 choral works, he composed solos for such artists as "Doc" Severinsen, Dale Underwood, Brian Bowman, Warren Covington, Gary Foster, Rich Matteson and Steve Seward. Mr. Smith taught instrumental music in the public schools of Nebraska and Missouri.He also served as a member of the faculty of Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where he taught composition and theory and conducted the University Symphony Orchestra. Sacred music was also a deep love of Mr. Smith's as he directed a church choir for 5 years in Cozad, Nebraska, 10 years in Chillicothe, Missouri and nine years in Kansas City, MO.

Smith's first band composition was entitled "World Freedom". His first published work, "Emperata" was published in 1964 by Wingert-Jones Music Inc., Kansas City, MO. This led to many other works being published by Wingert-Jones. In 1978, he also became a staff composer for Jenson Publications (currently Hal Leonard) and the educational consultant for Wingert-Jones. Claude T. Smith Publications, Inc. was founded in 1993 to publish works of Smith's which had not yet been released and works that had gone out of print.

Smith received numerous prestigious commissions including works for the U. S. Air Force Band, the "President's Own" U. S. Marine Band, the U. S. Navy Band, and the Army Field Band. His composition "Flight" was adapted as the "Official March" of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institute.

Claude T. Smith was active as a clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States, Australia, Canada and Europe. He received many awards for his contributions to music education and for his work in composition.

Mr. Smith was a member of the Music Educators National Conference, member and past-president of the Missouri Music Educators Association, National Bandmasters Association and the American Bandmaster's Association.