Cheltenham, England

by: Brian Harris

Named in honor of Gustav Holst's birthtown in Central England, Cheltenham March is a straight-ahead folk tune sounding march. You will, no doubt, hear the Holst-like sound.

It begins with a majestic fanfare and moves into a jaunty, sword-fighting, lance-crossing melody. Before that melody returns a second time, there is  a short and light dance-type interlude. Then, after the key change at the Trio, comes a broad, flowing melody - in true English style. The piece then returns to the beginning for one more hearing of the knightly melody.

Astute listeners will recognize that this march is patterned on a truncated form of the first movement of Holst's beloved Second Suite in F.

Medium Easy; Grade 2

NEW! See the full score as you listen to the music.

Sample pages (.pdf): 

Sound files: 

 SPECIAL! Listen to the Premiere Performance (live) of this piece by the South Texas (Region 11) Symphonic Honor Band on January 24, 2009. This group of middle school musicians learned this work and three others during a one-day clinic; directed by the composer.

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Contest or any Spring or Fall concert
  • "British"-style march with contrasting styles
  • Colorful, active percussion parts
  • moderate demands on trombone section
  • Accents, articulations, key changes.
  • playing cut-time
  • using D.C. al Coda format/repeats
  • syncopation in first section (but easy after heard a few times)
  • unison clarinet/horn line in Trio
  • Numerous bass drum rolls (use matched beaters).
  • KEY and RANGES:
    G minor to Eb major to G minor  

    All parts lay within "2nd/3rd-year" ranges: Flute to F above staff; 1st Clarinet to B above staff in one measure; 1st Trumpet to G; 1st Trombone to D above staff; Euphonium to F above staff; Tuba to C on staff.

    Full Instrumentation

    (uses a divisi Flute part for measures 29-36)

    Parts for 6 percussionists: 
      Percussion 1 = Snare Drum; Bass Drum  

      Percussion 2 = Crash Cymbals; Suspended Cymbal/Triangle 

      Timpani (3 drums needed; 4th optional) = 4 pitch changes 

      Bells (Mallets)

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