Northdale Music Press Limited
About NMPL
Compositions Pointer
Mozart Partita Project
Ordering Info
Northdale Concert Band  
Related Links  

Three Stratford Fanfares
for brass and percussion
by Louis Applebaum

For 50 years, these fanfares have been used at Stratford’s world-famous Shakespearean festival to call audiences to their seats. Showcase your brass and percussion players as you begin your performances with flair, and delight the audience with an unusual call at the end of the intermission. The fanfares can also be performed using herald trumpets. Flexible instrumentation.

The first of the three fanfares can be heard on a CD entitled Sweet Airs That Give Delight (Attic ACD 1378).

Approximate Duration 2'0" (0'30" + 0'30" + 1'0")
Grade 5
Score and parts $39.00
Score only n/a
Replacement parts $3.00

Composer’s Notes

Composer’s Notes on Three Stratford Fanfares
Three Stratford Fanfares, written for the 1953 opening season of the Stratford Festival, has been intimately associated with the world-renowned Shakespearean festival in Stratford, Ontario, ever since. The Festival opened in a huge tent with Tyrone Guthrie productions of Richard III and All’s Well that Ends Well. Richard III, which describes several battles and pompous court scenes, calls for many “tuckets, alarums and fanfares” requiring brass players in the orchestral ensemble that provides the incidental music. In this production, a small brass and percussion group served as the “pit orchestra”—the pit being a small boxed-in area at one corner of Stratford’s thrust stage.

Since we were then in a tent, there was a question as to how best to warn the audience that the performance was about to begin or that the intermission was over. Buzzers and recorded announcements seemed inappropriate. Because a brass group was available, I suggested that a fanfare, played live, could serve that purpose. Thus began a tradition that continues to this day: at each performance in the now permanent Festival Theatre, a small brass group (most often a quartet of fanfare trumpets and a field drum) plays a fanfare in four different locations within and outside the theatre, to call the audience to their seats.

During its 50 years, the Stratford season has grown to nine months of operation. With eight performances a week, these fanfares have so far received about 100,000 performances! They are widely used and recognized as the signature tune of the Stratford Festival on radio and television.

back to top

Instrumentation for Three Stratford Fanfares
The quantity of parts provided in complete set is shown in the right-hand column. Extra scores for competition purposes and additional individual instrument parts may be ordered separately.

Notes regarding instrumentation:
1. These fanfares may also be performed using herald trumpets.

full score
B flat Trumpet 1
B flat Trumpet 2
B flat Trumpet 3
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Trombone 3
Tuba (optional)
Timpani (optional)
Snare Drum
Cymbal (optional)

back to top

    Contact us at