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Philadelphia Gray’s Quickstep

Philadelphia Gray’s Quickstep

Johnson, Francis

Arr. Krush, Jay


  • Ensemble: Concert Band
  • Genre: Classical
  • Grade: 3
  • Duration: 2.0 minutes
  • Catalog Number: AOS1674

The “Philadelphia Gray’s Quickstep” was one of many works Johnson composed to honor Philadelphia militia units and their leaders, in this case, Captain George Cadwalader.  The quickstep is based on the march from Bellini’s “I Puritani”. 

This orchestration attempts to duplicate the size and sound of Johnson’s band as much as possible. However, Johnson’s band would have had a range of soprano brass colors not easily duplicated with modern instruments.

In Johnson’s band, the top three trumpet parts in this score (Eb, and Bb 1 and 2) would have been covered by keyed bugles, with Johnson himself playing the Eb part.  Parts 3 and 4 would have been cornopeans, valved forerunners of the modern cornet, with a trumpet on the fifth Bb part. While this orchestration will sound fine with all six parts covered by trumpets, if the instruments are available, it would be closer to the sound of the original to vary the instruments on the trumpet parts.  As a suggestion:

Eb Cornet (or Eb trumpet)

Parts 1 and 2: Bb cornets

Parts 3 and 4:  Bb flugelhorns

Part 5:  Bb trumpet

Anything that would group together, by color, the Eb part and Bb parts 1 and 2, then parts 3 and 4, and finally part 5 by itself, would come closer to the variety of soprano brass sounds heard during the first half of the 19th Century by Johnson’s famed band.

Percussion: “Jingling Johnny”. The “Jingling Johnny” in the percussion section was a wooden rhythm pole topped with crescents and bells.  Sometimes called a “Turkish crescent” or a “Chinese pavilion”, this spectacular instrument was struck on the ground and shaken to great visual and aural effect.  If one of these isn’t available, the closest modern sound would be sleigh bells, ideally held vertically and struck on the handle.

  • Piccolo
  • Flutes
  • Clarinet in Eb
  • Clarinets 1-2 in Bb
  • Bassoon
  • Horn 1-2
  • Trumpet in Eb
  • Trumpets 1-5 in Bb
  • Trombones 1-3
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Percussion: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Cymbals, Jingling Johnny

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