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“Hidden Wisdom” Overture for Concert Band

An energetic and melodic concert overture featuring all families of the concert band. An exciting addition to your concert program.


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Difficulty: Medium (Level 3-4)

“Hidden Wisdom” Overture for Concert Band

SKU: WARMay001
  • Difficulty: Medium (Level 3-4)


    Title: “Hidden Wisdom” Overture for Concert Band

    Author: William A.R. May

    Duration: 6 Minutes, 15 Seconds

    Stylistic elements: Energetic, melodic, lyrical, with lots of percussion, harmonically & rhythmically intricate; relative to grade level. 

    Orchestration: Concert Band

    Kind: Single-Movement Overture


    • Piccolo
    • Flute 1-2
    • Oboe
    • 1-3 Clarinet
    • Bass Clarinet 
    • Contrabass Clarinet (Optional)
    • Bassoon
    • 1-2 Alto Saxophone
    • Tenor Saxophone
    • Baritone Saxophone (Optional)
    • 1-3 Trumpet
    • 1-2 F Horn
    • 1-2 Trombone
    • Bass Trombone
    • Euphonium
    • Tuba
    • Percussion

    Program Notes: Things of value are not always visible. Truly valuable things are often unseen or hidden. “Hidden Wisdom” is a celebration of the hidden virtues of life, ones that are well worth finding. This work was inspired by the phrase itself, which is a direct quote from scripture: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7).

    This concert overture for band is dedicated to the late composer Robert W. Smith, and was inspired by such masters as Vincent Persichetti, Václav Nelhýbel, Robert Sheldon, Stephen Bulla, and Francis McBeth.

    As this work is an intentional "Throwback" (i.e. "Old School"), here’s some hidden wisdom for you: If you’re going to go back for anything, only get the good stuff!

    Commissioned by: A consortium of ensembles and directors, led by Anthony Pickard and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. High School Band.


    Additional Commissioners

    Patrick Moore - South Caroline State University

    Samuel Rowley - Virginia State University


    Key: N/A

    Written: Spring 2023

    Premiered: March 2024, by the South Caroline Sate University Symphonic Band, at Banneker High School, Atlanta, Ga.

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