+26 Fanfare And Processional Ployhar

Fanfare and Processional "Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar, arr. James Ployhar YouTube
Fanfare and Processional "Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar, arr. James Ployhar YouTube from www.youtube.com

Fanfare and Processional Ployhar


When it comes to creating an atmosphere of grandeur and elegance, few musical compositions can match the impact of a fanfare and processional. These majestic pieces, often performed during special occasions and formal ceremonies, have the power to captivate audiences and set the tone for memorable events. One such composition that stands out in this genre is the "Fanfare and Processional" by James D. Ployhar. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this remarkable piece, exploring its history, structure, and the emotions it evokes.

The Composer: James D. Ployhar

James D. Ployhar was an accomplished American composer, arranger, and conductor, known for his contributions to the wind band repertoire. He composed numerous works, ranging from concert pieces to arrangements of popular songs, but his "Fanfare and Processional" remains one of his most recognized and beloved compositions.

The History of "Fanfare and Processional"

The "Fanfare and Processional" was composed by James D. Ployhar in 1978. It was commissioned by the American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA) and was intended as a ceremonial piece for graduation ceremonies and other formal events. Ployhar's goal was to create a composition that would not only showcase the technical abilities of the musicians but also instill a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Structure and Musical Elements

The "Fanfare and Processional" is a three-part composition, consisting of the fanfare, processional, and recessional sections. Each section serves a distinct purpose and contributes to the overall impact of the piece.

The Fanfare

The fanfare section, which opens the composition, is characterized by its bold and triumphant melodies. It is often performed by brass instruments, creating a powerful and regal sound. The fanfare serves as a call to attention, signaling the beginning of the ceremony and setting the stage for the entrance of the procession.

The Processional

The processional section follows the fanfare and is typically performed by the full ensemble. This section is marked by its steady tempo and stately rhythm, creating a sense of dignity and formality. As the musicians play, the procession enters, with each member moving in a deliberate and synchronized manner. The processional section sets the tone for the event, creating an atmosphere of anticipation and reverence.

The Recessional

The recessional section brings the composition to a close, mirroring the structure of the fanfare section. It is characterized by its triumphant melodies and grandiose sound, serving as a musical bookend to the piece. The recessional section is often performed as the procession exits, bringing the ceremony to a majestic conclusion.

The Emotions Evoked

The "Fanfare and Processional" by James D. Ployhar evokes a range of emotions in both performers and listeners. The bold and triumphant melodies of the fanfare instill a sense of pride and excitement, signaling the beginning of a significant event. As the processional section unfolds, a feeling of reverence and anticipation fills the air, heightening the emotional impact of the ceremony. Finally, the recessional section brings a sense of accomplishment and celebration, leaving the audience with a lasting impression of grandeur and elegance.

Performing "Fanfare and Processional"

Performing the "Fanfare and Processional" requires a skilled and well-rehearsed ensemble. The brass section, in particular, plays a crucial role in delivering the powerful and regal sound of the fanfare. The woodwind and percussion sections provide the necessary support and add depth to the overall performance. It is essential for the conductor to guide the musicians through the piece, ensuring precise entrances, dynamics, and articulations.

Occasions for Performance

The "Fanfare and Processional" is often performed during formal events and ceremonies, such as graduation ceremonies, awards ceremonies, and official gatherings. Its grandeur and elegance make it an ideal choice for occasions that call for a sense of importance and celebration. The composition's ability to captivate audiences and create a memorable atmosphere adds an extra layer of significance to these events.


James D. Ployhar's "Fanfare and Processional" is a remarkable composition that continues to captivate audiences with its grandeur and elegance. Its bold melodies, stately rhythms, and triumphant sound make it a perfect choice for formal events and ceremonies. Whether performed by a professional ensemble or a school band, this piece has the power to create an atmosphere of pride, reverence, and celebration. So next time you find yourself attending a graduation or formal gathering, listen closely for the familiar sounds of a fanfare and processional, and let yourself be transported into a world of grandeur and elegance.