Carrickfergus Posy

Concert Band

Carrickfergus Posy

Symphonic Tone Poem
Sinfonische Tondichtung

Concert Piece
Grade Level:
Performance time:
Full Score + Parts
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Release Date:


The beautiful and haunting Irish folk song “Carrickfergus” was almost lost and forgotten to the ages, had it not been for the Irish-born actor Peter O’Toole, who sang the song to his friend, recording artist Dominic Behan. He made a studio recording of the song in the mid- 1960s. Since then, the song’s popularity has exploded, and it has been recorded by dozens of recording artists over the past several decades. The Australian-born composer Percy Aldridge Grainger, who migrated to London, and later to the United States, built an iconic career around his masterful arrangements and settings of well-known European, mainly British, folk songs. Had Grainger not passed away in 1961, prior to the revival of “Carrickfergus”, he may very well have chosen it as the subject of yet another masterwork for Wind Band. Percy Grainger loved to arrange songs containing lyrics and story lines of a tragic nature, the tone and flavor of which he would incorporate into his works. “Carrickfergus” would have fit that mold perfectly, as its lyrics tell the tragic tale of an old and sickly man who wants only to be able to return to his beloved home town of Carrickfergus to die, but cannot. In an effort to both pay tribute to Percy Grainger, and to create a symphonic setting of this timeless folk ballad in a manner similar to what he might have written himself, I present “Carrickfergus Posy”, a Symphonic Tone Poem for Wind Band, composed in the style of the immortal Percy Aldridge Grainger.

James L. Hosay

List of Contest Pieces SWA (Swiss Windband Associoation) - Third (3rd) Class - Windband (Harmonie)

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