Playing one wrong note can ruin the performance of a piece. However, in this piece, composer Thomas Duffy wants performers to make mistakes. The precise imprecision of Duffy’s piece comes to life as performers are asked to intentionally play wrong notes in various parts of the march. The Curriculum connects the piece to other musical jokes and includes lessons on how to figure out percents and permutations as well as telling the history of preludes and marches with various musical examples.


4-Flute 1
4-Flute 2
4-Optional Flute 3*
6-B flat clarinet 1
6-B flat clarinet 2
1-E flat alto clarinet
2-B flat bass clarinet
2-E flat alto saxophone 1
2-E flat alto saxophone 2
2-B flat tenor saxophone
1-E flat baritone saxophone
4-B flat trumpet 1
4-b flat trumpet 2
2-F horn
2-baritone B.C.
2-Baritone T.C.
1-Electric Bass
2-Percussion 1: Snare Drum, Bass Drum
2-Percussion 2: Crash Cymbals
2-Mallet Percussion
*Optional Flute 3 may be used if there are no oboes

Meet The Composer

Thomas C. Duffy (born June 17, 1955) is Deputy Dean of the School of Music and the Director of Bands at Yale University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education (magna cum laude) and Master of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Connecticut, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from Cornell University, where he studied with Karel Husa and Steven Stucky. He has taught music courses at the Hartford Conservatory, the University of Connecticut, the Auburn Maximum Security Correctional Facility, Cornell University, and Yale University.

Recordings and performances of Mr. Duffy’s music include those by college bands, orchestras, and wind ensembles throughout the world. Duffy has conducted bands and orchestras throughout the United States and Japan, England, France, Ireland, and Italy.

Dr. Duffy has served as president of the New England College Band Association, president of the CBDNA (College Band Directors National Association) Eastern Division, president of Connecticut Composers Inc., publicity co-chairman for the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, chairman of the Connecticut Music Educators Association Professional Affairs and Government Relations Committees, and a member of American Composers Alliance, BMI, and the American Bandmasters Association. Duffy represents music education in Yale’s Teacher Preparation Program. His music is published by American Composers Alliance, Ludwig Music and Bourne Company Music Publishers. In 1996, Dr. Duffy was selected as Outstanding Music Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Music Educators Association. (June 1997).

In addition to composing for this series, Dr. Duffy serves as BandQuest Series Editor.

About The Premiere

This piece was premiered May 19, 2000 at Tiverton Middle School in Rhode Island under the direction of Paul Anderson.